Now is the time! Registration is live for BibleTech 2008, January 25-26, 2008, in Seattle!
We’ve got a variety of speakers addressing all kinds of topics at the intersection of the Bible and technology. We’ll be looking at digital Bible maps, online education, open source projects, web-based language tools, and Bible-reference micro-formats for marking up HTML.
Pastor, programmer, or professor, there’s something for you at BibleTech!
More importantly, we’ve got a great group of people showing up. As interesting as many of the sessions sound, I am even more excited about spending two days meeting and talking with people who share my interest in the Bible and technology. I hope you’ll come and be part of it.
We have tried to make BibleTech 2008 as easy to attend as possible. We’re holding it literally across the street from the SeaTac airport, so you don’t need a car or taxi; you can walk. We’re also pricing the tickets at a “covers costs” level. (Your ticket includes three conference meals, coffee breaks, etc.)
Tickets for BibleTech 2008 are being sold through the Logos Pre-Pub system, so that we can get a head-count in advance. You can pre-order your ticket now without being charged until December.
And please don’t forget to blog about BibleTech 2008. Sadly, not everyone reads the Logos Blog, and we need your help to get the word out!
(Note to bloggers: If youblog about the BibleTech conference, consider using the “bibletech08″ tag so that posts about the conference are easy to find in Technorati and others. Thanks!)
Now is the time! Registration is live for BibleTech 2008, January 25-26, 2008, in Seattle!
Logos Bible Software for the Mac is getting closer all the time! Yesterday we were able to record our first video showing the software in action.
Click on the image below to view the high-res version of that video. The video may take a few minutes to load. If you really can’t wait, you can view the low res version by clicking the link below the image.
Please note that the video has no sound.
The software is showing books, running searches, comparing versions, creating a Passage Guide, and more. (Today we even inserted a shipping DVD and discovered, copied, and viewed existing electronic books without modification.)
There are bugs to fix, help files to write, features to hook up, and some polishing we need to do on the user interface. It shouldn’t be too long before we’re able to release an Alpha for external testing.
Just a reminder: There is no beta list. When we’re ready for Alpha or Beta testing, we will announce it to this email list and at www.logos.com/mac. So please do email us your encouragement and feedback, but please don’t email us asking to be on the top-secret, VIP-only, private early beta list. Because there isn’t one. :-)
Do you know a student studying computer science or information science? A smart, hard worker who could use a paid internship this summer helping to build the next generation of Logos Bible Software?
Logos hires interns every summer (and even other times of year), and many of our full-time programmers started out as interns. This summer we are offering a particularly exciting opportunity to work with the latest software technologies (C#, .NET 3.0, WPF, WCF, XAML, etc.) and to contribute to a major development project.
Summer internships are paid, typically 12 weeks long, and are on site here in Bellingham, Washington — a great place to spend the summer. Logos covers transportation costs, helps find housing, and ensures that interns have a chance to grow their skills while contributing to real projects.
We still have a few positions open, so call your crazy-smart computer-geek kid, brother, sister, cousin, neighbor, niece, or nephew and encourage them to visit www.logos.com/jobs for more information! (And don’t forget that we still have a full-time opening for a web developer, too!)
Today I filled out a survey for a company we buy software from. One question wanted me to rate their phone technical support on a scale of 1 to 9. But I have never phoned them. There was no “Don’t Know” option, and the survey software wouldn’t let me leave it blank.
I gave phone support a six.
The episode reminded me why I hate to take surveys. None-the-less, if you are a Logos Bible Software user, I am asking you to take a few minutes and fill one out for me. Because surveys really do help us design our software and prioritize projects. We read every response, and refer back to the aggregated results for months afterwards. Many of our existing features, policies, and product offerings were created in response to user feedback through earlier surveys.
So please take a few minutes to answer this nine question survey (especially the annoying, but very helpful to us, question number five) and help us do an even better job of meeting your needs in future releases of Logos Bible Software.
(Our survey does support “Don’t Know” and skipping questions.)
I wish that we could show Logos Bible Software to every Bible student in the world. Because when people who are serious about getting into the Word see how Logos Bible Software enhances their study, they can’t wait to use it.
We try to show Logos in as many ways as we can. We put demo videos on the web, we present at conferences, and we even show it to seat-mates on airplanes. About the only thing we don’t do is go door-to-door.
But we’re ready to try that, too.
We are going to launch a national sales force of Field Representatives: full-time Logos employees who visit pastors and Bible students in eight large cities around the country, showing people how Logos Bible Software helps them do better, deeper Bible study while wasting less time finding things and flipping paper pages.
Are you a salesperson looking for a product you can sell without reservation? Please take a look at the job description, and please feel free to forward it to anyone you know who might be interested.
Our first openings will be in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Seattle, and Washington, DC.
It is always interesting to read about how other people are applying information technology to Bible study.
SemanticBible.org is the home of a variety of interesting projects, and earlier this year it occurred to me that whoever was behind it must be the kind of person who is interested in many of the same things we are.
And he is.
I am very happy that Sean Boisen has accepted our invitation to join Logos Bible Software as a Senior Information Architect, and I am looking forward to working with him on increasingly powerful (and interesting!) ways of using technology to facilitate Bible study.
Tools like the Passage Guide, Exegetical Guide, and Bible Word Study Guide search a huge digital library and return neatly organized reports that kick-start your Bible study. From nothing more than a verse, or the name of a Bible story, or a single word, these reports generate both visual and textual overviews that link deeply into your Bible reference library.
These reports eliminate obstacles to Bible study because they are more than just simple search tools. They not only save time, they answer the question “Where do I start?” Each report is designed to facilitate a specific step in Bible study, and it has embedded in it specialized knowledge about the process and books involved.
Logos Bible Software also features specialized tools like a Bible Reading Scheduler and a Prayer List manager. Like the automated reports, these tools are time savers that eliminate paper handling and help users get into the Word.
The sheer bulk and weight of paper Bible reference books is another paper handling obstacle. It can keep people from following a cross reference, checking a source, or digging a little deeper on a topic.
I have visited many pastors and professors in their offices, and the one thing found in every office is a lot of books. It is fascinating to see the breadth and depth of many of these collections, often neatly organized and cataloged. But it is also interesting to see that within nearly all of these large collections there is a much smaller collection: “books I use all the time”. This handful of books can usually be found on the shelf directly behind the chair, just below sitting eye-height. (If those books aren’t already strewn across the desk.)
Because no matter the breadth or depth of interest or scholarship, very few people have the time to regularly find and consult even the hand-picked books in their personal library. And even less time to visit a bookstore or physical library for the obscure titles they find referenced in every footnote and bibliography they encounter during their study, no matter how useful they might be.
Electronic resources are easier to use. And when resources are easier to use, they get used more often. We want to free our users to consult their whole library regularly – not just the books they can reach from their chair.
We also want to make available as much source material as possible. Everyone may not want to check textual readings in the papyri, consult Josephus in the Greek, or search for parallels in the Ugaritic literature. But having access to the early sources (in the original languages and scripts, as well as in transliteration and translation) is necessary in order to do so. Ready access to these sources is useful for less scholarly users as well. It allows them to check citations, to read and explore on their own, and to gain confidence in the integrity of our historical understanding.
Logos Bible Software offers a massive digital library. But we aren’t adding titles to win some book count competition. We simply want to make the books in your library easier to use. We want to make it easier for everyone to consult source material. And in doing so, we eliminate even more obstacles to better, deeper Bible study.
I recently returned from the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Literature. Once again I had a great time meeting and talking with so many of our users as well as many students, pastors, scholars (and pastor-scholars!) who are looking for new resources.
It was interesting to see how different people have different impressions of Logos Bible Software. Some only know it as the software they use to access a single electronic book, like the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary. Some see it as a specialized Bible search engine, particularly if they only discovered it in the context of our new Hebrew and Greek syntax databases. Others see Logos as nothing more than a huge bucket-o-books, an overstuffed electronic library with a search feature.
