Here is a good Q&A from the NASA website on the Mayan Doomsday phenomena.
Here is a good Q&A from the NASA website on the Mayan Doomsday phenomena.
Just thought I’d throw together this quick post letting everyone know that I’ve updated (upgraded) my Mac OSX to Lion (10.7) and e-Sword still runs, so I’m assuming my instructions for installing e-Sword on a Mac are valid for Lion as well as Snow Leopard. The only reason I upgraded to Snow Leopard was to try our Biblereader from Olivetree on Lion. I was not disappointed. Olivetree has tossed together a very fine App. Kudos guys and gals at Olivetree!
Olivetree Biblereader for Mac version 5.0.2 is available on Apple’s App Store. The system requirements are as follows:
Mac OS X 10.7 or later, 64-bit processor
First, let me say that I absolutely love the iPhone version of the Biblereader+ and have been using Biblereader+ starting with PalmOS, migrating over to Windows Mobile 2003, and the eventually moving to the iPhone. The reader has always been solid on mobile platforms, and some would argue that they are the leader in mobile Bible viewers. So needless to say I was very excited to learn that they had finally gone over to making a Bible reader for a Desktop / Laptop operating system. I was also slightly disappointed to learn it was only available for Lion! Fortunately for Apple, I just had to try it out for myself, so I’ve upgraded to Lion last night for the sole purpose of getting Olivetree’s Biblereader for Mac. It is easy to install, just go to the Mac Store and download / install Biblereader. My initial reactions are very positive. Accordance Bible could learn a thing or two about interface design from Olivetree.
The left hand side of the screen is taken up by a quick access list which displays recently viewed Bibles, or all Bibles depending on the configuration you’ve set up. The bibles can be downloaded to your App with the built in downloader. If you’ve been a user of the free mobile Biblereader then the interface of the Mac edition will come naturally to you as the design seems to have been imported from the iPhone version of their App. For instance, on the left is a screenshot of the famous verse chooser that they’ve been using for quite some time on the iPhone (and I assume the droid as well). In three clicks you’re taken to the exact verse you want to read in whatever Bible you happen to have open at the time. This is the easiest bible browser I’ve come accross on the mobile platform and is infanately more useable than flipping through a long list in sequential order. By clicking on a verse number it allows you to enter a comment on that verse which you may then sync with Olivetree’s cloud service to allow syncing between your laptop and mobile phone device.
By highlighting a portion of text, you will see a plus sign pop up. Click on that plus sign to open up the menu shown on the right which allows you to enter a note on that portion of selected text, highlight that text in a color or bookmark that text. The whole look and feel of it seems polished. By clicking the little arrow icon as shown on the left, you will expand the currently selected window into it’s own window. Also, to add bookmarks is a simple as clicking the ribbon in the top left hand corner of the bible or book you are in. See the picture on the right for a screenshot of what the ribbon looks like. Olivetree should be commended on the work they have accomplished with BibleReader Mac. Now the one place they don’t excel is in speed of searching. Now with Accordance (My choice for gold standard in search speed) searching is near instantaneous. So quick it is impossible to time with a stop watch, however with Biblereader there is a definite lag. You can literally count one thousand one… one thousand two before the hits appear. Now as to how they are displayed, it is easy to tell that they are porting this over from iOS devices. The search results pane are very similar to what you’d expect to see on a mobile phone App. The other interesting thing about it is all the books you’ve purchased for the mobile reader can be downloaded for free on the Mac version. Olivetree also has some competitive pricing on their texts. A lot more competitive than Accordance which seems to want to break the bank even when buying public domain texts! All-in-all I’d give this App solid marks in just about every category.
A review of the bible software program e-Sword version 10.0.5.
e-Sword is an excellent freeware bible study application designed for Windows PCs. The specifications required to run this program are listed as follows:
- Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7
- Pentium based PC (or equivalent)
- 800 x 600 resolution or greater
The screenshots I’ll be using throughout this review will be of my e-Sword install on my Mac using WINE. See my tutorial on installing e-Sword on a Mac for instructions on how to get this bible study software up and running on a Macbook using Snow Leopard.
The image on the left is the bible navigation pane which is displayed on the left when you open up e-Sword in the default layout. This allows for quick and easy access of any book of the bible with 2 to 3 clicks. Of course you could just type in the reference by typing your verse reference in the box shown in the image on the right. You can also browse for a reference by clicking the bible icon shown to the right of the text box shown in the picture. This will open a pop-up box allowing you to browse to the specific verse you’d like to view. This is fine, but I wish that it would open multiple verse reference at once. Accordance allows for this simply by typing all references you want in the verse search window and then clicking the search button. This is very valuable if your reading a bible study and it gives multiple bible references you wish to read at once rather than going sequentially. In fairness to e-Sword, I have not run into many bible study programs that can accomplish this besides Accordance. By clicking on the binocular icon, you are able to enter into an advanced search dialog box. This allows you to apply more filters and refine your search. The problem is that it still will not allow for a multiple verse search to be entered.
