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Archive for the ‘Tech Support – General’ Category

Scheduled Server Maintenance

Posted on: April 17th, 2009 by Craig Rairdin 1 Comment

Monday morning (April 20th) between 1 AM and 5 AM EDT, we will be performing maintenance on one of our servers.

During that time we will temporarily take down our blog, support site and list server.

If all goes according to plan, the server will be back up before the start of the business day on Monday.

Thanks for your patience.

Creating Outlines in PocketBible/MyBible Notes

Posted on: December 6th, 2008 by Craig Rairdin 5 Comments

The new version of MyBible now supports HTML tags. PocketBible for Windows Mobile and Windows desktop also support HTML tags. This gives you some very nice formatting options.

HTML is a “mark-up language” that allows you to control text formatting by inserting special “tags” in the text. For example, to make a word bold you just put <b> before the word and </b> after the word. This simple example demonstrates the basics of HTML: You have an “open” tag at the beginning (<b>) and a “close” tag at the end (</b>). Both tags are surrounded by less-than and greater-than (< and >). The closing tag has a slash after the less-than (</). The “name” of the tag is “b” in this case.

Remember you can always just type plain text notes in PocketBible or MyBible. There’s no need to worry about HTML tags. But if you want to do some more sophisticated notes, you have that ability if you learn a little HTML.

Ordered Lists

Outlines start with the concept of an ordered list. An ordered list is simply a list with numbers. By creating an ordered list instead of just numbering your items manually, you can re-order the items by using cut-and-paste because there are no numbers actually in the list — the numbers are created by the program when it displays your list.

Ordered lists start with <ol> and end with </ol>. In between those tags are “list items”. List items are the items in your list. They start with <li> and end with </li>. So a simple ordered list would look like this in the note editor:

<ol>
<li>Light</li>
<li>Separation of water</li>
<li>Dry ground; plants</li>
<li>Sun and moon</li>
<li>Fish and birds</li>
<li>Land animals and humans</li>
</ol>

Notice that the list has an open and close tag and each list item has an open and close tag. When you view this note it will look like this:

  1. Light
  2. Separation of water
  3. Dry ground; plants
  4. Sun and moon
  5. Fish and birds
  6. Land animals and humans

Note that there were no numbers in the original text above, but when you view it in PocketBible/MyBible the numbers are automatically inserted.

List Attributes

Before showing you an outline, let me point out a useful feature of ordered lists. HTML tags have names (we’ve seen “b”, “ol” and “li”). They also have “attributes”. An attribute is an optional feature of the tag that controls its appearance. One attribute of the <ol> tag is “type”. We use the type attribute to tell the <ol> tag what numbering system we want to use. If we say “type=A” we’ll get upper case letters instead of numbers. “type=a” gives us lower case letters; “type=I” and “type=”i” are Roman numerals, upper and lower case, respectively. So here’s the same list as above, but with Roman numerals:

<ol type="I">
<li>Light</li>
<li>Separation of water</li>
<li>Dry ground; plants</li>
<li>Sun and moon</li>
<li>Fish and birds</li>
<li>Land animals and humans</li>
</ol>

When rendered in PocketBible/MyBible you’ll see:

  1. Light
  2. Separation of water
  3. Dry ground; plants
  4. Sun and moon
  5. Fish and birds
  6. Land animals and humans

Note one of the advantages of using ordered lists instead of just manually numbering your items: You can make a small change to the <ol> tag and it completely changes how the list is numbered.

Sublists Within a List Item

We now have all the tools we need to create outlines except for one small thing: We need to know that list items can actually contain other lists. That is, instead of a list item being some text like “Separation of water” it can actually contain an entire ordered list. We still have to be careful to include the open and close tag for each ordered list and each list item, and this can get confusing. But if you’re careful it’s not hard to get good at it. Here’s a simple example of including a list inside a list item:

<ol type="I">
<li>Seven Days of Creation
<ol type="A">
<li>Light</li>
<li>Separation of water</li>
<li>Dry ground; plants</li>
<li>Sun and moon</li>
<li>Fish and birds</li>
<li>Land animals and humans</li>
</ol> (This is the end of the sublist under "Seven Days of Creation")
</li> (This is the end of the list item "Seven Days of Creation")
</ol> (This is the end of the main list)

Note that we don’t close the “Seven Days of Creation” list item until the end of the list that is under it. This is important and is what makes the outline work correctly. If you type the above into PocketBible/MyBible (without the italicized comments at the end) this is what you’ll see:

  1. Seven Days of Creation
    1. Light
    2. Separation of water
    3. Dry ground; plants
    4. Sun and moon
    5. Fish and birds
    6. Land animals and humans

