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PocketBible Moves to the Desktop

Posted on: August 3rd, 2007 by Craig Rairdin 47 Comments

As many of you have already seen in a recent newsletter, PocketBible software will be coming soon to your Windows desktop. The newsletter was somewhat vague about features so I thought I’d take a few minutes to provide some details.

Briefly, PocketBible for Windows is the desktop version of our PocketBible software. It uses the same LBK file format as our PocketBible program for Pocket PC, but adds a tiled user interface with windows for your Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries, devotionals, and other books. You can hover your mouse cursor over any Bible reference to instantly see the text of that verse. And of course you can search, annotate, highlight, and bookmark the text just like on your PDA.

We have a couple of goals with PocketBible for Windows. First, we wanted it to be “home base” for your mobile Bible software. We wanted to eliminate the need to separately back up your notes, highlights, and bookmarks by providing a way that these could be automatically copied to your desktop PC. Once there, PocketBible for Windows lets you view, edit, and create new notes, highlights, and bookmarks which are automatically re-synchronized with your mobile device.

To this end, the initial release of PocketBible for Windows will be followed almost immediately by an update to PocketBible for Pocket PC that will support synchronization of user-entered data with the desktop version of PocketBible. Changes made on either platform will be intelligently combined so that you always have the latest version of your notes, etc. on both platforms.

Synchronization for iPocketBible for iPhone is being designed in from the start so it should be available shortly. So you can take notes on your iPhone in church then come home and sync your PC to the iPocketBible server and have access to those notes at home. (Then drop your Pocket PC in its cradle and update its database as well!)

Synchronization for MyBible will require significantly more work due to a combination of the way the Palm OS works and the features of the MyBible program. Look for an update later this year.

Our second goal for PocketBible for Windows was to create a great Bible program in the spirit of the original versions of QuickVerse we all worked on back at Parsons Technology. Many of you have written to me over the years to say that QuickVerse 4.0 was “as good as it gets”. We agree. Up until we started working on our own desktop Bible software most of us here used QV4 for our Bible study and lesson preparation needs.

It’s hard to identify what made QuickVerse 4.0 so great, but near the top of the list has to be speed and ease of use. What it did, it did quickly and it did well.

So in the spirit of QuickVerse 4.0 we’ve tried to make PocketBible for Windows as easy to use as possible. For example, we implemented a feature we think is unique among Bible software. With a Bible window active, you just type a reference and the program takes you there. So type “John 3:16″ and press the Enter key and you’re at John 3:16. You don’t have to type it in a special box, or click on a “Submit” button or anything. Just type.

Want to grab a passage for a sermon or lesson? Just type “copy psalm 1″ to copy the text of Psalm 1 to the clipboard. Then switch to your Word processor and hit Ctrl+V to paste it into your document.

Of course you can do all this with traditional menus and dialog boxes, but we just cut out all the intermediate steps. In fact, you don’t even have to type out “copy” — just type the letter “c” and PocketBible will know what you mean.

There are a whole bunch of these commands. You can set bookmarks, launch a search, add a note, or highlight a verse just by using the keyboard.

And lest you’re wondering what all this has to do with mobile computing — which is, after all, Laridian’s foundation — well just try using this instant command feature with a tablet PC and handwriting recognition software. Just write “John 3:16″ on your tablet and your software goes there. It couldn’t be easier.

And if that’s not mobile enough, you can copy PocketBible to a USB memory stick and take it with you. Now this sounds like no big deal, but try doing that with any of the other Bible software out there. They all depend on the system registry being set up, and they all save their data files to your hard drive. PocketBible gives you the option of saving your personal notes, highlights, and bookmarks to the memory stick and requires no system registry entries. You can literally walk up to any Windows computer with a USB port, insert your USB memory stick, and your complete, personal Bible library is instantly available to you, right where you left off last time you used it, even if it wasn’t on the same computer.

Then, take your memory stick home, insert it in your computer, sync to the iPocketBible server and now your notes are on your iPhone!

I know you’re probably wondering what this is going to cost. Final pricing hasn’t been determined, but I can tell you this: Most of the books you already own for PocketBible or MyBible will be accessible without purchasing another copy. You’ll just purchase the PocketBible for Windows program itself, then download the desktop versions of the PocketBible books already in your download account (technically they’re already there — you just can’t see them because you don’t own the PocketBible for Windows program yet).

(A small number of books may not be available for use on your desktop computer due to licensing restrictions. We’re working on eliminating these but can’t make any promises at this point.)

