Wednesday, October 31, 2012

AAR / SBL 2012 Annual Meeting App

James McGrath has just noted on his Patheos blog that this year's AAR/SBL app is now available for iOS devices. I can't find the Android version, but I'm trusting it's coming. (If you find it, please leave a comment here pointing to it.) The meeting is in Chicago, Nov 17-20, 2012.

I had some critiques of last year's app, but I still found it more useful than not. 

UPDATE: 2012.11.01: The Android app was just made available. Click through to either the Android or iOS app HERE.

From the description, app features include:
  • Native app: No wifi connection required to access the conference program, schedule or animated maps.
  • Now: Stay informed about hot issues, event program changes, your upcoming sessions and organizer messages.
  • Program: Browse the entire event program to build your personal schedule, bookmark sessions or speakers, or access session handouts as available.
  • Take notes and email them as part of your trip report for reference.
  • Exhibitors, Maps, related conference info and much more. 
Quick test run: Just downloaded and fired up the app. BTW, free wireless internet access has been promised throughout the convention center so connecting should not be an issue.
  • There are a number of ways in the app to email or send to Twitter or Facebook (but not LinkedIn which was in last years) notes you've added, schedule, etc. There's even a live Twitter feed on the home screen of the app. (Twitter: #SBLAAR or #AARSBL)
  • Yes! You can add your own appointments to the schedule!
  • Yes! You can export your entire schedule so that it can be imported to Outlook, Google Calendar, iOS, Android via an ICS file.
  • Maps of all the venues are great and a link to Google maps of Chicago. The exhibitor menu is similar to last year's, but that is good.
The app is similar to the 2011 one, but is definitely improved. More ways to search / find what you are looking for and better ways for sharing / exporting stuff.

UPDATE: 2012.11.07: There is now an official user guide to the app here. (PDF)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Finding a specific word in a verse in any Bible: BibleWorks and Logos

An Accordance user recently asked David Lang on the Accordance Blog this question:
How would I find in which version of the Bible is "endurance" used in Hebrews 12:1?
The issue here is that some English versions use "endurance," but others use "patience" or "perseverance" or perhaps some more 'dynamic' rendering. Lang provided a nice means for getting the answer in Accordance. I'll provide here what I think are the best ways to do so in BibleWorks and Logos.


There are a few ways to conduct such a search, but I think the easiest is as follows. (If you can think of a better way, let us know.)
  1. We want to search all the English version Bibles we have installed, so first get those all displayed by using the following command: d c english   ENTER
    (d=display; c=clear all versions; english=display all English versions)
  2. (A shortcut way to the results now is simply to go to Hebrews 12:1 and scan all these versions. To conduct the search in a more generally automated way and have the results highlighted, continue with the following steps.)
  3. Now we want to do a "cross-version search." To access this, right click anywhere in the command box, choose "Cross Version Search Mode" and select "Search All Display Versions." Note in the graphic above that when you do this, the second button in the green bar below the command line turns yellow to remind you that you have this mode activated.
  4. Now we want to limit our search to the one particular verse, in this case, Hebrews 12:1. In the command line: l heb 12.1   ENTER
    Note that the first button in the green bar turns yellow to remind you  that limits are set. (The limit set is also visible at the bottom of the BW window.)
  5. We are now ready to run the search. In the command line: .endurance   ENTER
  6. The results appear in a popup window. (see below)

You usually don't want to use the cross-version search, so be sure to reset it  back to "Search only current version."


I think this is the best way, but someone may know of a better way.

  1. The first thing I did is to create a "collection" of all my English Bibles. The graphic above shows how to use Tools > Library > Collections and then create a new collection. I named my collection "English Bibles" and dragged/dropped all the Bibles I wanted from the (lengthy) list that appeared. Note that you only have to create this collection once, and it is a handy one to have later on for other searches.
  2. (A shortcut way that requires some manual scanning now is to use Tools > Text Comparison and look up Hebrews 12:1 in the English Bibles collection you just made. To conduct the search in a more generally automated way and have the results highlighted, continue with the following steps.)
  3. The graphic below shows how I ran my search:
    • Click on the search magnifier icon
    • Choose Bible as your type of search
    • Search "All Bible Text"
    • To limit your range, click on the range after the first "in" and, in this case, define the new range of Hebrews 12:1
    • Click on the spot after the second "in" and choose that collection of English Bibles you just created and hit ENTER
  4. Your results should look something like the graphic below. The easiest way to see the results you want is to click on the Result column and order them alphabetically.

There you go! If you know of better ways, please share them in the comments.

UPDATE 2012.10.26: Be sure to read the solution proposed by Brenda in the comments! Here's an instance where a Google search  may be the quickest way to go. A few additional things I can add to Brenda's suggestion:
  • I added a parenthetical step 2 for both BibleWorks and Logos above which basically reproduces Brenda's suggestion within each program. You simply are displaying all the English versions and scanning for results.
  • Brenda suggests using the Online Parallel Bible tool in 18 English versions are available on that site: NIV84, NLT, ESV, NASB, KJV, ISV, Aramaic Bible in Plain English, God's Word, KJ2000, AKJ, ASV, Douay-Rheims, Darby, ERV, Webster's, and Weymouth. Another good option is to use the Net Bible Study Environment and click on the Parallel tab where 10 English versions are available: NET, NIV84, NASB, ESV, NLT, Message, BBE, NKJV, NRSV, and KJV. With either of these, and whether you are using IE or Firefox, note that you can quickly find the word you are looking for by searching for it (CTRL-F) on the page and using the option to highlight all occurences.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

BibleWorks on a Mac - Update!

