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11th June 2007

Readers will know that at heart I am a Macintosh enthusiast, but I had been drawn over to the dark side because of work compatibility issues, among other things. As it turns out, my Dell Inspiron 8500 has died (and it has been a slow painful death) and consequently I just placed an order for a brand-spanking new 15″ 2.2 GHz MacBook Pro. I am coming home, Steve!


Technically, I never left Apple since my home office sports both a Windows tower as well as a dual G4 tower. But the computer that I worked on day in and day out has been my Inspiron. What precipitated my return to my Mac roots? Three things: Intel chips, Boot Camp, and Parallels. The world in which I live requires that I have the ability to run some Windows programs. Now I can have the best of both worlds – the class of a MacBook plus the added windows functionality. Sweet.

I can’t wait until it arrives!

Posted in Macintosh | 3 Comments »

Under the Weather

15th February 2007

OK, I was snowed under with marking and report writing (done the report writing for now, but still have tonnes of marking), now I feel crappy. Hopefully I can beat this cold before it beats me! I really don’t want to be sick during reading week (which is next week for us).

In the meantime… check out this somewhat humorous Steve Jobs vs Bill Gates video.

Posted in Humour, Macintosh, Personal | Comments Off

A Macintosh Reality Check?

6th February 2007


I use both a Windows-PC and a Macintosh every day, but in my heart of heats I am a Macintosh devotee. My brother, who is a Windows nerd and knows my love for Macs, sent me a link to an article entitled, “I hate Macs.” The article reflects on the current Mac TV ads, which I gather recently begun being aired in the UK.  The article humorous, though totally baseless, of course! :-)

Posted in Macintosh, Personal | 2 Comments »

Mac Woes…

4th November 2006

sickmac.jpgMy poor Macintosh G4 Dual has been sick. :-(

I’ve been without my Mac (and without Accordance Bible Software!!) since the power supply died over one month ago. I figured, “no problemo, I’ll just go an pick up a new one and have it up and running in a day.” But, sadly, the power supply in my G4 isn’t your typical power supply (I love my Mac, but I REALLY wish Apple used more standardized parts!). You can’t buy them just anywhere. In fact, there was none to be had in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. And guess what… new ones are unbelievably expensive. Rather than just pay the typical $50-75 dollars for a new power supply like normal people, this Mac needs power supplies that cost upwards of a few hundred dollars. In fact, some yoho at our local Mac store quoted me an unofficial $400 price over the phone and suggested I just buy a new computer! Argh!

To make a long story short, I found a used power supply on eBay and purchased it on October 4, 2006 for just over $100. “Great!” I thought, I should get the part in a week to ten days like the seller said and then I’ll be up and running. It was just delivered yesterday. Hmmm… it seems that “a week to ten days” means more like “a month”!! I was not impressed, to say the least. (Of course, now I have the moral dilemma on how to rate this seller on eBay)

At any rate, I installed the power supply and everything seems to be working fine and dandy.

Now I am happy. :-)

My Mac is up and running with a new (used) power supply.

Accordance is up and running.

Things in my world are as they should be.

Posted in Macintosh, Personal | 2 Comments »

Logos for Mac Delayed (Again)

12th September 2006

As one who has been wondering about the development of Logos Bible Software for Macintosh (see previous posts here and here), I wasn’t entirely surprised to receive an email from Bob Pritchett yesterday explaining the long delay.

As it turns out, it was a much larger project than they anticipated and they are not setting any (more) dates for its release just yet.

Here is the letter in full:

I am sorry for the length of time between updates about Logos for the Mac. I know it’s frustrating for all of you, and it is frustrating for us, too. Let me catch you up on some details of where we are now.

Logos has been developing Logos Bible Software for Microsoft Windows for 15 years. We know a lot about Windows, and over the years we’ve built a pretty powerful application with a very large code base.

Our developers are a very talented bunch, and I have every confidence that they could master programming for the Mac platform just as they have mastered programming for Windows. But a) we need to keep them developing our Windows application, and b) I know that there’s no substitute for years of experience on a platform. We want Logos for the Mac to be a first-class Mac application, and to reflect a deep understanding of — and love for — the Mac platform.

So we partnered with a third-party organization that specializes in Mac software development. They love the Mac and have years of experience building Mac applications. The plan was to have them do the bulk of the Mac development, working with our existing team to share code and expertise as needed.

The plan has worked fine, except that our partners dramatically underestimated the size and complexity of our code base and the time required to recreate it on the Mac.

I don’t want to point fingers or assign blame. Neither of us understood how big this project was.

The project is not in trouble, it is not undoable; it is just taking longer than we planned.

I wish I could tell you that I know when it is going to be done, but (as you can see) we’ve already been burned by announcing dates.

