Archive for 2004

Happy New Year!

Published: December 31st, 2004

Thank you for your support throughout 2004. I hope to see you again in 2005! Meanwhile, I make mine the words of Bengel: “Apply thyself wholly to the text. Apply the text wholly to thyself,” and hope we can all resolve to practice them with God’s help.

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PocketBible Review

Published: December 31st, 2004

I didn’t want to finish 2004 without posting a new review of one of the most popular Bible software programs for handheld devices. You can now read a review of PocketBible and see for yourselves what it has to offer.

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Interview Added

Published: December 29th, 2004

I have posted an interview with Craig Rairdin, President of Laridian. The interviews section of BSR has proved to be a very popular one, so I hope you’ll enjoy this new addition.

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Merry Christmas!

Published: December 24th, 2004

I wish you all a very blessed Christmas. Enjoy this wonderful opportunity to share with your loved ones the true meaning of this holiday!

I’ll be back soon. There are a number of reviews in the works, which I hope to complete within the next couple of weeks. So stay tuned!

PAZ/PEACE/EIRHNH/SHALOM

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Polls Update

Published: December 23rd, 2004

All the recent polls (here and here) are still active and waiting for your vote. They are absolutely anonymous, and will only take you a moment. Thanks for your participation!

I’ve noticed that the number of votes is still very small when compared with the average number of daily visitors this blog has. One reason may be that some people are not aware of its existence, as they keep moving down the page when newer blog entries are posted. Therefore, I have decided to move each one of them in turn to the sidebar for a few days. This way they will be a lot easier to spot, and hopefully many more folks will be able to participate.

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Top Five of the Year

Published: December 23rd, 2004

What was that saying? Ah, yes “If you can’t beat them, join them!” Okay, then, here is my list of what I consider to be my top five blog entries of 2004, in reverse chronological order:

Why I Still Write Bible Software Reviews
The Need for Publishing Standards
The Future of Electronic Synopses
Just How Important is a Printed Manual?
Features versus Content

It’s not that I think those are necessarily the best – in fact I had a hard time dropping a few more posts from the original list – but they are good representatives of some of the concerns we’ve been addressing over the past ten months.

Nota Bene – This is a totally subjective, biased, self-indulgent, unscientific sampling. YMMV (Your mileage may vary).

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SESB Review @ TIC Talk

Published: December 22nd, 2004

Sarah Lind, Editor of TIC Talk (Newsletter of the United Bible Societies Translation Information Clearinghouse), reviews Stuttgart Electronic Study Bible in the latest online edition. If you read my own review alongside hers, I think you will agree that they complement each other rather nicely. We both agree that the new material offered by SESB is good news indeed, and that there is quite a bit of room for improvement in future versions.

Some of her comments about the Help system reinforce my own feelings about it. Bible software companies in general should realize that good (read clear and comprehensive) online helps and printed manuals are key elements to a successful use of the software. Detailed examples of all the different search capabilities available are a must, IMO.

To write good helps may not be easy (it isn’t) or cheap (it isn’t), and it may delay the release date (it often does), but it’s just something that has to be done. The more complex a program gets (and there are quite a few of them out there that could well be classified as “sophisticated”), the more necessary it becomes to have a full, trustworthy, user-friendly guide to help the user overcome the dreaded “learning curve.” That’s what I think, anyway.

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On Bibliobloggers

Published: December 20th, 2004

An interesting discussion has been going on over the past couple of weeks or so about the name
“biblioblogger” and its different alternatives (see this useful summary).

I have deliberately stayed out of this exchange of proposals (until now…). The reason is quite simple: I, too, am one of those “boring and conservative” guys (Mark Goodacre‘s description) who’s well served by the current term. As is often the case, the use of a word, not its etymology, is what counts in the final
analysis. I don’t know where this label came from, but I know what it means. And so does everybody else in this part of the blogosphere. So, what we’ve done here is take up a word, strip it of whatever original sense it had (if any), and give it a new meaning. What’s wrong with that? The Bible is full of examples of this sort of thing. Various practices and words were taken up and given different meanings in Old Testament and New Testament times. Not that I would want to build a biblical case for the use of the term “biblioblogger” :-) , but I certainly don’t have anything to object to its widespread use.

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Google Search Feature

Published: December 15th, 2004

You may have noticed that there is now a Google search box on the sidebar of this blog. This means that you can conduct general web searches without leaving this site. But the most obvious use is to limit your search to the www.bsreview.org domain (which includes both the website and this blog). Don’t underestimate the  power of Google searches. You can easily find anything that has been posted here. If you want to know more about the search syntax, check out this page.

I hope you like this new addition and find it useful. I’m already using it as a very convenient way to find things!

UPDATE (09:30 PM): I should have posted this 12 hours ago, but Blogger hasn’t been working properly due to a misconfigured router. Seems to be working again…

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Poll on Reader Profile

Published: December 14th, 2004

Here’s another couple of polls. These polls work with a javascript code, and all modern browsers should display them fine. Needless to say, you have to have JavaScript enabled in order to see them! I’m still trying to adjust the code and see what works best on the blog, so please excuse any glitches. I hope to have everything fixed by the end of the day. The votes keep counting though, even if the display is not quite perfect yet. Thank you!

BTW, the polls are from Web Poll Central, and are absolutely free. Should any sponsoring ads appear, I have no control whatsoever over their content. So, if I see anything inappropriate for this blog, I will be forced to drop them immediately.

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