Froot Loops & Free Bibles

We try to keep Logos Bible Software as inexpensive as possible considering all the value in the bundles, but that’s not enough for some people. For them the only right price is free.Some years back, a customer called one of our international distributors to report an epiphany in which God told him this distributor would send a free copy of the software. To which the quick-thinking distributor responded, “Fine, I’ll send it as soon as God tells me your address”.

But we’ve never experienced anything quite like what happened this past weekend. Here’s how the AP reports it:

A Bible software business was vandalized with pornography and devil-worship symbols, and a man has been arrested and taken to a hospital for evaluation, police said.

Satanic and Nazi symbols, pornography and other graffiti marred the Logos Research Systems Inc. main building and shipping department, located in separate downtown buildings last weekend, executive assistant Brenna Sebens said.

Regular light bulbs were replaced with red ones in a bathroom and there were disturbing paintings, satanic symbols and crude writing on the walls, she said.

…Police said officers were dispatched following a report of a man throwing Froot Loops cereal and pieces of paper out of an apartment window in the shipping department building Saturday morning.

According to the police report (and some of the graffiti), the man arrested believed very strongly that information should be free. The Bellingham Herald reported that he “told officers he felt the company was charging him money for Bibles when he could get them for free…”

Perhaps someone should have told him Logos doesn’t run on Linux anyway. (Just a joke!)

Some photos:

I’d like to say we were completelyshocked by this vandalism, but it’s not the first time we’ve experienced graffiti directed at the company or disturbed people walking into the office. But in the big picture, these are small frustrations. I think the email Bob Pritchett sent to the office after discovering the vandalism models what, ultimately, must be our reaction to such events:

I was pretty angry at first, but I think that’s the wrong reaction.

When a drunk driver drove through our church window, my pastor confessed to being pretty upset. But he soon realized that the (chronic) drunk driver, responsible as he remains for his actions, was in worse shape than our broken entryway. After putting up plywood he spray-painted it with large letters: “We forgive you.”

I want to exercise as much wisdom and grace.

Pray for us, that we would have the mind of Christ in all things.

A Review with Meat

Rubén Gómez at Bible Software Review recently posted a review of Logos Bible Software 3 to his site and graciously permitted us to reprint the review.

Logos has been dissected many times in various magazines, journals, and websites but I must say this is one of the meatiest, most detailed reviews to date.

Even if you already own Logos, you’re bound to learn something from Rubén’sanalysis and accompanying screenshots.

Check it out!

Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament Updated and Expanded

The Lexham Syntactic Greek New Testament (henceforth Lexham SGNT) is an ongoing project here at Logos. When v3.0 was released, a preliminary version of the Lexham SGNT, covering Hebrews through Jude, was included in the various Scholar’s Library packages and the Original Languages Library package. (see more on packages here).
Dr. Al Lukaszewski has been steadily working through the Greek New Testament since that time. The latest beta release (v 3.0e) includes a significantly expanded version of the Lexham SGNT. If you already have access to the Lexham SGNT, the 3.0e beta will update your version. The new version includes data for Revelation, Romans and First Corinthians. Of course, it is a beta release so you should be sure to read all of the warnings and whatnot before you decide to install the beta version.
For an example of the sort of information that the Lexham SGNT provides, check out this previous blog entry which includes a video discussing “Syntactic Force Annotations”.

Yee-Haw! The Logos Chili Cook-Off 2007

This past Friday was the seventh annual Logos Chili Cook-Off. Guest blogger Mark Van Dyke manned the camera, took some pictures, and files this report. Thanks, Mark!

On Friday, June 29 twelve Logos employees entered their time-honored (or recently ‘Googled’) chili recipes in a battle royale of meat, beans and tomato sauce.

Even before the clock hit high noon, this competition was unlike any other in Logos history. You see, when National Sales Representative Ed Hale heard about the contest he knew he had to enter. There was just one small problem – he lives in Escondido, CA and the competition was taking place at Logos headquarters in Bellingham, Washington. In order for Ed enter the competition he needed to figure out a way to get his chili to the Pacific Northwest.