The two development teams exchange emails every day. Every week a progress report shows what code has been completed and tested, and the “percent done” keeps going up. Sometimes it takes less time than planned to complete a component, but sometimes a lot longer. We just don’t know.

Why haven’t we provided more screenshots or even video clips along the way?

The short answer is that the majority of the development work is “under the hood” and results in nothing to show visually.

For those who like technical details: the Libronix Digital Library System is actually a very large programming platform composed of hundreds of objects and interfaces that we code the reports and user interface against. The object model grew organically over the years, as we added features to the product. Today’s reports and features use the whole library, and to implement even one of them on the Mac requires having almost the entire library ported.

So the reason there aren’t many new screenshots is that we need to have this whole back-end library available in order to implement almost any report, and that’s the bulk of the coding. Once that back-end library is done, it is almost trivial to implement the reports that use it.

At the moment we have an application that runs, has a functioning “My Library” dialog, and reads and displays our existing electronic books correctly (and without modification). This is the hard part, and it’s done. What’s left is completing the port of the back-end object library. It’s not particularly hard, it’s just a lot of work. It _is_ very far along, but it needs to be 100% complete before we can show search results or run a Passage Guide. (And we won’t beta test without those things.)

Then we’ll test, polish, and ship.

I apologize for the delay, and for the lack of communication. I am not trying to put the blame on someone else. (That’s why I have said so little along the way.) I am just trying to explain why there isn’t much we can report or do, other than wait.

I will try to do a better job of reporting progress in the future and appreciate your continued patience.

Bob Pritchett
President & CEO, Logos Bible Software

What I wonder about is that by the time the product is ready to ship, why wouldn’t any Macintosh user who wanted to use Logos just run it on their Intel Mac with a program like Parallels?

Posted in Logos, Macintosh, News, Software | 2 Comments »

The iMac does Windows!

17th March 2006

Macworld reports that hacker have an Intel-based iMac up and running with Windows XP. Here is an excerpt:

Yesterday was a milestone day for the Mac. A pair of enterprising hackers got Windows XP to boot on an Intel-based Mac, and won almost $14,000 for their troubles.We at Macworld sacrificed one of our iMacs and joined forces with PC World to see this first-hand. And indeed, thanks to the hard work of PC World’s Danny Allen, we’ve got a working Windows iMac.

If you’re wondering how this new system works, there’s a massive amount of detail floating around the Web. But the short, less technical version is this: there’s some clever software that makes EFI, the Intel iMac’s equivalent of a PC’s BIOS, act like BIOS. Once that’s installed, you can boot off of a modified Windows XP installation CD-Rom and install Windows as normal. (You’ll need to wipe your hard drive and create two partitions, one for Mac and one for Windows, first.)

Once the installation is done, the dual-boot Mac behaves just like a Mac when in OS X mode. But when you restart the system, OS X doesn’t automatically reboot. Instead, a colorful Apple logo appears on the Mac’s gray boot-up screen. Pressing the up- and down-arrow keys toggles between that logo and a colorful Windows XP logo. Once you’ve chosen which operating system to boot into, press return: you’ll either see the dark-gray silhouetted Apple logo, or an equivalent dark-gray silhouetted Windows logo. And then a normal boot cycle will commence.

Mac users are Mac users because they love the Mac. But some of us, from time to time, need to run Windows — usually for a small collection of programs that aren’t Mac compatible. For anyone who has the need to boot into Windows from time to time, this is great news — because it means that we can stop buying PCs altogether, and just keep an extra partition handy on our Macs.

All I can say is nifty!

Posted in Macintosh | 2 Comments »

Graphical Searches: Logos and Accordance Compared

8th August 2005

Rick Brennan — of Ricoblog fame — has posted an excellent tutorial on using the Graphical Query Editor in Logos Bible Software (“Nouns and Adjectives and Graphical Queries, Oh My!” 4 August 2005) on the brand new Logos Bible Software Blog.

Since I hadn’t used this feature of Logos much, I decided to work through it myself. As I was working through the tutorial I was thinking, “how does this compare with Graphical Searches in Accordance Bible Software?” So I decided to offer this comparison of the two products.

[Technical Note: I am running Logos Bible Software 2.1c on a Dell Inspiron 8500 laptop powered by a 2.00 GHz Mobile Intel Pentium 4-M CPU with 512 MB RAM; Accordance Bible Software 6.7 is running on my PowerMac G4 powered by dual 500 MHz G4 processors with 512 MB RAM.]

The Question

From his study of “good servant” (καλὸς… διάκονος) in 1 Timothy 4:6, Rick was wondering “what other things are called ‘good’ in the Pastoral Epistles.” This led to his investigation of the adjective καλος “good” using the Graphical Query Editor in Logos.