In closing, while a lot of the code in PocketBible for Windows is shared between our Palm and Pocket PC apps and was written by Jeff Wheeler and me, the interface and overall operation of the code, including our unique synchronization software, is the brain-child of Scott Gray, one of our senior developers. Scott, Jeff and I worked together at Parsons Technology 10+ years ago. Scott created the QuickVerse Multimedia Life Application Bible, which was one of the finest products Parsons ever produced. Unfortunately it got caught up in the seemingly endless series of purchases and sales of the company in 1997 and 1998, so you probably never heard of it. Scott has put in (and continues to put in) untold hours on PocketBible for Windows. We hope you’ll enjoy the fruit of his labor.

So keep your eyes on your inbox for that new product announcement!

47 Responses

  1. Karla says:

    This is GREAT! I hadn’t been reading the blog but recently I was wishing for a desktop version. It certainly isn’t surprising to hear that several have requested it.

    PocketBible 3 is amazing and I will be anxiously waiting for the desktop version. Thanks for the extra description.

  2. Lawson says:

    Is there any chance of getting a Mac version?

  3. Dale says:

    I am anxiously awaiting the release of PocketBible for the desktop. You don’t know (well, you probably do) how frustrating it is to have highlights and notes on your PocketBible, but not be able to import them into your desktop application. Sign me up when it comes out!! (Any screenshots yet of what we’re going to be getting?) The ability to keep it all on a thumb drive (or, I’m assuming, a flash card if you have a reader handy) is exciting as well. I have very limited privileges on my computer at work, so this will allow me to access my PocketBible on my work computer as well!

  4. Lawson: It’s unlikely we’ll do a Mac OS version. However, for a few dollars you can dual-boot your Mac so it will run Windows and there you go. I should also add that you should be able to sign up for the iPhone version and use it on your Mac. It looks pretty good in the Safari browser.

    Dale: One thing I should mention since you brought up highlights…. In order to support a wider variety of client platforms, we’ll be changing highlights so they apply to whole verses, not individual words (as in PocketBible) or individual letters (as in MyBible). We’ll provide functionality in PocketBible to migrate your word highlights to verse highlights. If you want to sync your highlights with the desktop app you’ll have to just highlight by verse. (See my comments below on 8/13/07 for more on this topic.)

    Note will come across as they are without any changes.

    Screenshots follow…

    Craig

  5. Here’s a random screenshot taken of where PocketBible happened to be sitting at the time of your request. It doesn’t show anything the program does; just what it looks like. Comments follow.

    Some comments:

    * Colors are configurable. The active window is light yellow but you can make it what you want.

    * The screen is always tiled, but you can lay things out the way you want. I reserve the biggest window for Bible text and put commentary and dictionaries below.

    * The toolbar is reconfigurable. That happens to be mine; yours will vary.

    * You can display Bibles (or any type of book) in parallel. I have the ASV using the full Bible window in this view, but I could have all the Bibles in parallel.

  6. Lawson says:

    Craig,
    I guess that covers the issue of whether I’ll be able to “sync” my iPhone stuff with my Mac. I’ll be accessing the same page. :-)

  7. Jim Taylor says:

    As some of us have moved from PocketPC to SmartPhone and thus that version of PocketBible, I hope that I assume correctly that the new product will be compatible with the SP version of PocketBible that we now use. I see references to PocketPC above but perhaps I missed the reference to SP edition.

    Thanks for excellent products.

    Jim

    ps. please remember the Bible Atlas as a possible reference enhancement. It would help so much in our studies, especially on the desktop.li

  8. Wayne Bird says:

    Craig,

    I’m excited to hear about the desktop version. It’s something I requested when I first started using PocketBible some eight years ago. Thanks for making this possible.

    The ability to highlight specific words in a verse, not the entire verse, is very important to me. I use this feature in many, many verses. It sounds like when I sync with the desktop version, since this version can only highlight the entire verse, I will lose the specific highlighted words on my PocketPC. Is this correct? Is there any possible way to keep the existing functionality?

    I use the note feature to make my own personal commentary on many words or phrases on a lot of verses. Then I highlight the word or phrase that my commentary relates to so I can just view the verse and know what word or phrase my note refers to. Before the highlighting feature was available I had to open the note to see what the note referred to. If highlighting the entire verse is the only option then I lose this functionality.

    I’m also glad to see you are actively working on new resources and products, that’s one reason I’ve continued to purchase/upgrade PocketBible. However, it would be good to correct any issues that there may be with existing resources. For example the column widths being too narrow and cutting off verses in NUBH resource, reference ticket #UMM-44256 submitted back in Oct 2006. There are other formatting issues that I’ve submitted.

    Now that you’ll be updating the resources to work with the desktop version, is there a way add a feature to see how long a certain section of a resource is. This capability was lost when the vertical scrollbars were removed in PocketBible3. For example, I want to read the “Principles of Translation” in the front matter of the NASB. I have no way of finding out how long that section is. It would be nice to know how much further I need to read to finish that section.

    Thanks for making these resources available for a PocketPC. I use it all the time!!

    Wayne

  9. Jim: Our SP version of PocketBible has bookmarks but not highlights nor notes. The bookmarks will synchronize with the desktop.

    Wayne: You will still be able to highlight words, but you won’t be able to sync those to the desktop (for now — see my comments below from August 13). Your notes and bookmarks will sync to the desktop. The word highlighting feature will likely become “unsupported” — that is, we won’t continue to improve it and if problems are discovered we may not fix them. (This may not be true — see my 8/13/07 comments below.)

    The issue with word vs. verse highlighting is the necessity to support a wide variety of platforms. On the iPhone and on Windows Mobile Smartphone it is difficult or impossible to select words to highlight. This will continue to be true on other platforms. On other platforms, such as MyBible for Palm, we support character-by-character highlighting, but the character counts aren’t guaranteed to be the same between Palm, Pocket PC, desktop, iPhone, etc. because the Bibles come from different sources and go through different processes to arrive on the device.

    So the difficult decision was made to standardize on verse-level highlighting to promote as much cross-platform compatibility as possible. The plan is to leave the word or character highlighting in the platforms that already have it.

  10. Roland Reddekop says:

    A desktop to compliment the PDA experience is a great idea. My main concern is freeing MyBible Notes, collected over several years, out of the legacy Palm platform where I can leverage them in preparation for teaching.
    Please don’t let us Palm MyBible users be “Left Behind”.

  11. We don’t intend to leave Palm MyBible users out in the cold. Here’s the whole story:

    As you may know, MyBible was not written here. It was written by an outside developer and we licensed it for distribution back in 1998. A couple years ago we were able to negotiate the complete acquisition of the product including source code. This makes it possible for us to update it without relying on the programmer.

    Our PocketBible program was developed in-house. The issue regarding synchronization with the desktop doesn’t have anything to do with where the program was developed, but the fact that it was developed here means that we designed it from the very beginning to eventually be sync’ed with a desktop product. Two main factors are 1) notes, bookmarks, and highlights are stored in a SQL database that can be read on either the Windows Mobile or Windows desktop platofrm, and 2) every note, bookmark, and highlight has a time stamp that indicates its modification time. This is important for synchronization.

    MyBible notes, bookmarks, and highlights are not stored in a database that is accessible from the desktop. They need to be somehow exported from the app into a format we can read outside the program. The are not time-stamped. So in order to support synchronization, a significant program update is necessary. This work is underway but due to our limited programming resources it won’t be finished by the time PocketBible for Windows is complete. So once the desktop version of the program ships we’ll be able to focus on getting the MyBible update done. It just won’t be immediate.

    The PocketBible for Pocket PC update may not be immediate either but it will likely be sooner because it is so much easier since much of the work is already done.

  12. Robert Mullen says:

    This is good news. I am a begrudging user of two other products but neither really suit my needs. I have also experimented with Accordance on OS X but can’t justify the cost yet. I will definitely be giving your software a try. I read your previous comment about OS X support and as a developer for both Windows and OS X platforms I understand the difficulties (understatement) quite well. I would like to raise my hand as another OS X user though just so you can get a feel for our presence. The platform is growing by leaps and bounds and while development tools have not caught up I find the OS itself to be superior and gaining interest in all circles via the halo effect of the iPhone and iPod. Keep up the good work!

  13. Mac users will eventually be able to subscribe to our iPocketBible program and run it from their Mac via Safari.

  14. David Silva says:

    Looks awesome! I am waiting with baited breath. Please incorporate (to the extent possible) an enhanced “Memorize!” feature.

    I am willing to pay for these features as long as they are superior to the free bible software on the market.

    I hope that you work hard on eliminating the bugs (such as exiting out of the program when using multiple books or accessing “Memorize!”). I hate doing a bunch of notes, highlights and add ins only to have the application exit and lose all my work (it happens too frequently).

  15. john adu says:

    thanks on your imformation .

  16. David:

    I’ve never heard of PocketBible exiting unexpectedly when using multiple books or when accessing Memorize. Since PocketBible makes all updates to the its database immediately and not when you exit the program, even if the program did crash your notes, bookmarks, and highlights will be safe.

    You should contact tech support if you’re having problems with PocketBible so we can be aware of them and help you fix them. Like I said, this appears to be unique to you so it may be hardware related.

  17. Andrew Kavcsak says:

    I think this is some of the most exciting news I have heard coming from Laridian, since I began using this software on my PDA about 3 or 4 years ago. I have many Bible translations, commentaries, and Bible dictionaries loaded on my PDA. I have never used a Windows Desktop Bible software like what is being described above. This will benefit me greatly as it will make it much easier for me to look up various translations of a particular scripture or link to a commentary, etc. while I am talking to someone in my church on the telephone. Plus, having the ability to print some of the text to use when I am teaching a class or whatever will be absolutely awesome. Count me in as very, very interested and I can hardly wait for it to be released!!!!

  18. Wayne Smith says:

    I really enjoy my Pocket Bible, I use it everyday and I have used it for years. Thanks for providing such a great set of products, as well as updates and new products on a regular basis. Any idea what the costs will be for the PocketBible for Windows? Thanks and keep up the good work!!

  19. Ed Norwood says:

    This is a tremendous step. As a workplace ministry, we would love to see this incorporate a mentoring tool to email and inspire co-workers and peers with the Word of God.

    We definitely want to become an affiliate to help get this into the hands of leaders!

    Thanks for all you do in the Kingdom of God.

  20. Mok Ying Jia says:

    Great!

    The size of latest PDAs is getting smaller, which means screens are also getting smaller. Reading the cross-reference on the PocketBible is becoming too challenging…

    With the PC verion, ‘readability’ will be the greatest improvement.

    Looking forward to use it!

    Mok

  21. David Bostick says:

    I can’t tell you how much of a help this will be to a preacher on the move. From coffee shop to home to office, even on a retreat using another computer I will be able to have my Bible and all my notes right there on my usb drive. I thought QuickVerse was the best Bible program ever produced while Parsons had it. I wondered were the great programmers of that software went. Parsons also had the greatest tax program. Thanks for all the work and for the reasonably priced Bible programs.

  22. Brent Hudson says:

    I’m very pleased about this move to the desktop. This will allow me to utilize my notes is a much easier manner. While I read on my PDA and make short notes, the bulk of my study and preparation will always be on my desktop/laptop system. So thanks for this.

    For those of us who have purchased the Book Builder program, will we still be able to use this for compiling books for the desktop as well as for our PDAs?

  23. BookBuilder for PocketBible will build books that are compatible with PocketBible for Windows. It uses exactly the same files. Good question! Thanks for asking.

  24. Richard Thorgeirson says:

    This is fantastic. I have been waiting for you to do a Desktop version for years.
    Looks like I can finally get rid of e-Sword. Looking at your screen layout, you are the only company that may have a better front end.
    God Bless, and keep up the great work!
    – Richard.

  25. Richard Gliddon says:

    Hi Craig,
    I never realised you were one of the originals developing Quickverse. I used to use it all the time, before we got lost in the never-never of updates & Windows upgrades. I have always been interested in software bibles. In fact, back in the CPM days, I had a Kaypro ‘portable’. About 3o” deep, 18″ wide & 10″ high, & I had the “Word Processor”, which I bought from the States, written by two guys from Texas, I think. It was the first bible on 5 & 1/4″ disks…about 20 of them. I was so stoked to have the Word of God on a computer.So Pocket Bible has come a long way. I am so thrilled with the new desk top idea & pray that the Lord will bless you & the crew in your work.

    Regards,
    Richard Gliddon
    Australia.

  26. Richard,

    I think you’re the second person I’ve talked to in 20 years of doing this who owned a copy of The Word Processor from Bible Research Systems. They’ve been plugging away at this business for a long time but you just never meet anyone who owns their product.

    I wrote the original QuickVerse program from home and brought it to Parsons Technology in 1988. In 1989 I hired Jeff Wheeler and he did most of the programming on QuickVerse 2-4. Jeff, Jim VanDuzer, and I started Laridian in 1998.

  27. Mark knight says:

    Wow, i can’t wait to get to use this software. I’ve been using the Pocket PC version for a long time now and find it so helpful. To be able to use my software on my desktop PC will save me from using Pocket PC Controller and being limited by its restraints.

    BRING IT ON

  28. Carlos Santiago says:

    Congratulations for such a move. This is a very important and usefull addition for the Laridian user comunity.
    Blessings

  29. Ron Staley says:

    Even though I have two comprehensive desktop Bible programs, PocketBible is my number one Bible study tool. My heart leaped when I got the e-mail that I will be able to have all this on my desktop. I’ve been pasting my PocketBible notes into my “other” desktop Bible software. Being able to sync them will save so much time. I hope the desktop version will be easier to use than my current desktop software. By the sound of the description, it will. I’ll be eagerly checking my e-mail for the release date.

