Story Time!

Speaking of all this Quick Navigate stuff reminds me of a story.

A few years back, when the Libronix DLS was still in its infancy, Rick Brannan decided that he was going to do the Quick Nav bar one better: He downloaded Microsoft’s speech recognition development kit and hacked together a little addin that worked just like the Quick Navigate bar, only it responded to spoken commands. This was never a serious development effort; in those days we spent time now and again just exploring the new LDLS technology, trying to figure out what it could and couldn’t do.

Anyway, Rick could say “Open: New King James,” into his computer microphone and Libronix would comply. It required a multi-megabyte download from Microsoft, and I’m sure Rick wouldn’t want anyone to look at the code, but all things considered, it worked pretty well. You could be typing along in silence and every now and then, you’d hear Rick ordering his computer around.

Now, in those days, all of the text development department worked together in a single open room. (They still do, come to think of it.)

As you might have guessed, Rick’s innovation didn’t last very long: When any of the rest of us noticed Libronix running on his machine, we would yell out across the room: “Open: The Message,” or “Open: N-I-V” just to annoy him. If we were in a particularly impish mood, we would glance over to find out the title of the book he was working on and yell out “Close …”

One million pages later…

APT Book Scanner from Kirtas TechnologiesLast year we took delivery of a robotic book scanner and set it to work in a seminary library. Today we have scanned more than one million pages from more than 3,000 titles.

Ultimately we would like to make all of these books available in the Libronix DLS format, but that represents a lot of keyboarding and tagging. (Automated optical character recognition can help, but is not accurate enough.)

So we are preparing a way to present the scanned page images. We are also putting some of them to use as source documents for the Community Pricing Program. The Earlier Epistles of St. Paul and the J. A. Broadus Preaching Collection are both being prepared from scans, and many other candidates are awaiting your bid.

It’s coming…


(more details at www.MacBibleSoftware.com)

The Logos Seal of Approval

Soon after we posted the TNIV to our prepublication program I received a personal email from a user who was troubled and disappointed that we would digitize this (admittedly controversial) Bible version.

I appreciate that this user took the time to write and am grateful that he expressed himself in a loving manner. Two lines from his email really stood out to me and seem worthy of broader discussion. He concluded his email, “I had thought Logos far more worthy of our confidence than this last example. If you continue to make offerings like this, you will soon lose your reputation for being a leader in producing first class materials.”

This is not the first time I’ve heard statements along these lines and it seems to point up a disconnect between what we see ourselves as doing and what at least some of our users see us as doing.

Statements like these suggest to me the presence of an idea or expectation that Logos serves as a content filter for the material we digitize. It approaches an implicit assumption that the books we publish somehow bear the “Logos Seal of Approval.”
[Read more...]

Hello, My Name is Daniel

SnapshotAnother introduction…I’m Daniel Foster and I work in the marketing department at Logos. We get a lot of grief from the developers about belonging to “the Darkside” but they still share their hot sauce if we ask nicely.

Could be their suspicion is aroused by the motto on my whiteboard: Marketing: We don’t make the things you want…we make you want them!

But in truth, our job is simply to get the word out about Logos Bible Software and all the great things it can do. As soon as someone sees and understands what the software will do to revolutionize their Bible study, they’re sold!

I get to do a lot of PR-related stuff, which means I’m the face of the organization to product reviewers and press reporters. In addition to reviews, I work to get us press in various magazines and journals, whether Christian or secular. I’m also involved in writing for and helping to maintain the content on the website, managing our affiliate program, and working on various other super-secret projects I can’t reveal.

I’ve been with Logos for 3 1/2 years and moved out here to Washington from the Midwest where I was raised among Yoopers. My schooling thus far has consisted of 4 years at Hope College and 2 years at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Foremost among the delights in my life are my wife, Rachel, and two girls, Karis (2 1/2) and Esther (16 months). Rachel and I have also been blessed to have traveled in Europe and lived in Brazil for 7 months in 2001.

“Português é a lingua mais linda do mundo.”

There you have it…my introduction.