The story could only end one of two ways: either this would turn into a messy disaster at the post-office or Ed’s chili would win and he would enter cook-off immortality. The result? Ed won the chili cook-off, got the girl and is selling his story to 20th Century Fox for millions.

And that was just in the “Mild Chili” category. This year’s competition required contestants to declare their chili as being “mild” or “real”. The “Real Chili” gold medal went to Scott Sanders of Logos’ Electronic Text Development department. This was a great send off for Scott as it was his last day working at Logos. Scott will be taking his ‘Roasted Robot Chili’ on the road as he bikes around the northwest for the next couple weeks. All this made for an memorable event and a great time for all involved.

Check out the chili-rific pictures below!


The contestants make their final preparations before the competition begins


Unofficial winner of the “best chili name” category.


While techies around the country lined up for their iPhone our sole attention was on chili.


Let the eating begin!


Scott Sanders’ winning entry: “Roasted Robot Chili”

Bob Talks About Pre-Pubs and Community Pricing

Last week, our very own Bob Pritchett and Bill Nienhuis attended the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference for Publishing.
Bob gave a presentation about ways Logos produces and sells books — specifically about the pre-pub program and the community pricing program. Bob blogged about it on his personal blog (along with providing a link to his conference handout).
One of the O’Reilly bloggers — Sarah Milstein — attended Bob’s talk and loved it. Read what she has to say about the ways Logos uses both the pre-pub and community pricing programs to get the books our users want at low prices that actually cover costs.
Once again, if you want books from Logos at low prices, check out the pre-pub and community pricing programs.

With Whom Am I Speaking?

Guest blogger Mark VanDyke, formerly a Logos support rep,works in the marketing department at Logos.

carmen

Carmen Cazares-Tovar (Spanish Support) in action.

Whenever I speak with a customer service representative over the phone I can’t help but wonder…where on earth is this person? What are their working conditions like? Have they seen the light of day in the past 48 hours?

Then it hit me. People who call Logos’ customer support linemight be wondering the same thing.

For starters, Logos has three types of customer service reps: Spanish support representatives, customer support (or CS) representatives and technical support reps. CS reps are on the front lines of the Logos support team. That’s who you’ll be talking with if you need help with basic program operations like installation or product activation. If a call requires advanced intervention it will be forwarded to a technical support rep.

There are currently 27 people working in the customer support department. While many companies’ call centers resemble Industrial Revolution sweatshops, the Logos Customer Support staff actually has some of the best offices in the entire company. In addition to the charming decor and natural light their workspace features a ping pong table and copious amounts of nerf darts (which, of course, accompany the 2 or 3 nerf guns in circulation).

If you end up contacting Logos customer support, here are just a few of the people who you might be on the other end of your call.

sarah_elizabeth_mark_adam

From Left to Right Sarah Swier (Technical Support), Elizabeth Borries (CS), Mark French (Technical Support) and Adam Borries (CS).

shake'n'bake

Mike Bryant (Technical Support) and Luc Button (CS) also known around customer support as Shake’n’Bake, respectively.

tara

Tara Everret (Customer Support) has the best view in the house.

The Logos customer support staff will tell anyone that we have the greatest customers in the world – and our customers have a lot of great things to say about them too…

“I want to tell you what a wonderful experience it was to deal with your customer service. I worked with two women who were polite, patient, kind, calm…. list goes on. (The process) was very simple because they made it that way.”–Karen from Precept Ministries

And

“I’ve had a chance to interact three times with Logos support, and they have been immediately helpful and pleasant to deal with. Anyone who has ever tried tech support for some other product knows what a big deal this is. The staff there genuinely seems to love both their product and the customers. Could it be an act? Sure…But I’m willing to believe the illusion, aren’t you?”–Brian,Dluxe’s World

It takes a certain type of person to enjoy solving software issues for 40 hours each week. Is it the chic office or the ping-pong that keep the Logos CS reps going? We asked Jerry Godfrey, Manager of Customer Support, who explains,

“When I’m being served as a customer there is no better feeling than receiving great service, and being treated with care and respect. Here at Logos we constantly work to help all of our customers as well as we possibly can. I really enjoy being a part of a team that truly enjoys making our customers happy and satisfied.”

