Thursday, November 22, 2012

Logos 5 and how much software do you need?

How much Bible software do we need?
I recently got offered an upgrade to Logos 5 Diamond for £960. It comes with lots of books - but I don't know if I need those books. It seems to me that for anyone deciding which Bible software to buy, it would be wise to first work out which resources you actually need for what you're doing. I presently use Bibleworks and Logos 4.

These are the resources that I actually NEED on a regular basis for what I do (give or take a few).

For texts in the original languages:
Greek NT
Greek LXX
Greek combined NT & LXX
OT apparatus
NT apparatus
Apostolic Fathers in Greek and English (For Greek word/grammar studies)

HALOT or Holladay
Louw Nida
Moulton and Milligan

Blass Debrunner Funk
Jouon Muraoka
Arnold Choi (I don't think this is available electronically)

Systematic Theologies:
Robert Raymond - New Systematic Theology
Bavinck - Reformed Dogmatics
Berkhof - Systematic Theology
Gerhardus Vos - Reformed Dogmatics
Berkouwer -
Calvin's Institutes

Commentary series:
WBC (not all the commentaries in this series are evangelical, or any good).
Expositor's Bible Commentary
Keil and Delitzhe
Exegetical summaries
New Testament use of the Old Testament

Textual criticism:
NET Bible notes
NA27 apparatus
BHS apparatus
Comfort - Greek Manuscripts
Comfort - The New Testament Text and Translation commentary (don't think this is available electronically, except possibly in Accordance?)

The IVP essential library

Second London Baptist Confession 1689

I reckon that a big part of deciding what Bible software to get should be based on what resources we actually need.

Friday, November 09, 2012

FIrst impressions of Bibleworks 9 Mac preview

I was very excited to see that Bibleworks had released a Mac preview. I am a big Bibleworks fan. I tried not using it when I switched to Mac, but found that I really needed it and that there were things that Logos 4 just wasn't suitable for. Here's the good and the bad of the mac preview.

The good:
The Bibleworks team is thinking about Mac users. I was not planning on investing in Bibleworks anymore because I switched to Mac a year ago. Now however I have hope that they are going to work towards to good solution on a Mac (that doesn't involve using Parallels and losing the shift key function, and having another OS running, and needing further internet protection etc.).

The bad (but bear in mind this is just a preview - not the finished result):

1) Installation:
a) It took a long time to receive my code. I ordered a code online 26th Oct Friday morning GMT, I received a code Wednesday 31st Oct. I appreciate that Hurricane Sandy probably played a part in this, but this could have been set up as an automated service.

b) Having started the mac preview software, I then found I was unable to install the software to parallels. This meant I got out an old PC and installed Bibleworks 9 on that (I hadn't used Bibleworks 9 before). However the install keep freezing on DVD3, after 3 attempts this finally worked. 

c) Installation also took a long time. Each time I have upgraded Bibleworks I have dreaded having to copy and paste codes of already purchased modules. To try out Bibleworks 9, I ended up pasting those codes four times on my PC, and then once on the Mac preview, and then once again in parallels (because the mac preview did not work properly). By comparison, Logos runs an automated system whereby modules are remembered. The way I have been able to install Logos on my Mac or PC or phone or ipad seems very easy compared to Bibleworks.

2) In use:
a) It feels very good to not have to boot up windows in Parallels, but that wears off when you see the interface which does not look as nice as on a PC. The tabs have very straight edges, whereas on a PC they have nice rounded edges. The result is that I feel like I am using an old piece of software. I like the PC interface (although I've heard others say it looks old fashioned) - but the look on the Mac preview looks too clunky).

b) When I have the excellent verse function open, the verse up/down buttons in the browse window get stuck and continuously scrolled down. I am unable to simply click once and get the verse to change once. This unfortunately makes the preview unusable for me. I tried to do some work, but gave up after 45 minutes.

c) Reporting this problem: I have never liked the Bibleworks way of reporting problems. Having to get my serial number out and type it in, and then my address and phone number. I would much prefer to have a button to click on in the menu that enables me to report a problem straight away. Anyway, I reported the verse problem on 2nd November but have still not heard back (9th Nov).

In conclusion:
The preview is unworkable for me. I hope however that once Bibleworks fixes the problem I will be able to use the preview version and test it further. In the end, I installed my new version of Bibleworks 9 in Parallels (it worked once I had installed the Mac preview). The PC version is excellent, and I will post a review on it in the near future.Whilst dissapointed with the Mac preview, I am pleased that the Bibleworks team is trying to help us Mac users. I also think it will be crucial for them as so many Urban UK pastors have switched to Mac in the last few years.

Friday, November 02, 2012

How to work out what Bible software you need

So Logos 5 is now out, and every time a software developer brings out an update - it raises the question again about which is the best software to us.
It seems to me that for anyone deciding which Bible software to buy, it would be wise to consider the following:

1) Work out which resources you actually need for what you're doing.
2) Work out which features you need to do what you're doing.

I will post on these points in the near future.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Do we have diary lifestyles on estates? Yes!

Every now and then I hear Christian ministers say, 'People don't have diary lifestyles on estates.' But I wonder if this is true.
Growing up I went to school regularly, I went to birthday parties that had been arranged weeks in advance, and when we finally got a TV we had a TV guide, which we used to plan when we were gonna watch stuff.
Funerals and Weddings and Christenings were always well attended.
We went to the cinema at planned times, and clubs too.
I'm not sure that these things have changed too much today.
In fact with smart phones, people seem to use diaries every day.

Could it be that sometimes people don't wanna come to things we want invite them to, and then we say, "Well they don't have a diary lifestyle!"
Or maybe I'm just misunderstanding what middle class people mean when they say 'diary lifestyle'.