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Facilitate Serendipitous Discovery

The other day I was in a feature design meeting for one of the new reports in the upcoming 3.0 release of Logos Bible Software, the Bible Word Study report. In attendance were a couple of Logos software developers, a few book designers and information architects, and Bob Pritchett, the president and co-founder of the company. We were going through the Grammatical Relationships section of that report line by line and commenting on the display, the information, the what-have-you.

At one point, I asked a dumb question (as I often do). “Bob,” I asked, “what is this report supposed to do? In a general sense, I mean.” I was getting at the Big Picture issues: Are we trying to find the Single Right Answer to every exegetical question? Are we just listing a bunch of unconnected information? Is this report teaching grammar? Should it?

Bob leaned back and said, “This report is supposed to do what all of our reports do: Facilitate serendipitous discovery.”

Continue Reading…

Salsa Cook-Off 2006

We were treated to some excellent salsa from 11 competitors this past Friday. It was tough to vote for just three salsas from all the tasty picos de gallo, tomato salsas, and an avocado concoction…but that’s what some would call a “high class problem.”

The results were announced shortly after the event and one of the Logos bloggers placed…congrats, Eli!

First Place: Guillermo Powell’s Powe – R – Salsa
Second Place: Kim Vail’s Salsa con Aquacate
Third Place: Eli Evans’ Hello Pain-o

Some photos from the event (click for a larger version):
Kim Vail, salsa 2006 coordinator, prepares the salsa buffet.

I entered, missed 3rd by 2 points, but am proud of my sign

Eli (speed eating?)

Jahan, Logos book designer, narrows the field

The happy remains

What…Leftovers?

And the winner is…

Followed by this shocking revelation from the winner, Guillermo Powell
Windows Media (416KB)

The winning recipe:
Powe – R – Salsa
from GuillermoPowell (“actually should be Elsa Powell, my wife”)
1 – Pace Picante sauce (4 lbs) can be purchased at Walmart
1 – cucumber, minced
1 – bundle of fresh cilantro
1 – lemon (squizzed fresh by Guillermo)
1 – onion, medium size, minced
Add salt and tabasco to taste.

Rescuing the Copyrighted Orphans

The majority of works offered for use with Logos Bible Software are modern, copyrighted books that we have licensed from authors and publishers. Typically these date from the 1980′s or later. Logos is also able to digitize and offer many public domain works, generally from before 1923.

There is a wealth of material from the middle years, though, that is out of print and hard to find in libraries, but which is still under copyright. When the publisher has gone out of business, or the author’s heirs are impossible to identify or locate, copyrighted works can become effectively orphaned. The chance that a copyright holder emerges after an orphaned work is republished may be slim, but when the statutory damages are $200,000 per infringement few publishers are willing to take a risk.

The US Copyright Office has been studying this problem and has proposed reasonable legislation that addresses the rights of copyright holders as well as the public good of continued use of orphaned content.

Below is a version of the letter I sent my elected representatives in support of the proposed legislation. I hope you will consider supporting it as well.

Dear Elected Representative,

Digital publishing, on CD-ROM’s and the Internet, is enabling us to make entire libraries of material available to students who previously had little or no access to valuable content. Students in distance learning programs, in rural areas, and in far-off parts of the world are using computers and the Internet to get access to content that previously could be found only in large libraries in major cities.

Projects like Google Print, and many others at universities and libraries, are putting the contents of irreplaceable, hard-to-access archives at the fingertips of students around the world.

There is a tremendous amount of information in the public domain, but many important works were published after 1923 and are now out of print. In many cases it is difficult to locate or even identify the owner. Publishers have gone out of business. Rights have reverted to heirs who have never heard of the copyrighted work. Titles were published without enough identifying information.

The Copyright Office issued a Report on Orphan Works in January of this year that recommends legislation providing for the use of orphaned works during their copyright period.

(http://www.copyright.gov/orphan/) The proposed statutory language addresses compensation for rights holders if they emerge, and provides safe harbor from huge infringement penalties to users who have made a diligent search to locate a copyright owner.

I encourage you to support this important proposal which advances the causes of commerce, education, and human knowledge.

Beautiful Joe

Brought to you by Bryan Albert, Logos programmer and coffee artist.Get mugged.

More on the Google Toolbar

Another feature of the Logos button for Google Toolbar that I overlooked in this morning’s post is that you can launch a search of the Logos.com site by right-clicking text at any other website instead of typing it into the toolbar. This saves precious keystrokes, making all of us lazy typists quite happy.

To pick on Amazon again, you can right-click on the words International Theological Commentary and choose Logos Bible Software from the menu.


This will launch a search of Logos.com for International Theological Commentary, which was just added today as a new prepub. Props to the ESV blog for pointing out this feature.

(Note: If you already installed the Logos button you will need to refresh it to get the right-click search thing going. Just click the black triangle next to the “G” inside the Google Toolbar’s search box; select Manage; double-click Logos Bible Software in the list of Custom Buttons; click “Update button to latest version from www.logos.com…”)

Oh, and in case you were curious…the Logos button is already listed in the Google Toolbar Button Gallery.

Logos Button for Your Google Toolbar

If you use Google Toolbar, you can now add a Logos button to the toolbar that grabs the newest headlines from the Logos Bible Software Blog and other Logos feeds. The button also lets you search the Logos.com website directly from the Google Toolbar, which is useful when you’re contemplating whether to buy that printed book from Amazon or get it in electronic format.
To add the Logos button to your Google Toolbar (and install version 4 of the toolbar), just click here.

(Requires Windows XP or Vista and Internet Explorer 6.0+. See the Google Toolbar page for previous IE versions and Firefox version.)