Bible Study Bus Rollin’ Through the Bayou

Landon Nortonfiles this brief from the Bible Study Bus. View more road trip photos at Flickror readprevious posts from the trip.

Hello Logos blog readers…and greetings from the Handing off the keysBible Study Bus!!

The Bible Study Bus Road Trip: America has entered into its 3rd month and after taking the reins from Bob, the Norton Four (my wife Krissy and I together with our nearly 3-year-oldTaylor and 11-month-old Nicholas), began presenting Logos Bible Softwareat churches across Arkansas – Razorback Nation!

This year,ouraccommodations havebeen mostly KOA campgrounds, which have been really great – family friendly and fun. That’s not to say we had too much time to play. Logos on the RadioWith 5 Road Trip stops the first week and radio interviews in Little Rock, our time was filled pretty quickly.

People have no idea what to expect when they show up at the church. It’s great to see their face when these Bible study tools go into action right before their eyes. I’ve been telling radio listeners to bring two pairs of socks to the presentation – because they will have one pair blown off!

The Bus rolled through the Bayou State this past week, stopping in Lake Charles for a few days and the weekend here in Lafayette. Landon at the GrillWe had a little more time for fun this week and made the most of it. After having the RV worked on for regular maintenance (insert toll booth joke here), we hit the barbecue, the pool and a few local points of interest.

During one event here, we had more Spanish-speaking people show up than English-speaking and I had to have an interpreter repeat my entire presentation on the fly. It was really neat!

On Saturday, WSJY, the AFR station in Lafayette had their big fundraiser the day after our event – it’s called AFR car and Logos RVFreedom Fest. We pulled the Bus in and had a great time celebrating our freedom in Christ with people in the great Acadian region of Louisiana – even Bob and Larry showed up!

This week we head into Mississippi as we make our jaunt northward for a few days before going into the end-run of our month-long leg.

I hope to make some more time to write, but honestly, folks, most days I live on airplanes, shuttles and rental cars. Having my kids here to play with each night…let’s just say I love making ‘Father Time’ a major part of this awesome endeavor.

Blessings from the Bus Crew!Landon, Krissy, Taylor and Nicholas

Veggie TalesWater slide

What people say the Bible says about…

OpenBible.info just launched a new topical Bible service that is steeped in crowdsourcing-mashup-web-2.0 goodness. Since I just blogged about the “old school”What the Bible Says About… service from Logos I thought I’d give this upstart service a mini-review.

You can try it out:OpenBible.info Topical Bible

Here’s how it works: The developerscompiled a topic list using Yahoo! Related Suggestions, then searched Yahoo! for the most relevant web pages about each topic, then pulled any Bible references from those pages. So what you end up with is a list of Bible verses that are most closely associated with a particular topic across the web.

The label next to the “find” box says, “What does the Bible say about…” But I think it’s a stretchto say this service helps you find out what the Bible says about a topic. It would be more accurate to say you’re finding out what people say the Bible says about a topic. Or maybe what people say about the Bible when speaking about a topic. And by people I mean “the people.” The OpenBible.info project is truly trusting in the wisdom of crowds.

Admittedly, any topical indexto the Bible involves editorial decisions and inferences. Orville James Nave (1841-1917), who spent 14 yearsworking on his project to”…note and classify everything found in the Scriptures”, certainly did not work in a vacuum. (The New Nave’s Topical Bible used at What the Bible Says About and available inside Logos Bible Software is a revision of Orville Nave’s classic work.) But he was methodical, thoroughand consistent in his appproach to the task.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I do think there’s value to a service like the OpenBible Topical Bible.

