WWW Wednesday: Logos Bible Software 6 – A Ginormous Leap Forward

Logos Bible Software Version 6 A Ginormous Leap Forward

 
Logos Bible Software released version 6 of their popular software earlier this week. The new version includes a ton of new features and significantly updates many existing features. Is Logos Bible Software right for you? I explore some of the pros and cons in my weekly post over at the Why We Web blog.

Check it out….

 

Link: Logos Bible Software Version 6 – A Ginormous Leap Forward

 

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WWW Wednesday: PC vs. Mac – The Debate Rages On

Why We Web

Yes, I know today is Friday however it is never too late to promote my most recent Wednesday post over at the Why We Web blog.

The post features a video that gives an unusually unbiased explanation of the difference between PCs and Macs. Check it out and then join the on going discussion in the comments.

BTW, even if this topic is of no interest to you; you should still check it out just to hear the speaker’s accent!!

Link: PC vs. Mac – The Debate Rages On

 

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Becoming a Student of the Word

The Bible Psalm 51

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

It is our responsibility to become a student of the Word. Being a student of the Word does not mean the Bible is something that we casually read. We must be committed to studying the Word of God. So many have lost the desire to study the Word of God. When we watch our favorite sports team or the next big movie we get excited, and we can’t wait until the next Harry Potter book comes out. How come we don’t get excited about the Word of God?

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2012 Technology Trends

As we start a new year, we are very aware of how technology has changed our lives and there are no signs of it stopping. The only thing that firmly remains constant (besides our unchanging God) as we look into 2012 is that change is the norm. We saw an explosion of mobile devices being sold in 2011. The official stats are not in, but the estimate is well over 1 billion! People became far more plugged in to technology both in business and leisure. All of this has come at such an alarming rate that many have been forced to ask, “Is it all worth it and where is it leading us?” There is a sense that technology has started to control us instead of us controlling it.

While these concerns are very valid and must be taken into account, many fail to see that technology is no longer just something sitting on a desk or in our pockets. Technology is changing the way society functions, communicates and thinks. It is being integrated into our very lives. While many see this as something to resist, others (including myself) see this as an opportunity to achieve even greater things for the Lord. It wasn’t too long ago that similar questions were being asked of other technologies that came into society with the industrial revolution.

While there are many fantastic technologies emerging in the fields of medicine, transportation and energy, here are some personal technologies that will emerge in even greater force in the coming year and beyond.

1. Mobile devices. This trend is undeniable. Mobile computing is not only here to stay, but it will become the most prominent way we function with technology. Mobile ecommerce will also see a huge spike in use as more and more devices become secure and ecommerce ready. People are on the go with technology and using it in every aspect of life. It has become a way of life.

2. Smartphones. While these are mobile devices as mentioned above, special note should be taken as to how people will use their phones. Smartphones are being used for more things than just making calls and checking email. Apps for iPhone and Android are being developed at a super fast pace and cover all kinds of areas of life- from finding recipes and keeping track of favorite sports teams to personal organization.

3. Desktops will diminish. The laptop has for the past few years taken over sales of desktops with approximately 44% of all devices sold in 2011 being laptops compared to only 28% desktops. With the emergence of tablets, desktop computing will further decrease. There is no doubt that PC sales for the next 5 years or so will exist but only as a small segment of the market.

4. Gaming. The gaming industry has seen a number of changes over the past few years with social gaming such as Farmville taking a bite out of traditional video games. Gaming developers have had to be on their toes to keep up with the trends. One very positive and successful aspect to gaming has been the introduction of active gaming (also known as ‘exergaming’) such as the Wii and Xbox Kinect.

5. Education. We are going to see this area of technology expand tremendously over the next few years. The way students learn will be dramatically changed. This is being pushed along by the new tablet trend. Interestingly, the USA is behind the lead on this. Many other countries are adopting technology into education much faster, but it’s only a matter of time. Online learning is increasing and ways of communicating between student and instructor are expanding.

While there are many more technologies we will see coming to the forefront in 2012, these listed above are ones to watch out for. How we use these technologies in our lives and for the Lord is the key for us as believers. We can embrace the technologies that are around us and integrate them into our lives for His glory.

How will you use technology in 2012?

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The Hunt: Mac or PC

I’ve already noted that you need to figure out your priorities with your new Digital Bible. In this penultimate post to the series closer, I want to clear up a major question: Mac or PC?

Both Macs and PC’s are ridiculously easy to use and they each come with their own learning curve. Don’t believe the fan-boy hype. This is why you’ll have to focus on your usage list.

If you’re planning to play the most recent video games you’re going to want to steer clear from a Mac. Lots of them don’t come out for it and the ones that do don’t get a ton of backend support for odd crashes. Macs make up a small segment of video game producer’s market share so if Mac Users are having problems it’s not something that can turn the name of the company into a pariah. Of course, this doesn’t matter much with mobile platform games (like Angry Birds).

Lean towards a Mac if you’re planning to do design work. Sure, PC’s are exactly the same in this respect but as a designer you’re probably already using a Mac so maximize your business dollars; stick with what you know. No one but designers will care for this bit but it must be mentioned: font management (like auto activation of fonts) is much better on the Mac. So far, anyway. With web fonts on the grow, that can change.

I’ve said it before: if you’re going to just use the thing for surfing the web, writing emails and maybe posting on your blog spending a boatload of money on anything expensive is a waste. Those very minor tasks (sorry they are) don’t necessitate all that cranking power. But then again, that might just mean a tablet—although not necessarily an iPad (which will still require a computer to set it up).

Apple’s Monitors, though pretty, aren’t all that great considering their steep price tag. Shop around for a monitor because both Macs and PC’s can use them (though Mac’s usually with an adapter on everything but an iMac which has a Monitor built in) and it’s the one piece of equipment that might probably outlast your system.  My ViewSonic is great for games, reading, movies and detailed design work and is crisper than my Cinema Display. The Cinema Display cost over a thousand; the ViewSonic cost three hundred.

If you want upgradeability go with a PC; Mac’s have a time stamp that lasts as long as the next conference in June or the Christmas season. Anyone (including that guy behind the counter in Best Buy) can swap out any part of your PC for the most recent edition. The only time that becomes problematic is when a major change comes along (like Intel’s dual core chip) which changes the face of PC tech.

So, Mac or PC? It all depends. Plus, there’s always Linux.

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Read the next and final post in this series: A Successful Hunt.

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The Hunt: Processing Words

I wanted to clear up something else when folk are shopping for their Perfect E-Bible in the form of a Mobile Computing Device. It’s real easy to get lost in all the details thinking that it’s all equally important when it really isn’t.

In this post, I wanted to give a peek into Processors.

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The Hunt For The Perfect Bible: Memory and Storage

The Hunt For The Perfect Bible: Memory and Storage

You’re going to want to understand memory and storage when looking for in your Perfect Electronic Bible. The difference between them starts blurring with recent hard drives but it can best be summarized as this: memory lets you work on more at the same time, while storage lets you save (and backup) more over time.

Memory

Let’s imagine your computer as a desk. Memory would be the amount of desk space that allows you to do multiple tasks at the same time. You can write in a notebook, work on the calculator, use the stapler to paste things, and check your calendar all at once.

So if you want to open a bible program and a note taking program at the same time, memory is the thing that lets you do that. The more memory, the more things you can open at once.

Readers and Mobile Devices have much less memory than ultraportables, laptops and desktops– but it doesn’t matter as much to them. Readers are set up in such a way that any task you perform on them is the main task you are operating so that everything else is not active, even if it’s running. If you’re reading a book on a tablet, you’re not taking notes in another program. You’re only reading a book.

Netbooks might give you 1 gig of memory (though you really need 2 on them which will run you an extra 50 bucks or so) while a desktop computer, on the other hand, might give you as much as 16 gigs.

Storage

This is the space where you save files: pictures, documents, notes all that good stuff. If we went back to our desk example, storage is the amount of drawers you have in the desk.

Lots of systems nowadays are coming with one of two forms of storage (which gets really technical trying to explain).

You have your standard hard drive storage that’s made up of moving parts (like a spinning metal plate inside of the thing) which offers you a ton of space but might be more susceptible to damage if the device falls while it’s on. So you’ll see drives that are 300gigs, 500gigs and even 1.5 terabytes huge monsters of data storage. They’ve started having to make them bigger because of the amount of things people are saving digitally nowadays but if you’re just dealing in text and the occasional photos you rankly have nothing to worry about in regards to filling up your hard drive.

Then you have this new technology in mobile devices. A sort of flash storage which usually stores less data, is safer from impact, is ridiculously fast, exceedingly expensive. In laptops and ultraportables, they might have what’s called a Solid State Drive (SSD). It’s this sort of tech with all the benefits and downfalls.

After the tsunami in Japan, regular hard drives have spiked in price making SSD a real option (especially considering the speed boost they offer) but it’s still a new technology and the regular shopper might not want to shell out that extra money.

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Read the next post in this series: The Hunt: Processing Words.

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The Hunt For The Perfect Bible: Lay of the Land

The Hunt 3

Sun Tzu said “Know The Terrain” by which he meant that if you’re fighting you better know where you’re fighting. Nuclear devices changed all that. But it still applies when you’re traversing the battle field of e-bible shopping.

There are five territories you’ll be shopping in and they all have their pros and cons.

Mobile Devices. These devices are the smallest, lightest devices you can find and therefore the most portable option available. They often give you the benefit of making calls. Of course, if you don’t want to become the bondservant of a cellular contract, you could look at devices like the Apple Touch, the N810, or the Archos32 Palm-Sized Tablet.

Readers. This is every tablet on the marketplace. So products like the iPad, the Samsung Galaxy Tab and even the Kindle: same family but different skill-sets. The Kindle’s e-ink technology makes reading in-or-outdoors a breeze while the iPad’s shiny reflective sun mirror of death works great as a movie-screen inside. These devices are better for reading than the Cell phones but they suffer from the same input problems (e-keyboards, only one external storage slot like an SD card) and an operating system that doesn’t allow you to install full versions of programs (like Word or Logos).

Ultraportables. Which are netbooks, thinbooks (eg: Apple Air, Asus Zenbook) and the like. These devices usually have at least one usb port (which allows adding some sort of peripherals), a real keyboard, but their screens are usually as small as (or smaller than) readers without the auto-rotate capability that readers are known for. Ultraportables have more cranking power than a Reader and they come with a full Operating system so you can install your desktop programs at ease but you might have a problem using multiple programs at the same time—considering the screen size and RAM (I’ll get into that in a later post).

Laptops. These are the workhorses of mobile computing. They have a full Operating System like their smaller cousins the Ultraportables, but they have bigger and more powerful guts to let you do complex stuff on the go. These usually come with a CD-Rom drive (unlike all the previous categories I listed) although they have been slowly phasing them out. These devices are usually heavier than all the previous listed devices and their batteries might not last as long either, but their costs and cranking power is always better than the Ultraportables.

Desktops. The Non-Mobile beast that sits at your foot waiting at your beck and call. These have absolutely the most power, can do the most work, can process the most information, can install the most programs and should actually function as the center of all your computing needs. I always recommend people get a Desktop Computer before buying a mobile solution (especially since most mobile solutions except Ultraportables and laptops require a desktop) but if you own one already, then going mobile might be a viable option—especially if you want an E-Bible on the Go.

Now you know what’s out there and knowing is half the battle. Sun Tzu would be proud.

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To read the next installment in this series click here.

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The Hunt For The Perfect Bible: Digital Dilemmas

The Hunt for the Perfect Bible: Digital Dilemmas

I really think that the Perfect Bible is probably going to be found in some sort of technological advancement: for now, that means portable computing devices. Now, I admit that there are inherent problems with having an electronic Bible. In this post I want to make you aware of some of these potential problems if you’re considering moving over from paper to pixel.

Power: No matter what, the electronic solutions of today necessitate electricity while all versions of print just necessitate enough light to read the text. This means that if you want to go wireless, you’re going to need a battery (or a battery backup) that will last you throughout the day. This becomes pretty important if you’re like me and planning to preach with your device in hand. You don’t want this thing to shut down mid-sermon.

Crash-Prone: Print Bibles never shut-down from lack of power and they also won’t fail from some random error—you have to expect this when it comes to electronic solutions. Laptops, tablets, phones: they all crash. Be it a software problem, a memory problem (I’ll explain a lot of these terms in a future post), or a storage problem: these things all crash. You must be prepared.

User-Error: True, Print Bibles also suffered from user-misuse but in this case I mean rather the error that comes along from doing things wrong. So let’s say you download what you think is virus protection—boom, there goes your Bible as you’re wiped out by a virus. Or let’s say you store multiple backups of your notes on different computers and you forget to synchronize your files: boom, now you’re working with an old version of your files (there’s a solution for this, but I’ll address this in a later post).

Legibility: most people don’t think about this, but most of your electronic devices have been made with nice shiny bright screens that are made specifically to be read indoors; your reading, on the other hand, can happen anywhere—including outdoors. These bright shiny electronic screens become reflective sun-mirrors whenever you’re outside and that destroys any ability at reading.

Expensive: A nice genuine leather Bible could cost you $100. A Mobile phone could cost you $300 plus a two year contract. A Netbook would run you $300-600; a Laptop $400 – $1200; and a Tablet $400 – $1000. And it’s seriously possible that you have to replace the thing if you spill, say, a cup of coffee on this your Perfect Electronic Bible.

Even despite all this, I still think that a good E-Bible is the right way to go, but it’s important for the person considering the transition to be informed before taking the plunge.

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To read the next installment in this series click here.

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The Hunt For The Perfect Bible: The Need

The Hunt

Back in the day, I had received what I thought was The Perfect Bible. Black leather. King James Version. Red Letter. References on the side columns. Revised Scofield notes along the bottom. Concordance in the back. This was no award Bible: this was the real, no joke, deal.

Then I found myself having a problem textually following Spanish speakers in our bilingual church. My Perfect Bible had failed me!

Each subsequent year I faced variations of the same problem. After acquiring a bilingual version, I wanted something that I didn’t have to spend my time translating English to English—I got the NKJV but people around me were using the KJV. I was studying the original languages so I wanted something that followed the structure of those languages—I got the NASB but people around me were now using the NKJV and the KJV. I needed something to read aloud that got the point of the passage across—I got the NIV but all my notes were in my NASB.

And so on and so on and so on.

The publishing industry is structured in such a way that there is a Bible for every need. You have your versions, you have your amplified versions, you have your original language versions, you have your side by side versions and you have your versions with multiple versions. We in the West are found without excuse when it comes to the text!

But this all winds up being problematic when you want a single go-to Bible without worrying about copying all the notes into a new updated binding Bible.

And believe me, I tried. One year I went about printing my NASB with NET footers and my notes and references on side columns. I wound up with two tremendous binders filled with a couple reams of paper and only two books of the bible: Genesis and Romans. Sure the thing was detail rich but it was much too heavy to carry and would fail me if anyone was reading from any book other than those two.

What I needed was an actual Perfect Bible: something that allowed multiple languages, multiple versions, allowed access to my notes, allowed access to other’s notes and could be carried around.

Thank God for the Digital Age. Now, with the wide access we have to texts and technology we might be a step closer to the Perfect Bible. Maybe you’re in the same boat, like me, looking for that Perfect Bible—maybe not. Either way, I want to spend some time going over what I think you should be looking for and maybe even some pointers on what to pick up.

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To read the next installment in this series click here.

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