BibleWorks has just announced that after several months of work with the developers at CodeWeavers they have released a "Public Preview Mac Installer" that allows you to run BW on a Mac natively. It has been previously possible to run this Windows program either in a virtual machine on your Mac or by using a dual-boot setup, but for each of these, there was the extra cost of getting a Windows license and/or the VM software. 

The new Mac installer is free, but it does require that you have BibleWorks 9, rev. 3 or better. (If you have an earlier revision of BW9, you can order the DVDs needed for $25. If you have BW8 or earlier, then you should either upgrade or check out Matt Day's very helpful guide to make BW work on a Mac in the most effective and economical way.) Below is a chart indicating the relative dis/advantages.
Be sure to check out the system requirements, and then check out your options and download the new free installer from THIS PAGE
UPDATE: This installer is free until 10/15/2012. After that it is $6.
BTW, if you are interested, my recommendations for a customized installation are HERE.

UPDATE: Be sure to check this post on the BibleWorks Forum for more info about the new installer. It also includes directions on how to install BW9 if you don't rev. 3.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Top 100 Tools for Learning 2012 list

Jane Hart annually releases her "The Top 100 Tools for Learning" list, and the 2012 one has just been posted.
This year’s Top 100 Tools for Learning list (the 6th Annual Survey) has been compiled from the votes of 582 learning professionals worldwide – 55% working in education, 45% working in non-educational organizations.

The top tool for the 4th year running is Twitter, with both YouTube (2nd) and Google Docs (aka Google Drive)  (3rd) retaining their places for the 3rd year in succession.
Next in line in the top 10 are Google Search, WordPress, Dropbox, Skype, PowerPoint, Facebook, and Wikipedia. You can view the list either as this Slideshare (with commentary on each) or as a textual list.

In both formats, she indicates whether its primary use is for personal/professional, educational, or enterprise contexts.

I did participate in the voting, but a couple of my favorites didn't make the list. Some comments:
  • Dropbox (#6) is fine, but I much prefer SugarSync. (Disclaimer: Those links should get both you and me a little extra space. Thanks!) You get 5GB free instead of just 2GB. More helpfully, SugarSync allows you to point to existing folders on your system with which you can sync on another system. Dropbox requires you to create a special folder to drop things in. Personally, I use SugarSync to keep my notes and user-modified files in BibleWorks, Logos, and Lightroom synced. Both programs also have mobile apps so that I can access files from my smartphone. Don't forget Microsoft's SkyDrive (#98 on the list) which offers 7GB free and allows you to edit Microsoft docs online. In addition to syncing, remember that these services also provide backup for your data.
  • If you want a different look than PowerPoint (#8), try Prezi (#14).
  • I still use Skype (#7), but Google+ Hangouts (#17) has some distinct advantages, especially for allowing multiple video feeds.
  • I really like Diigo (#18) as a social bookmarking tool, and I've tried to get my students to collaborate on using it for creating bibliographies for a class or topic, but it apparently requires some discipline to use it regularly.
  • Ok, I'm on Pinterest (#36), but I still don't really get it... I also wonder about LinkedIn (#23). Are most people on it simply because they are afraid they're missing something if they are not on it? I set up an account long ago, but I don't pay it much attention.
  • One tool I'm checking out that isn't on the list is Netvibes. I have loved using my iGoogle homepage, but with it being vaporized in a year, I'm looking for an alternative. Netvibes is one possibility. (Any one using this and having a good experience with it?)
  • The really significant omission on the list is Zotero. I have come to use this nearly daily as a way to organize books, articles, PDFs, and web pages I come across. It's such an outstanding bibliographic tool. I did buy the Scanner for Zotero app for my Droid X, so I'm prepared for Society of Biblical Literature meeting this year. (I had mentioned this after last year's SBL as a better way of making note of the books I saw there.) Zotero also allows for collaboration with the sharing of libraries, so it's one way I share my bibliographies with my students and allow them to add to it. (There are Zotero mobile apps for other platforms too.)
So, check out Jane Hart's C4LPT blog, and if you are looking for some tech tool to accomplish a task, her site is a great place to look. Especially check out her "Best of Breed" categorized list.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Scribes by Peter Rodgers

Until 4 October 2012, The Scribes is free as a Kindle download on Amazon. I was reading this book last year and 'enthralled' my students by serially relating the romantic dilemma in the story as it developed. There is Justin (the literalist scribe from Rome who is concerned about exact copying) and Juliana (the scribe from Alexandria who is more open to dynamic renderings). Will they ever be able to find true love when their endings to the Gospel of Mark don't match? Actually, it is a very fun introduction to text criticism and is well worth reading as a historical fiction. (You didn't ever think you'd see "fun" and "textual criticism" together, did you?) Get it for free while you can, but if you miss this offer, it's still worth the $3 regular price as a Kindle download.

HT to Rodney Decker for bringing this to my attention.

Tim Bulkeley Online Book Launch: Not Only a Father

Tim Bulkeley of Sansblogue fame has announced a forthcoming book (10 Oct 2012) you can buy on Amazon (clink on graphic above), but he has also published it online where it can be read for free. This is interesting for a number of reasons.
  • At the top of the list, the topic is an important one, and Bulkeley has been working on it for many years.
  • It is an experiment in online publishing. I'm interested to see how this turns out for him.
  • The online version of the book is organized by chapter sections, but he is using a Wordpress plugin that allows for commenting on the paragraph level that runs alongside the text rather than just commenting at the end of the post.
  • He's hoping that this becomes a way for people to engage not only with him as the author but might also serve as a discussion platform for people to talk with each other.
Check it out HERE.