What I like about it:

  1. It offers current topics. If you want to find out what people say the Bible says about Harry Potter…you can.
  2. It offers a constantly-growing list of topics. If you enter a topic that’s new to the database, the topic is added and you’ll get some initial results after a few moments of waiting for the server to do its work. I entered “Iraq War”, which was brand new to the database.
  3. It offers a constantly-improving data set. The Helpful/Not Helpful buttons by each Bible verse or passage allow me to help fine tune the results, while the Suggest a Verse box lets me associate a verse to my topic.

Suggestions:

  1. Allow the user to associate a new topic with an existing topic. I found later that “War” (of course) and “The War in Iraq” are both existing topics. Before adding “Iraq War” as a new entity, the service could ask, “Did you really mean ‘The War in Iraq’?” and learn from my response. In this way, I would be training the database to understand that the two terms mean the same thing.
  2. I don’t know what method the Topical Bible service uses to identify Bible verses onweb pages, but it seems to me such an undertaking is fraught with perils. Sean Boisen has raised some good questions about this in the context of counting Scripture references in blog posts. Since the web is full of unruly data (unlike the carefully tagged bookswe work on here at Logos) the only solutions seem to be a) push people to adopt something like Bible reference microformat standards or b) develop ever-smarter verse extraction routines.

All in all this is a pretty cool service and I’m sure we’ll see more like it in the days to come.

What the Bible says about…

Did you know about the free service offered by Logos that lets Internet users find out what the Bible says about a topic? And did you know you could host this free topical lookup on your own site?

The URL is http://wbsa.logos.comand here’s what it looks like:

Enter topic, click “Search!” When you click through on a result, you’ll see a list of Bible verses linked to Bible Gateway so you can read verses in the Bible version of your choice. I searched on riches, which alsowildcard-matches ostriches.

Who knew the Bible had so much to say about ostriches? Even a quick survey of these 12 verses shows some difference of opinion among translators as to whether the animal named is an owl or an ostrich. And there’s a strong association between jackals and ostriches/owls as inhabitants of desolate places.

I hinted at the beginning of the post that you could put this lookup on your own site, and you can! Just paste this code into your site:

<iframe frameborder=0 src=”http://wbsa.logos.com/module.htm” width=540 height=138></iframe>

The resultlooks something like this:

FamilyLife Today (Logos on the Airwaves 3)

Part 1 | Part 2

Just about a year ago, Scott Lindsey sat down with Dennis Rainey and Bob Lepine and recorded an interview that aired over two days on the FamilyLife Today national radio show. That week,a number of us got a call from mom who was excited to hear Logos on the radio!

We, too,were thrilled that they so clearly saw the value of Logos that they would devote two half-hour shows to Bible software! It’s fun to hearDennis and Bob’sexcitement as they run searches in Logos Bible Software and discuss whatthe softwarecan mean for family Bible study…and the part it’s alreadyplaying in their own families.

Midway through the first segment, Bob Lepinetells a story about his 14-year-old son asking about the word that gets translated as rubbish when Paul says he counts everything as rubbish compared to the glory of knowing Christ. His son’s teacher had hinted that the word might mean something more than rubbish, and Bob was able to answer his question thanks to Logos. As he tells it,

So we…popped up Logos, and we pulled up that verse, and we found it, and I right-clicked on my mouse, I pulled up the Strong’s Concordance – right there was a wealth of information about that word, its usage, and we were able to study the Bible together. It was wonderful, and it was something that I’m picturing, again, 15 years ago, a father and a son having that conversation, and the dad going, “I don’t have a clue, son.”

Scott Lindseyalso shares a story about ayoung man whoattended one of Scott’s presentations and asked his mom for Bible software instead of an Xbox for Christmas! It’s enough to make any parent get a lump in the throat.

Enjoy the radio shows…and if you have a friend or family member who should hear this, be sure to send them a link! (You can use this shortened URL which won’t break if you send it in an email: http://snipurl.com/Logos_FamilyLife)

FamilyLife Today radio shows

A Library at the Tip of Your Fingers(Day 1 | 25 minutes)

Now Bible College Comes to You (Day 2 | 25 minutes)