Once you have the custom button installed, you can enter a search term (e.g., deissmann) in the toolbar search box, click the Logos button, and view search results from the Logos.com site search engine.


You can also click the black triangle next to the Logos button to see the latest headlines from this blog, Logos product announcements, press releases, product reviews, and more!


Want to read more about this whole RSS thing? We have an article for you on Logos.com.
Also see the follow-up post: More on the Google Toolbar.

Logos in Review: Ashland Journal & Preaching Online

A new review of Logos Bible Software Series X (v 2.1b) and Stuttgart Electronic Study Bible from Ashland Theological Journal has been posted at Logos.com.

The review is authored by Dr. David W. Baker, who teaches Old Testament courses at Ashland Theological Seminary and is the editor of the journal. He is also the author of dozens of articles in Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, among others.

The upshot of Baker’s review is a recommendation of both Series X and SESB for users at all levels. In particular, he seemed to appreciate Verb Rivers, Word Study Guide, Graphical Query Editor, and Sentence Diagramming. He also praises the text-critical apparatus in SESB.

You can read the full text of the review at Logos.com.

We also posted excerpts from a review of Scholar’s Library Silver Edition that was published electronically in the January-February, 2006, Preaching Online. This review was authored by John Glynn, whose Commentary & Reference Survey (Kregel) has been mentioned before on this blog.

Glynn’s review discusses KeyLinking between references, shows a sample graphical query, and praises the auto-footnoting feature that is a standard feature of all Logos Bible Software packages. He also appreciates the expandability of the Libronix DLS, citing some key commentaries that are available.
Excerpts from Glynn’s review are posted at Logos.com.

Of the Making of Books (Part 7)

Today’s guest blogger is Ken Smith, General Manager of Electronic Publishing Services at Logos.
(This is the next installment in a series of articles about our nearly 60 publishing partners who market their own electronic products using our technology.)

Liturgical Press
One of our earliest publishing partnerships was with Liturgical Press, the publishing arm of St. John’s Abbey and University, a Benedictine monastery and college in central Minnesota.

In 1997, Liturgical published an electronic edition of the Vatican II Papers. This was followed in 1999 by The Rule of St. Benedict Library, an ambitious project that includes numerous primary and secondary sources relating to Benedictine study. This product is a significant beneficiary of electronic technology, as the various translations of and commentaries on the Rule are able to be scrolled in parallel and set as preferred targets for keylinking.

In February of 2001, Liturgical released a set of reference titles in a collection they titled The Collegeville Catholic Reference Library, which was updated in August of 2002 to the Libronix Digital Library System. The set includes the most popular reference works from Liturgical Press: The Collegeville Bible Commentary, The New Dictionary of Sacramental Worship, The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality, The New Dictionary of Catholic Social Thought, The New Dictionary of Theology, and Consecrated Phrases: A Latin Theological Dictionary.

While they are clearly a progressive organization, the folks at St. John’s haven’t lost sight of their roots. As evidence, take a moment to appreciate one of their newest and most ambitious print projects, The Saint John’s Bible. “The first handwritten, illuminated Bible commissioned since the printing press was invented five centuries ago.”

SJBIB

Next: Caribe-Betania Editores

Of the Making of Books (Part 6)

Today’s guest blogger is Ken Smith, General Manager of Electronic Publishing Services at Logos.

(This is the next installment in a series of articles about our nearly 60 publishing partners who market their own electronic products using our technology.)

Standard Publishing
One of the most rewarding aspects of our work at Logos is when we see our technology helping people to be more consistent and fruitful in their daily study of the Bible. When we partner with a publisher who values this as much as we do, great things can happen. Such is the case with Standard Publishing.

Beginning in the fall of 2001, Standard began issuing an electronic edition of their annual Standard Lesson Commentary using our technology. As you can see from the cover, the CD-ROM was considered a “bonus” and I’m sure both companies wondered just how many of the loyal purchasers of the print edition would actually use the CD-ROM.

SLC0102

In those days, we didn’t really have any way to track that statistic, but Standard seemed pleased enough with the reaction to continue the following year. Because the 2002–2003 edition was based on the Libronix Digital Library System, we were able to gather some information about the number of people who made the effort to take the CD out of the back of the book, load it onto their computer and complete the activation process.

Were we ever surprised. Thousands of people activated the software and gladly embraced the electronic format. The following year, the numbers were nearly identical.

SLC0203 SLC0304

For the 2004–2005 edition, Standard took a big step and decided to launch an electronic-only product. The product was named The Standard Lesson eCommentary and included a small library of reference books as well.

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to be more consistent in your daily Bible study, it’s not too late to pick up the 2005–2006 Standard Lesson eCommentary and get started. And don’t worry. Planning for the 2006–2007 edition has already begun!

Next: Liturgical Press

Camp Logos Cruise

Avast, ye scurvy dogs, are ye ready to set sail fer Alaska with “Cap’n Moe” and the Camp Logos crew?

OK, I don’t think it’s going to be a pirate themed event. But still, what could be better than hanging out with other Logos aficionados aboard the Sun Princess while eating great food, seeing some seriously impressive sights, and sharpening your Bible software skills?

The 7-day cruise leaves from Seattle, Washington, on July 23, 2006, and follows the beautiful Inside Passage to Alaska with 5 ports of call along the way. You will see Victoria, Ketchikan, the Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, and Skagway.

You’ll also benefit from a number of focused training sessions with Morris Proctor, certified trainer for Logos Bible Software. Morris will lead group and individual sessions to take your Logos-assisted Bible study to the next level and ensure that you’re using the tool with optimal efficiency. And, of course, spending time with other users will be just plain fun.

Get the complete details and sign up for the cruise at the Morris Proctor Seminars website. The registration deadline is coming up soon, so don’t wait.

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