The Libronix Digital Library System, the technology underneath Logos Bible Software, is not a single piece of software. It is more like a box of software parts that can be assembled in various ways – like digital Lego bricks, if you will. It can function as a search-and-display tool for a single book or as host for multiple document editors and specialized search engines. This modularity lets us deliver exactly the right tool for many different users. It is the right tool for the devotional user who wants just a Bible and commentary. And it is the right tool for the scholar who only wants to run complex queries on ancient language texts.
The modular architecture is a great asset. But it can make it hard to see the big picture of what Logos Bible Software really is.
Logos Bible Software is an obstacle eliminator for Bible study. It is a combination of technology and resources designed to eliminate every bit of time-consuming paper handling that could get in the way of Bible study.
The Bible is the Word of God. We believe that it should be at the center of every Christian’s walk, and that it speaks powerfully to the hearts and minds of unbelievers. But we can’t make people study it. We can take away excuses for not studying it, though. We can make Bible study easier to begin. We can remove every impediment of page turning and paper handling. We can make digging deeper irresistibly easy.
Back in 1991, the very first Logos t-shirt design consisted of our logo and the phrase “Get into the Word!” in large, red type. Fifteen years later we are still building tools to help you do just that.
There is a hidden message in all the photos of crock-pots you see on the Logos Blog.
Everyone understands why we post about product features and special sales and Greek syntax, and even the design of a Ugaritic font. But maybe the pictures of cook-offs and frisbees and coffee and decorations are too subtle.
There is a reason we post all that Fun Stuff:
Okay, there’s another reason, too: We want everyone to see what a great place Logos is to work. We know that before an interview every (smart) job candidate pokes around our web site and blog. We want them to discover that we’re a place they really want to work.
We also want you, our regular blog reader, to (when you’re not thinking about Greek syntax searching) take a moment to think, “Those folks at Logos must be having a blast! And they eat well! I need to take a look at www.logos.com/jobs and forward the link to the smartest people I know.”
Finding and attracting great people continues to be the key to our success. If “we” are going to keep building great Bible software for you, “we” needs to get bigger and better. Maybe you should think about joining us? Maybe you have a gifted friend or relative who is looking for something new? Maybe they just need to know about a fun, growing company where a bunch of great people are working together to build tools to help you study the Word?
Let them know about www.logos.com/jobs. (Especially if they can cook.)
There are some business advantages to serving pastors and Bible students. In conversation with other business people I have observed that we have less theft, piracy, fraud, and credit-card charge-backs than most businesses. Our customers pay their bills. Our product isn’t the theft target that music and sneakers are. Unfortunately, there are still people who, for reasons both selfish and self-righteous, don’t seem to mind stealing Bible software.
The anti-piracy features in Logos Bible Software aren’t super-secure. Serial numbers, registration, etc. are more for letting us restore lost licenses than for locking down users. We want enough security that stealing the software requires conscious, deliberate (and usually pretty technical) effort, while creating the minimal inconvenience for honest users. But for the determined thief, there’s no lock that can’t be picked and no software that can’t be copied.
In this week’s mail I received an envelope from a professor, obtained from one of his students. It contained a home-made DVD-ROM and instructions on installing a pirated version of our software. Step 2 in the detailed instructions installs the stolen licenses. Step 5 encourages the thief to “Study to shew thyself approved ;-) (2tim 3:15)”.
It is always disappointing to see such deliberate piracy. But years ago we decided that we weren’t going to get too upset about it.
Because if you want to steal the Bible, we want you to have it.
Because if you read it, and apply it, and let it change your life, you might write a letter like the one I found in the same stack of mail:
The writer confessed to having purchased and returned a copy of Logos Bible Software v1.6 in order to use the sales receipt for a discount on upgrading to Logos Bible Software v2.0. Back in 1995.
And now, 11 years later, he feels convicted about his dishonesty, confessing it as part of an old life style of stealing, shop-lifting, etc. He enclosed a check for the value of the returned software, plus interest, and asked for our forgiveness and blessing.
What a blessing it is to be building tools to help people study God’s Word. And to be in a position to see, side-by-side and on the same day, such evidences of our sinful tendencies and of the power of the Word to convict us of them.