The Steps

  1. Select Resource to Build your Search Upon. The first step is to open your tagged Greek New Testament Text that you will build your search upon. This is comparable in both programs. In Logos you would open “NA27″ from your Library listing, while in Accordance you need to select “GNT” in the search text pop-up window (In both programs you can define a “workspace” for NT study that would have this text as well as others already set up).
  2. Open Graphical Query Document/Greek Construct Window. This step begins the same in both programs. In Logos you just need to select “Graphical Query” in the “new document” icon in the toolbar, in Accordance you select “Greek” from “New Construct” under the “File” menu (In Accordance you could also just use the keyboard shortcut).
  3. Specify First Search Term.The search term that needs to be specified is the word καλος “good.” In Logos you have to drag the “TERM” box and drop it onto the canvas. This will open a dialog box where you specify information about the term. Since you are searching for a Greek term, you have to manually change the language to Greek (once you do this there is a slight pause as Logos builds a Greek word list), change your keyboard to Greek, and then type in “καλο.” At this point a list of words will be generated in which you select καλος (which is found twice with different inflections) and click OK. In Accordance this step is less complex. You first drag “LEX” (short for lexeme) from the construct palette to the first element column. At this point a dialog box automatically appears (with no pause) in which you can begin typing “καλο” (as you are using the Greek Construct Window, there is no need to specify language or change your keyboard). Like Logos, a list of words will be generated in which you can select καλος and click OK. (A nice feature of Logos is that once you select the word from the list, you get an extended dictionary entry on the word; Accordance only provides an English gloss).The next part of this step is to specify that the word you are searching for (καλος) is an adjective. In Logos you need to drag the “REF” (short for reference) box onto the canvas , at which point a reference properties dialog box opens. In it you have to specify the data type (Greek Morphology (GRAMCORD)), click the Adjective checkbox, and click OK. Then, in order to specify that these two things refer to the same term, you have to drag an arrow between the items and double-click it, and then specify that the items are the “same.” Once again, Accordance is a bit easier because it already provides the tagging items on the construct palette. All you have to do is drag the “Adj.” (short for adjective) box into the same column below where you specified καλος and a dialog box opens after which you only need to click OK. (When you drag the “Adj.” box into the same column, Accordance ascribes the characteristic to everything in the same column). More significantly, you do not even need to do this step in Accordance! The program will automatically recognize you are searching for the adjective καλος as soon as you specify its agreement with a noun (see below).
  4. Specify the Second Search Term. Now its time to specify the noun object you want to search for in connection with καλος. In Logos this step is similar to the previous; you drag “REF” to the canvas, specify noun as the part of speech, and click OK. In Accordance all you have to do is drag the “Noun” box to the column adjacent to your other search items, and click OK on the dialog box that automatically opens.
  5. Specify Agreement between Search Terms. In Logos, drag the “AGREE” object to the canvas and connect it to the two search terms by dragging arrows between the objects. Then double-click on the agreement object and a dialog box will appear in which you can select “case” and “number” as the characteristics you want the terms to agree in, and click OK. In Accordance you need to drag the “Agree” object from the construct palette over the two columns; at this point it will automatically connect the two columns with an arc (no need to manually link them) and bring up a dialog box in which you can select “case” and “number,” and then click OK.
  6. Specify the Proximity between Search Terms. In Logos, you draw another arrow between the adjective and noun objects and in the dialog box specify “3″ in the “intervening” box; you should also make sure to check “Ignore order of terms” (more on this later). Click OK. In Accordance drag “WITHIN” over top of the two columns and again a dialog box appears in which you can specify the number of words separating the two objects. Enter 3 and click OK.
  7. Perform the Search. Now its time to perform the search. In Logos, once you click “Search” an “Advanced Search” dialog box opens in which you have to specify the resource you want to search (select NA27 or click “open resources” if you only have NA27 already opened), the unit you want to search (select “sentence” after selecting “special”), and the range which you want searched (click on “Bible Text” and type “1Ti-Titus”). Then you click “search.” In Accordance things are once again a bit easier. Once you click OK, then it automatically performs the search on the search text you already specified in Step 1. The only thing that you may need to specify further is the search field (select “sentence” from the drop down menu) and range (select “Pastoral Epistles” from the range drop down menu; you may have to define the range if you haven’t done so before). Then click OK once again.
The Graphical Query Editory in Logos (click for a larger image)
Accordance’s Greek Construct Window (click for a larger image)
  1. Analyze the Results. In Logos, the search results are displayed in a dialog box that lists the verse references; the results were 47 occurrences in 19 articles (articles = sentences). To see the actual results in context you can either click on them individually and that will find the verse in NA27 with the search words highlighted. Alternatively you can export the results to a verse list, though the search terms would not be highlighted and — more problematic — it doesn’t display all of the hits (for example, it doesn’t display 1Tim 6:19 since it appears to only represent the verse containing the first hit in the sentence).In Accordance, the results are displayed with the complete verse and reference, as well as with the hits highlighted. Significantly, the results with Accordance are different: 16 hits in 29 verses. This highlights a significant difference between the two programs: in Logos you can tell the program to ignore the order of terms being searched, while in Accordance the order of the elements in the Construct Window is taken into consideration when searching (there is no option to ignore the order of the terms in Accordance). Thus, the Accordance search only found the occurrences where καλος was followed by a noun, not vice versa. This limitation is not insurmountable; all you have to do is duplicate the Construct Window (File:Duplicate) and switch the order of the elements by dragging them to the other side, and link the two Construct windows within the search entry box (Search:Enter Command:Link) and perform your search.
The Search Results Window in Logos (click for a larger image)
The Search Results Displayed in Accordance (click for a larger image)