Outlines

We now have everything to create a complex outline. Here is the code you would type into the note editor, followed by what it looks like when fully rendered:

<ol type="I">
<li>The Account of Creation (Gen 1:1-2:4)
<ol type="A">
<li>Light</li>
<li>Separation of water</li>
<li>Dry ground; plants</li>
<li>Sun and moon</li>
<li>Fish and birds</li>
<li>Land animals and humans</li>
<li>God rests</li>
</ol></li>
<li>The Man and Woman in Eden
<ol type="A">
<li>Garden of Eden
<ol type="1">
<li>The conditions before
<ol type="a">
<li>No plants</li>
<li>No rain</li>
<li>No people</li>
<li>Springs came up to water the ground</li>
</ol></li>
<li>God plants a garden
<ol type="a">
<li>Where: In the East</li>
<li>Puts the man there</li>
<li>Fruit trees</li>
<li>Tree of Life</li>
<li>Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil</li>
</ol></li>
<li>The river
<ol type="a">
<li>Flows out of Eden</li>
<li>Four branches
<ol type="i">
<li>Pishon</li>
<li>Gihon</li>
<li>Tigris</li>
<li>Euphrates</li>
</ol></li>
</ol></li>
</ol></li>
<li>The Man and Woman
<ol type="1">
<li>Their purpose
<ol type="a">
<li>Tend it</li>
<li>Watch over it</li>
</ol></li>
<li>The warning
<ol type="a">
<li>Eat freely except...</li>
<li>Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil</li>
<li>Eat its fruit = death</li>
</ol></li>
<li>The helper
<ol type="a">
<li>Man was alone; not good</li>
<li>Animal parade</li>
<li>Man sleeps</li>
<li>God creates woman from his rib</li>
<li>Man happy</li>
</ol></li>
</ol></li>
</ol></li>
<li>The Man and Woman Sin</li>
<li>Etc.....</li>
</ol>

  1. The Account of Creation (Gen 1:1-2:4)
    1. Light
    2. Separation of water
    3. Dry ground; plants
    4. Sun and moon
    5. Fish and birds
    6. Land animals and humans
    7. God rests
  2. The Man and Woman in Eden
    1. Garden of Eden
      1. The conditions before
        1. No plants
        2. No rain
        3. No people
        4. Springs came up to water the ground
      2. God plants a garden
        1. Where: In the East
        2. Puts the man there
        3. Fruit trees
        4. Tree of Life
        5. Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
      3. The river
        1. Flows out of Eden
        2. Four branches
          1. Pishon
          2. Gihon
          3. Tigris
          4. Euphrates
    2. The Man and Woman
      1. Their purpose
        1. Tend it
        2. Watch over it
      2. The warning
        1. Eat freely except…
        2. Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil
        3. Eat its fruit = death
      3. The helper
        1. Man was alone; not good
        2. Animal parade
        3. Man sleeps
        4. God creates woman from his rib
        5. Man happy
  3. The Man and Woman Sin
  4. Etc…..

Quick and Easy Custom “Books” for PocketBible Using BookBuilder

Posted on: April 28th, 2008 by Craig Rairdin 5 Comments

I get the best ideas from customers. I’m corresponding with one now who is lamenting how hard it is to use BookBuilder to bring a text file into PocketBible. That gave me an idea to just tell you how to do it. It’s pretty easy.

Let’s just take the text of my blog posting from April 21 and turn it into a Laridian book. Laridian books are HTML files with some added tags. They all look like this:

<html><head>
<!– meta tags go here –>
</head><body>
<!– your book goes here–>
</body></html>

The meta tag section comes right out of the documentation. Here are the meta tags for a dictionary, which we’ll modify to make our book:

<html><head>
<meta name=”pb_title” content=”Tyndale Bible Dictionary”>
<meta name=”pb_abbrev” content=”TBD”>
<meta name=”pb_copyright” content=”Copyright &copy; 2001 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.”>
<meta name=”pb_publisher” content=”Laridian Electronic Publishing”>
<meta name=”pb_city” content=”Cedar Rapids, IA”>
<meta name=”pb_date” content=”2004″>
<meta name=”pb_pubid” content=”101″>
<meta name=”pb_bookid” content=”35″>
<meta name=”pb_editionid” content=”1″>
<meta name=”pb_revisionid” content=”1″>
<meta name=”pb_synctype” content=”word”>
</head><body>
<!– your book goes here–>
</body></html>

We’ll change a bit of the text in the meta tags to make it make sense for our blog article. We end up with this:

<html><head>
<meta name=”pb_title” content=”April 21 Blog Article”>
<meta name=”pb_abbrev” content=”BLOG”>
<meta name=”pb_copyright” content=”Copyright &copy; 2008 by Craig Rairdin. All rights reserved.”>
<meta name=”pb_publisher” content=”Laridian Electronic Publishing”>
<meta name=”pb_city” content=”Cedar Rapids, IA”>
<meta name=”pb_date” content=”2008″>
<meta name=”pb_pubid” content=”9999″>
<meta name=”pb_bookid” content=”1″>
<meta name=”pb_editionid” content=”1″>
<meta name=”pb_revisionid” content=”1″>
</head><body>
<!– your book goes here–>
</body></html>

In addition to changing the text of the copyright message etc. I also changed the Publisher ID (pb_pubid) just because it doesn’t matter and I didn’t want it the same as the Tyndale Dictionary from which the example was lifted. I set the pb_bookid meta tag to 1, and I would change that for every book I create. And I removed the final pb_synctype tag, because that’s what tells PocketBible this is a dictionary, but my file isn’t a dictionary.

I have to add at least one heading so I have something in the table of contents for the book. So I put that on the top of the text of the blog article. I paste in the text of the blog article and add <p> tags at the start of each line to indicate new paragraphs.

Text in bold is text I modified in some way just so you can see how little I changed from either the sample meta tags or the text of my article.

<html><head>
<meta name=”pb_title” content=”April 21 Blog Article“>
<meta name=”pb_abbrev” content=”BLOG“>
<meta name=”pb_copyright” content=”Copyright &copy; 2008 by Craig Rairdin. All rights reserved.”>
<meta name=”pb_publisher” content=”Laridian Electronic Publishing”>
<meta name=”pb_city” content=”Cedar Rapids, IA”>
<meta name=”pb_date” content=”2008“>
<meta name=”pb_pubid” content=”9999“>
<meta name=”pb_bookid” content=”1“>
<meta name=”pb_editionid” content=”1″>
<meta name=”pb_revisionid” content=”1″>
</head><body>
<h1 pb_toc=visible>On the Problems of Designing User-Friendly Software for PDAs and Smart Phones</h1>
<p>A comment from one of our PocketBible 4 beta testers got me thinking about the nature of what we do and what users complain about. I’ve expressed this with respect to the iPhone but I haven’t put it into a larger context that might help people understand what software designers are up against when we implement a solution, regardless of the platform. These issues are especially true of the mobile device market but the same ideas apply to the desktop and other general-purpose computing platforms.
<p>If you start from the beginning, you find a user with a problem. It might be: “How do I take my contact database with me?” or “How can I work on my spreadsheets on the train?” or “How can I browse the Web when I’m away from my computer?”. Hardware companies like Sony, Apple, HP, and HTC get together with software companies like Microsoft and whatever Palm is calling itself today and come up with a device and operating system software that address those problems. In the course of doing so, they create a way for third parties (that’s us) to create software for their new device/OS platform.
<p>By the time we consumer software companies (independent software vendors or ISVs) get our hands on these products, we’re no longer solving the original customer problem. Instead, we’re programming for a device, and the device is solving the problem. When we program for a device we have certain limitations imposed by the hardware and software. The screen is only so big. There may or may not be a keyboard. There may or may not be much memory. There may or may not be good internet connectivity. The tools provided by the OS software developer may not be very powerful. There are a host of these limitations, and we have no control over them. It is the sandbox in which we have to play if we’re going to play at all.
<p>etc…..
</body></html>

That’s all there is to it. If you can master cut and paste and typing <p> you can create books out of text files. If you know a little HTML you can add bold, italics, underlines, and even tables and lists.

Displaying Bible Verses During Sermons

Posted on: March 24th, 2008 by Craig Rairdin 2 Comments

I just had a customer write to ask how to solve a problem. His pastor speaks very extemporaneously and as a result, the computer operator/projectionist is scrambling to look up every verse he mentions in a printed Bible, type each into PowerPoint, and display it on the screen.

At a minimum, running PocketBible for Windows and cutting/pasting into PowerPoint would be a good idea.

But better yet:

  1. Turn off the toolbar (View > Toolbar)
  2. Set the size of the Bible text to 72 points (Edit > Options > Appearance, make sure “Bible” is selected next to “Set”, then change Font Size to 72)
  3. While you’re there, choose pleasing foreground and background colors
  4. OK to close the Options dialog
  5. Zoom the Bible window (using the zoom button or View > Zoom Window)

Now your Bible will appear in very large type. On Sunday morning, all you need to do is type the reference into PocketBible. Remember, with its instant “type-n-go” feature all you do is type the reference while the Bible is selected. So to go to John 3:16 there’s no need to select Search > Go To or press Ctrl+G. Just type J O H N [space] 3 : 16 [enter] and the Bible will go there. Assuming PocketBible is running on the monitor that you’re projecting, you’ll instantly see the referenced verse on the big screen.

(In case you’ve wondered, this is why we gave you the ability to set the point size up to some outrageously large number.)

PocketBible Screenshot - John 3:16

Using Your Bible Resources – Bible Maps

Posted on: February 14th, 2008 by Michelle Stramel 8 Comments

Awhile back I had created a series of articles on using your Bible resources.  This included commentaries, reference books, devotionals and more.  If you missed that series or could use a brush-up on the information you can enter “Using Your Bible Resources” in the search dialog box to the left of this article and do your search.  Once you have the list of articles you should scroll down to the September 9th article and work your way up so you read them in order.

This new article is on how to use the Bible Maps. The Bible Maps are available for use with PocketBible 4 for Windows Mobile and our PocketBible for Windows software for desktop PCs running Windows. (more…)

Add iPocketBible to your iPhone’s “Home” screen

Posted on: January 18th, 2008 by Craig Rairdin 8 Comments

Recently, Apple released the 1.1.3 update for the iPhone and the iPod Touch. This update included a feature that some of you requested we take advantage of… the ability to add iPocketBible to your “home” screen.

  1. Update your iPhone/iPod Touch to version 1.1.3.
  2. Launch iPocketBible from within Safari. If you are already there, I suggest that you “reload” the page in order to ensure that the latest version of iPocketBible is loaded. One thing to remember: you are essentially creating a bookmark that gets placed on the home page of your iPhone/iPod Touch. Whatever page within iPocketBible is visible when you start this process will be the page associated with this bookmark. You may want to consider going to the “front matter” or “table of contents” of your favorite bible or commentary before starting this process.
  3. Click on the “+” located on Safari’s bottom navigation bar.
  4. A menu will appear with the options to “Add Bookmark”, “Add to Home Screen”, “Mail Link to this Page” or “Cancel”. Select “Add to Home Screen”.
  5. A new screen will appear that will show our icon as well as a text field for selecting the text associated with this icon. The text field has limited space, so I would suggest putting “iPocketBible” within the field.
  6. Press return.

That should do it!! You should now see your home screen, complete with your new iPocketBible icon.

Enjoy!

Synchronization Providers released for PC and Pocket PC versions of PocketBible

Posted on: December 14th, 2007 by Michelle Stramel 12 Comments

If you’ve been waiting for the promised ability to synchronize your PocketBible Pocket PC data with your PocketBible Windows PC data, the wait is over. We have released Synchronization Providers for both programs which will allow you to synchronize user-created data (i.e. notes, bookmarks, highlights, devotional or reading plan progress) between the two PocketBible programs.
(more…)

Progress Report

Posted on: November 20th, 2007 by Craig Rairdin 19 Comments

Wow it’s been a month since my last article. Time flies. (more…)

PocketBible for Windows 1.003 is released

Posted on: September 6th, 2007 by Michelle Stramel 6 Comments

PocketBible for Windows has been updated to version 1.003. This is a free update for registered PocketBible for Windows users.

For information on the corrections that have been made, click here to visit the PocketBible Revision History page. (more…)

PocketBible for Windows Now Available

Posted on: August 21st, 2007 by Craig Rairdin 45 Comments

I’m happy to announce that PocketBible for Windows is now available at our Web site.

We’ll be sending emails to existing customers over the next 2-3 days with a discounted price of $19.99. Regular retail price is $29.99. If you can’t wait we’d be happy to accept the extra $10. :-)

Any books you’ve already purchased for MyBible or PocketBible will entitle you to download the same books for your Windows PC. The only exception is the Ancient Christian Commentary Series, which we’re prohibited from distributing on the desktop until some date in the future. We’re trying to remedy that because it’s a great commentary series and we’d like to see more people using it.

We’ve mentioned it before but one of the cool options you have for another $19.99 is receiving your entire PocketBible for Windows library on a USB flash memory drive. You can still download now for immediate satisfaction, but then we’ll send you everything in your download account (including existing purchases plus anything you purchase at the time you place your USB flash drive order) that is compatible with PocketBible for Windows on one USB drive, complete with custom Laridian lanyard.

Just a reminder: If you have technical questions, send them to Tech Support through the Help Desk at our Web site. Don’t post them here. There are several reasons: First, by going through the Help Desk you may find that your question is already answered. Second, your question will get directly to our tech support department without depending on one of them to wander in and read the blog comments. Finally, there are people who subscribe to these blog comments and you’re just clogging up the comments with issues that only pertain to you. Just so you know, even though all comments to this blog are moderated, we always approve the tech support questions that get posted here just so people can laugh at you behind your back. :-)

OK one major new product down. Several more to go…

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