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  News, How-tos, and assorted Views on Accordance Bible Software.

Monday, September 17, 2007  

Growing Pains

There's a commercial on the air these days where some harried manager approaches a colleague with a concerned look and says something to the effect that their company's sales have recently doubled. He then complains that they'll have to expand into a new building, get new equipment and raw materials, and get some of those "card-swipe thingies."

"What if this continues?" he asks in a hushed and worried tone.

His colleague, obviously bewildered, looks at him and says, "Isn't that the point?"

This is one of those commercials which is so memorable you forget the product being advertised. I suppose it's some IBM business server set-up or similar service. But whatever the advertised product, the commercial strikes pretty close to home these days.

You see, OakTree Software is growing, and I for one am finding it hard to keep up. No, we haven't gotten any of those "card-swipe thingies," but we have been hiring new sales staff, another programmer, additional module developers, and a marketing assistant. We're very excited about these newest members of the OakTree family. They're all extremely enthusiastic, competent, and quick to learn.

Our newest programmer is helping with our efforts to develop an Intel-native version of Accordance, freeing our main programmer to focus on some really cool features for the next major Accordance upgrade. (Don't bother to ask, I can't tell you what those are yet!)

Some of you may already have dealt with Angela, our newest member of the sales staff. She has very quickly become a valuable member of the team.

Lesley, our marketing assistant, has been revamping our e-mail newsletter with helpful features and a cool new look (thanks are also due the designers at Crate Media). If you're not signed up to receive the newsletter, be sure to subscribe here. Lesley has also been helping coordinate a slew of free training seminars coming this Fall.

Our newest module developers, Jeremy and Rick, are already making significant contributions, including the recently released Gathered Gold module, a soon-to-be released study Bible, and some classic works which will be added to the next iteration of the Accordance Library. They're picking things up quickly, which is both encouraging and challenging. You see, as the one primarily responsible for training them, I find that they're not giving me time to get my own projects done before they're ready for something else!

It's there that I can sympathize with that harried manager in the commercial. In the short term, all this growth requires time and energy which I normally devote to blogging and to developing new modules myself. But in the long term, I know that investing in these new staff members will pay huge dividends toward expanding Accordance's offerings and better meeting the needs of you, our users.

So please forgive my recent lack of blogging, and regard it as a sign that there are lots of good things coming soon. We don't invest in "card-swipe thingies" around here; just new modules and new program features. And since these new staff members have been so quick to help contribute, there will soon be lots of new stuff for me to blog about. :-)

Friday, September 14, 2007  

Apple, Accordance, and the Dead Sea Scrolls

In the education section of its web-site, Apple features "Education profiles"—stories of students and educators who have successfully used Apple technology in teaching and research. Check out this profile entitled Macs Underpin Dead Sea Scrolls Project.

While mostly about Apple and the Mac, the article does make the following mention of Accordance:

Once the Mac platform had been selected, and editorial guidelines prepared, Professor Tov's team selected Accordance — an advanced biblical studies software tool developed specifically for the Mac — as its main reference tool.

Sounds a bit like an afterthought doesn't it? As though the Dead Sea Scrolls Publication Project chose the Mac purely on its own merits and then decided to use Accordance for its research. I won't claim that it was completely the other way around, but I can assure you that Accordance was a major factor in the decision of these scholars to use Macs rather than PCs. :-)

Anyway, enjoy the article (and the weekend!)

Monday, September 03, 2007  

New Module: The Complete Gathered Gold

Activity and theology are no substitutes for God. —John Blanchard

I've always loved pithy quotes and memorable sayings, so I'm excited about our newest Accordance module: The Complete Gathered Gold by Evangelical Press.

Over twenty years ago, John Blanchard compiled 'A treasury of quotations for Christians' called Gathered Gold. It was so well received that it had to be reprinted several times and augmented by two further volumes, More Gathered Gold and Sifted Silver. The Complete Gathered Gold, published in 2006, collected all of this material into one volume and added another thousand quotations. It now contains around 16,000 quotations, organized into 600 distinct topics.

The print edition of The Complete Gathered Gold retails for $49.99, but the Accordance module can be downloaded for just $30. And for the month of September, we're offering it at an introductory price of just $25. That's half the price of the print edition for a module that can be searched by topic, content, Scripture reference, and author.

Now, in honor of Labor Day, I'll leave with a few choice quotes about work:

Too many Christians worship their work, work at their play and play at their worship. —Anon.

No race can prosper until it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem. —Booker T. Washington

No labour is servile when the Lord’s approval is the paramount consideration. —Geoffrey B. Wilson

As its title suggests, there's a tremendous amount of gold to be mined here, and Accordance takes all the "labor" out of it. Enjoy!