Logos icon stickers

Now that we are building Logos Bible Software for the Mac we are buying more Macs. I think that it is pretty cool how Apple encloses a white logo sticker in their package and I have seen them around, on windows and doors and other places.

Our new logo combines a cross and a search icon, which gets to the heart of what our software is about: looking deeper into God’s Word.

So we ordered up a few thousand sheets with just the icon from our logo and we are including them in boxes and pre-pub shipments until we run out. They are vinyl with a removable adhesive, so feel free to stick them wherever you want.

Introducing … Eli Evans

My name is Eli Evans, and I’ve been working at Logos for almost ten years now. (“HI, Eli!”)

It’s easy for me to remember that because my daughter Chelanne (/shel-ANN/) was only a few months old when I first began work at Logos as a “proofer.” Back in 1996, I was in music school (French horn) and my Dad was working at Logos in the dealer sales department. He told me about a new department that was just starting up that I might be interested: Electronic Text Development. It sounded exciting to me, and the closer I came to becoming a high school band instructor, the more I felt I had chosen the wrong career path. In fact, I began to believe that almost anything would be better than being a high school band instructor.

I started in the Electronic Text Development department about three weeks before Rick Brannan did (ha!), proofreading and tagging the electronic books that would eventually appear in the Libronix Digital Library System. Not long after, I was learning how to write short programs to convert files in various programs into Libronix format. Since then, I’ve needed to master Perl, RTF, SGML, DIESEL, XML, Unicode, JavaScript, and dozens of desktop publishing formats. I even had a brief flirtation with Visual Basic macros in Microsoft Word, but I don’t like to talk about that.

These days I work in the Design & Editorial department with Rick Brannan. (No matter what I do, I just can’t lose that guy.) I think that Rick is “Editorial” and I’m “Design.” Where Rick is the go-to guy for Greek resources, I mostly concentrate on the Hebrew databases and writing top secret data-entry tools for scholars and authors to create new LDLS content.

My personal website and blog are at Supakoo.com along with Rick Brannan’s, although I don’t blog about work much.

Hot Stuff Delivery

The Logos Hot Sauce Museum, the developers’ 10 year collection of hot sauces from around the world, was decimated by last year’s fire next door and the attendant smoke damage to our offices. (We liked smoked peppers, but not when the smoke is from burning paint, carpet, etc.)

That’s just one more reason we were so happy to get a New Mexico Care Package from Logos user Bobby Martin.

Hot stuff is always welcome, though we recommend double-bagging the chili powder…

Bob Pritchett – Introduction

I’m Bob Pritchett and I am one of the cofounders of Logos Bible Software, so I have been here since the very beginning.

I don’t write much code anymore (which is one reason the application is so solid now!) but I am still actively involved in the design of the Libronix Digital Library System and I do a lot of the research on new features and technologies.

My personal blog is at http://www.bobpritchett.com/blog, and you’ll find a number of Logos-related posts there over the past two years. Among my favorites are two from 2003:

And, of course, the start of our video tour:

I will try to get more video online here soon; let me know if there is something in particular you would like to see.

Time for an Introduction

Hi. My name is Rick Brannan, and I’m one of the newly-minted Logos bloggers.

I’ve worked for Logos for 12 years (wow … that’s primary and secondary school combined!) and will start year 13 in August. I work in the Design and Editorial (D&E) department. D&E is focused on making tools for scholars to produce new data sets, and producing those data sets for use in Logos Bible Software.

My role in D&E is mostly comprised of stuff having to do with Greek. That means I’m the lucky guy who gets to work on stuff like:

And a bunch of other stuff I can’t quite tell you about yet. It’s safe to say that Bob is doing his best to keep me busy! But if you keep reading the Logos Bible Software Blog (tell your friends!) or aggregate the RSS feed, I just might slip up and tell some secrets before we make public announcements of things.

In related news, some of you may know that I do keep a personal blog called ricoblog. I’ll still continue to blog there, though stuff having to do with Logos Bible Software will be posted here instead of at ricoblog.

Thanks for reading! I’m looking forward to blogging for Logos, and hope these entries will be helpful to your study of God’s Word and your use of Logos Bible Software.