The actual layout of the program I found to be very intuitive. The main program window is split into 4 separate sections. They are editors, dictionaries, commentaries and bibles. In previous versions of the program, you could access other reference works called topical files by going to the editor window, selecting the topic file in the drop down list located on the bottom of the window and then browsing the table of contents in yet another drop down box on the top of the editor window. Well, you can still do this, but now in version 10 Rick (the maker of the software) has added the Reference window which is available by going to the Tools>Reference Library menu option.
I personally find this a lot better and enjoy using the reference module window. Now the topic files are available in a refx format which is a read only format unlike the topic editor (topx) format which was user editable.
The user community is very active! Bible Support is the unofficial / semi-official forum for finding thousands of extra modules which you can download and install into your base e-Sword package as well as help on just about everything you can think of relating to e-Sword. The site also has created a nice 10.x user’s manual for e-Sword which was well done and valuable for the newbie to e-Sword. I have also uploaded it here for easy download, but you must understand that it is not to be sold or made available in any form that would require paying money for it’s use. Officially supported modules are available through the built-in download feature of the program. This reminds me a lot of the Sword Project’s module installation feature which has been available in their software for years and years.
Version 10 has several new features, including sermonaudio.com integration that allows you to listen to various sermons and bible studies sorted by bible reference, the aforementioned reference modules, and continuing support for STEP modules.
Accordance 9.5.1, a review.
Accordance is a Bible study program designed for the Macintosh operating system. The specifications for running Accordance 9.5.1 are as follows:
Accordance 9 is fully Intel native and optimized for Mac OS 10.6 and up. It also runs on PowerPC Macs and OS 10.4 and up (users with earlier Mac OS X or OS 7-9 can install the Classic version).
With the advent of Accordance 9.3, OakTree has created an enhanced user interface designed for new users to immediately jump into using Accordance. It is called the Assistant Window.
The Read section allows the user to type in a verse or book of the bible and open a window displaying the passage in the user’s preferred bible. Alternatively, it also allows the user to open a window displaying devotional readings to choose from.
The next section, Find, allows the user to locate word or words in a wide range of selections wether it be the bible, or User add-on modules and texts.
The last section, labeled Learn, includes hyperlinks to Oaktree’s various resources for learning how to use the software including the built in help and the Accordance Forum.
The assistant window is one step in improving Accordance’s usability for the average experienced Mac user who is new to Accordance. Accordance has been notoriously known as non-intuitive for the average user. It relies on keyboard commands and menu options often buried in menues.
The main window is known as a workspace.
This is a screenshot of the main view of Accordance. The focus is on the search features. At the top of the screen you’ll see a search bar with various options to allow you to search words or verses. The search algorithm is extremely fast. In fact it is the fastest search algorithm of any bible software I have tested wether PC or Mac.
Checking the interlinear checkbox immediately opens the English, Greek (Hebrew) the Strong’s number and the parts of speech the word belongs to. This is very handy for conducting word studies or verse studies. Triple clicking a word will open the default lexicon and display details of the underlining Greek (Hebrew) word in a separate workspace.
Although this is a very powerful search program, (for example right click and choose search for… lemma, root, inflected or tag in any appropriately tagged or marked bible such as the Novum Testamentum Graece (Tischendorf)), it is sometimes unclear on how to search through all texts and modules you might have purchased, or user created modules you might have made using Accordance’s built in user module authoring system. To search through everything in your whole entire library, for example, you must go to Amplify>Search>Search all…
The resource pallette as shown on the left provides an interesting way to access your resources. By clicking the appropriate icon you have access to purchased English, Hebrew, Greek and graphical texts and modules. One of my favorite resources and one I personally think should be included in the base software package is the timeline module. A screen capture is shown on the right of the timeline module. It is a graphical representation of the history of bible people and kingdoms. Not only that, but it also displays the timelines of contemporary histories of nations such as the Chinese and the Egyptian dynasties. Another way cool feature of the timeline is the ability to add your own events to the timeline. There are also alternative timelines labeled ‘conservative’ and ‘critical’ which will shift the dates based on which-ever timeline you believe to be more correct.
The program is well designed with a very active user community who enjoy sharing tips and hints on the Accordance Forums. If you get stuck with a particular problem, more than likely either Helen, Dr. J or one of the other community users will be able to answer your questions or point you in the right direction. My username there is fireandsalt, which will probably be no surprise to those who know me as I tend to use that username all over the internet on various bible, theology, and techie forums.
All in all I give this the following ratings: