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Accordance under Emulation

Mark Vitalis Hoffman has posted the first installment of a Review of Accordance 8 on a PC. He has not covered Accordance as such yet (except for some preliminary installation issues), but he makes some comments on the installation and setup of the emulator Basilisk II.

There is one very important point I feel I should make up front. I have always thought that running Accordance under emulation is always better than not running it at all, but if is unfair to Accordance for the simple reason that the emulator is far from perfect.

Mac users can choose between different commercial and freeware emulators that allow them to run the latest versions of Windows or Linux at basically native speed. The user experience is the same, and applications can be used just as they would on a PC box. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Mac emulators on the Windows side. Basilisk II is probably the best emulator available, but it pales in comparison with running a real Mac computer. To put things into perspective, running Accordance 8 under emulation would be roughly equivalent to trying to run Logos or BibleWorks under Windows 3.1. In other words, you can run Logos or BibleWorks on a Mac as your production machine and you won’t be missing anything. But when you run Accordance on a PC you are missing out. It is not Accordance’s fault, it’s the emulator’s, and that’s why I said at the beginning that is wasn’t really fair.

By all means, do try Accordance on a PC under emulation if you want to, but keep in mind that Basilisk II has a number of limitations, and it does not run Mac OS X. The documentation provided by OakTree software is very clear and thorough, but it is often the case (as Mark tells us) that you need to reinstall the emulator in order to get it just about right. This requires some effort and patience, and by the time you reach that point you may feel a bit frustrated (again, nothing to do with Accordance). That’s why I always recommend running the program on a real Mac.

I look forward to what Mark has to say about Accordance, but sadly (for PC-only users, that is) what he has already experienced with the emulator shows that Windows and Linux virtualization on a MacIntel is light-years away from Mac virtualization on a PC. So please keep that in mind.

Though still in beta, is a promising Web 2.0 type of application that has now been opened to the public. You may think of this new online Bible site as a quick way to search the Bible instead of having to run your desktop application, or as a helpful resource when you’re away from your computer. It is expected that WBSA (“What the Bible Says About”), RefTagger and will integrate seamlessly in the near future. Check it out!

On the New Media Frontier and Its Challenges

Andy Naselli blogs about a very recent book entitled The New Media Frontier: Blogging, Vlogging, and Podcasting for Christ. After a short summary, he reproduces some quotations from the book which I have found rather interesting. There are some thought-provoking issues that are worthy of further consideration.

1. Is the new media creating a new kind of reader/listener? Will people eventually never get beyond the headlines, a couple of paragraphs and a few catchy phrases?

2. Are we becoming chronological snobs? Will we end up considering that anything written one month or one week ago is old and irrelevant?

3. Do we have so much information at our disposal that we are unable to process it or to discern the good from the bad?

4. Since publishing content, in the broad sense of the term, has become so easy, is peer-review no longer possible? Are the democratization of knowledge and academic excellence two mutually exclusive things?

5. Will printed books eventually die, as some say? Is the digital media going to replace the printed media anytime soon?

I know these are all questions I have asked myself lately, and I wonder what others think about them. I must say I haven’t read the book Andy reviews, but some of these questions (and their answers!) have a direct bearing on the role of bloggers and of Bible software. I suppose the key question is whether these tools are actually allowing us to see both the forest and the trees rather than making us misplace our focus and lose sight of the heart of the matter.

I know I need to think a lot more about it, but this is just a brainstorming exercise to jumpstart some discussion along these lines. I have to admit that the new media has changed to a certain extend my own reading and study habits. It remains to be seen if all of those changes are for the better…

Doxa Digital Press Platinum Collection

Michael White is doing a great job selling Bible software via Rejoice Christian Software at highly competitive prices and offering its customers a great service, but also by publishing theological resources from a Reformed perspective in CROSS format through Doxa Digital Press. These titles are compatible with Bible Explorer, Bible Navigator and WORDsearch.