While both programs ended up with the same results (they should since they are searching the same tagged text!), it took significantly less steps in Accordance to do the same search — even with the limitation Accordance has in regard to the order of the search elements. While the ability to ignore the order of the constituents is a very nice feature of Logos, it doesn’t make up for the unnecessary complexity of its searches compared to Accordance. Small things like having the program spell out “Noun” or “Adjective,” rather than the obtuse “J????” for an adjective with no other tagging or “N???” for a noun (and this only gets worse when you start searching with more complex tags). Or not having to select a Greek keyboard after you have already specified you are performing a Greek search (there are many more examples of unnecessary repetition in Logos). I also find that working with search results is more straightforward in Accordance; there is no need to export the results to a verse list. Finally, while this will vary depending on your computer, I found Logos to be a bit slower.

Since most serious Bible software packages have similar search capabilities and available tagged texts, what separates them is their ease of use and intuitive design. In this regard, it is hard not to recognize the superiority of Accordance. The fact that Accordance only runs native on a Macintosh certainly limits its desirability for Windows users. However, knowing that it does run on a Windows machine at a half decent speed with emulation software should give one pause when deciding what to purchase. While Logos leads the pack in the sheer number of resources and electronic texts it has available, I hope they focus some of their resources on developing a more intuitive and snappy interface — especially for their Macintosh version due out later this year.

For more information on the different biblical software packages available, please see my Software for Biblical Studies pages.

NOTE: After completing my comparison I was informed that one of the software developers at Accordance posted a similar — albeit less detailed — comparison on the Accordance Bible Software Forum.

UPDATE: Rubén Gómez has also posted a comparative review at Bible Software Review Weblog (Gee, Great minds think alike!). His review is worth a look because it also includes the Advanced Search Engine in BibleWorks in the comparison.

Posted in Accordance, Logos, Macintosh, Reviews & Notices, Software | Comments Off

Resisting the Dark Side of the Force (or, Yipee! I have a "new" Macintosh!)

17th May 2005

In my heart of hearts I am a Macintosh user and I always will be. My first computer (bought in 1987) was a Macintosh SE with two double-sided 800K floppies — and I paid more for it than I have for any computer since! I eventually put a hard drive into the SE — I think it was a whopping 20 MB! Next came a Macintosh LE 425 that I eventually clock-chipped and did other modifications. Then came the attack of the clones: almost eight years ago I purchased a Power Computing PowerCenter Pro 180 with a 604e processor. It was a workhorse computer that is still running (with a nice G3 upgrade card), though I have not been able to install MacOS X on it for a variety of reasons.

Then I went over to the dark side. I didn’t want to. I resisted for many years. But my workplace signed a deal with Darth Gates and went all Windows. At first I was able to co-exist with my Mac being the shining beacon of hope on the network, but then a new printer/photocopier was bought that didn’t support Macs. At that point I bought myself a Dell Inspiron 8500 laptop — but I still used my Mac, admittedly less and less as I migrated more software over to Windows. The one primary reason that I kept my Mac running was to use Accordance Bible Software. While I also ran Accordance on my Dell laptop with Basilisk’s emulator, I preferred my Mac. But my old PowerCentre was beginning to show its age.

If money wasn’t an issue, I would buy a brand-spanking new Power Macintosh G5 Dual Processor supercomputer like my friend did. But my wife insists that money is an issue, so I did the next best thing: I bought my friend’s used Power Macintosh G4 Dual Processor computer. Considering that this Mac is really only around so I can use Accordance, it will be more than enough computer. Now I can finally run MacOS X! I can finally use Accordance with MacOS X! And I can finally integrate my Mac with my Windows network seamlessly. So, while I haven’t totally come back from the dark side, I am the proud owner of a “new” G4 PowerMac and am in my own way continuing the resistance!

(I should say that while I do prefer the Macintosh, Windows — especially XP — is a pretty decent operating system. I actually pride myself in being a cross-platform “power” user. I know Macintosh, Windows, and even Unix.)

Posted in Macintosh, News, Personal | Comments Off