June 21, 2010

Heaven-Sent Software

Buon giorno. Yours truly is a bit wired today. I've made it clear in the past that I'm a proponent of freeware and Open Source software. (No, I'm not ready to tackle Linux without a tutor.) Although both are technically free, freeware is often the product of one developer being generous and giving away his or her work (sometimes as a way to attract attention to other products that are for sale), and Open Source is available to anyone with the necessary skills to develop; a group effort, if you will. Click on the above link for more information about Open Source.

Much of my favorite software is Open Source. I like the guiding principles behind it, and that it seems to be a labor of love. Firefox, Open Office (replacements for Excel, Word, PowerPoint and others), 7-Zip file compression and others.

I found a couple that are new to me. Sort of. Couple, that is. You'll see.

For someone that wants to do Bible study on their computer, with multiple versions to compare, have commentaries, dictionaries and other books available, BPBible has some good things going for it. (No, it is not affiliated with BP Petroleum. Duh.) One thing that attracted me to it was the portable version for flash drives and so forth.

There are problems with this, however. Most of the Bibles that can be downloaded are very outdated or (in my opinion) too modernized. But that is up to the user. I took the King James Version (1769 version; most people think they are reading the 1611 version, but they are not) and the English Standard Version. Others did not appeal to me. Commentaries and other helps struck me as "iffy", but they had to take what they could get without having to charge for their product and violate the Open Source standards.

One thing that really bothered me was their confusing Website. It links to the SWORD project (Eph. 6.17, presumably) and the Cross Wire Bible Society. They have many modules of Bible study software. Which to choose? They kind of throw it at you, in my opinion. A second part of this was that there are no instructions; you're on your own, Ollie.

The built-in uninstaller is lacking. Good thing I used Revo Uninstaller (free version) to remove all the stuff that was left behind.

On the other hand, I am very impressed by the very similar freeware called e-Sword. It has some of the same difficulties and limitations in Bible versions as BPBible, but the creator (a writer of software by trade) has made arrangements with some companies to sell some modules at reasonable prices. Now I can get the very accurate and highly-respected New American Standard Bible (perhaps) the Holman Christian Standard Bible that I am willing to pay for.

Edit: I am no longer using e-Sword. Although I have nothing against it and it's a fine product, I prefer "theWord" free Bible software above all else. And it has a portable version. Click here for my discussion of it.

Better "helps" are available, too.

Instructions and training videos are available to download and/or view on the site. Even with these, though, it takes some fiddling about and clicking to see what happens. When I made my copy look like the one in the demonstration video, things were making more sense.

Also, it's interesting to me... the Bible is ancient, and here I am, studying it with modern technology.

While I'm at it, I have some other useful things, and some fun stuff. First, the useful:
Here's the fun stuff:
  • The Brick Testament, a very large illustrated Bible — done with Legos!
  • LOLcat Bible — Your favorites from LOLspeak, with the annoying cutesy "LOLspeak", plus Ceiling Cat and Basement Cat in their struggle. Dig this: John 3.16 (hover over the link and let RefTagger do its work for you), and then... "So liek teh Ceiling Kitteh lieks teh ppl lots and he sez 'Oh hai I givez u me only kitteh and ifs u beleeves him u wont evr diez no moar, kthxbai!'" You decide if it's blasphemy or harmless fun, but I just had to show you. I think they mean no harm, though.
And I thought the Stock Car Racing Bible was a bit odd... Hey, it's on sale now!


Bob Sorensen said...

I sent the author of e-Sword a link so he could see the positive comments on his product. His reply was,


I am glad you are enjoying e-Sword and that it can be a blessing to you :-)

In His service,

Rick Meyers"

Well, I didn't expect an essay. He *is* a busy man, after all. Thanks, Rick!

Subscribe in a reader