If you are interested in downloading 38 volumes from some of the best Reformed authors (Francis Beattie, Louis Berkhof, Loraine Boettner, James P. Boyce, John Cotton, A. A. Hodge, Abraham Kuyper, J. G. Machen, John Macpherson, N. S. McFetridge, John Owen, Robert Shaw, Geerhardus Vos, B. B. Warfield, and others) at the ridiculously low price of $9.95, get the Doxa Digital Press Platinum Collection before the offer expires (September 27). You can see a screenshot here, and if you don’t currently own any of the compatible programs listed above, you could always download Bible Explorer 4 for free.

Let me make clear that I have no commercial ties whatsoever with any of the persons, products or offers mentioned in this entry. I am simply a satisfied customer and I have actually paid for my own copy of the collection. That’s why I believe it is a great opportunity that maybe some readers of this blog will want to take advantage of. Keep in mind that Doxa also offers free books and journals and that all published resources offer a really high standard of quality and integrate seamlessly.

NLT Study Bible

As I mentioned before The New Living Translation Study Bible is eagerly awaited by many, and the first software editions are becoming available and can already be pre-ordered (for more details, see here, here and here). Laridian will be the first company to offer it in digital format, as far as I know, with Logos and WORDsearch following shortly afterwards (Update: Actually, the WORDsearch version is already available. See Comments for more details).

You can see this product comparison chart and decide which one is the best fit for you. After looking at some of the content, all I can say is that this is no ordinary study Bible. It will be interesting to compare it with the forthcoming ESV Study Bible and the NET Bible with Notes (my personal favorite to date) and NIV Study Bible already available.

desiringGod Blog on Bible Software

David Mathis has a short piece on Bible software at the desiringGod blog. It’s basically a quick rundown on the three major commercial packages available (i.e., Accordance, BibleWorks and Logos). His comments are very brief, and focus mainly on John Piper’s materials (currently available in Accordance and Logos only). He does mention e-Sword almost as an afterthought and calls it a “good, free option.” He’s right, and there are many people who use it, but there are other low-cost or free options that are at least as good as (if not better than) e-Sword, as we shall see in the coming weeks.


This via the Logos Bible Software blog:

Back in January Logos hosted BibleTech:2008. BibleTech is a conference for people interested in the intersection of the Bible and technology. We were blown away by the result of this conference this year. The presentations were pertinent and timely, and the networking opportunities were absolutely priceless. And BibleTech:2008 participants was nearly unanimous in wanting to make this conference an annual event.

So we’re happy to be announcing BibleTech:2009!

The conference will take place on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28 in scenic Seattle, WA. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend! We are anticipating a bigger turnout with an even better outcome than last year.

BibleTech is geared for anyone with specialization, or serious interest, in the intersection of Bible study and technology. If you are involved in web design, software development, open source programming, biblical language or Bible study software development-or even if you are simply interested in the latest news from this incredible field and want to meet the people who make it all happen-plan to join us at BibleTech:2009.

We are now accepting proposals for conference presentations. If Bible and technology are your specialties, we invite you to submit a proposal.

We have updated the conference website. For the latest information, including a list of past presenters, visit

To stay informed with all the latest news about BibleTech, sign up for the BibleTech email list. Just , and we’ll get you added.

We hope you’re as excited about BibleTech:2009 as we are. And please help us make this a spectacular event by spreading the word!

As was the case last year, this is an event organized/hosted by Logos Bible Software for all the Bible software industry. So, if you are able to attend or participate, make your plans now!

Experimenting with Google Alerts

Following Michael Hyatt’s advice, I decided to give Google Alerts a try. It will not come as a surprise if I say that I ended up choosing the keywords “bible software review,” in an attempt to monitor news and blogs and see what others were saying on this subject(s). I customized the service so that I now receive a daily email with a short summary of everything Google has indexed.

I do get spurious results, but generally speaking there is always something relevant. Apart from mentions to my own site or other Bible software companies’ blogs, this past week I got links like these:

  • A review of free Bible study software
  • Six Study Essentials
  • How To Study….The Good Stuff….
  • Product Review: The Faith Database
  • RefTagger from Logos
  • Logos Blogs

Google Alerts is still in beta, and the number of relevant hits is sometimes a bit low (particularly if you use many keywords or enter broad terms), but it is quite an interesting experiment. You need to weigh in the pros and cons, but for me, to receive one more email per day makes no difference, and I am sometimes able to track down links I would never know about otherwise.