  30. charles howarde says:

    that’s great. inform me when the product is available by email.

  31. HT says:

    Yes! Being able to sync PocketBible to its PC equivalent is the next best logical move. Prior to this, I’ve been considering to buy a couple more books from Laridian, but have held back simply because I do much of my Bible reading/study on my laptop using another Bible software. This news certainly helped me made up my mind. You can definitely expect much increase in sales. Can we expect it by Christmas?

  32. The day that PocketBible for Windows ships will be Christmas, whenever it falls on the calendar.

    You’ll see it long before December 25.

  33. Jeff Krueger says:

    Thank God for the desktop version. Looks great.
    Thank God for the iphone – Maybe now that people see what a real smartphone should look like, maybe other smartphones will go back to the original Pocket PC formate.

  34. Brian says:

    Hi Craig,
    This sounds great. I’ve been using QuickVerse for decades (it seems) and still have it running on my laptop. Is there anywhere that we will be able to import our STEP books? I have a bunch from the QV days. Since STEP is/was a standard (that you defined, if I recall) I would think it is open for you to get access to. Maybe not with your first version, but it would be nice to see a STEP converter or something.

    Thanks a lot.

  35. I’m reminded of the scene in Field of Dreams where Ray goes to Boston to find Terrance Mann. When Mann hears Ray’s story he exclaims, “You’re from the past!” and chases him out with a bug sprayer.

    It’s unlikely we’ll do a STEP converter. The problem is that STEP is based on RTF and PocketBible is based on HTML. We’d have to add RTF support if only to convert (not necessarily display) STEP books. We’ve actually looked at building a program that turns STEP books back into Word documents but it’s very difficult to do after they’ve been converted to the binary format you get them in.

    So the way to look at it is this: You’ve gotten a good ten years’ use out of those books. They’re starting to get frayed and worn and it’s time to invest in another copy. :-)

    If you want to encourage someone to support STEP, you might want to talk to Findex (the current owners of QuickVerse). I’m sure the programmers they use in Russia for QV development could whip up a STEP reader for them. :-)

  36. Steve Palmgren says:

    Craig,

    Warm Greetings!

    I was really excited to hear that you were making the PocketBible available on the PC. But the main reason that I purchased it on my Pocket PC because of the word-level highlighting and the links in the notes. Those that I study with have likewise been extremely excited about these very things. We all said “Finally someone has done this combination of things on a Pocket PC!!!” We have been using the word-level highlighting on our PC software for years. And would not live without it even if the notes transferred – which is something else that we have wanted for years. It is hard to see the almost “perfect” (if not PERFECT) program be reduced to something that we would not buy. In this day and age, I am sure that many others have found it indispensable ON THE PC too — i.e. not 2 steps down without it but 100 steps down.

    Is there any way to standardize on the word-highlighting and have the verse-highlighting be the exception. It seems like with the power of the PC it could detect and adjust for the difference (depending on what is synced with it) OR maybe not even transfer the highlighting to and from a verse-highlighting device anyway. After all, how useful is verse-level highlighting anyway?

    Steve

  37. We’ve been re-thinking our position on this issue. I think it would be correct to say at this point we will make verse-level highlights the default behavior (to facilitate synchronizing between all platforms) but will continue to support word-level highlighting. You might even see us synchronize word highlights between platforms that support that feature.

    The way this has all worked out is that both the Pocket PC and Windows desktop programs support BOTH word and verse highlights. You can do word highlighting on either platform and for now they won’t synchronize. But if you get an iPhone your verse highlights will synchronize without hurting your word highlights.

    I think you’ll just have to be patient with us on this one.

    Let me just add this: When we first invented this synchronization technology we went to several Bible software vendors with the idea of sync’ing their user-created data with our product in order to give them a mobile solution for their customers without them having to re-invent the wheel. We got positive responses from more than one, but as we tried to work out the details we realized that there were huge differences that just couldn’t be overcome.

    For example, one program used “style sheets” that were user configurable, then tagged their notes using those styles. In order to sync with that product we’d have to convert the styles to HTML character styles. But that would allow the user to manually change the style of, say, a link to a Bible verse in one case but not in other links to Bible verses. When we sync’ed back to the desktop it would be impossible to know what was really intended — do they want to change the styles on all links or just this one? And how do we handle that since the desktop program doesn’t support it?

    So we learned that while our technology is uber-cool, the idea of cross-vendor synchronization is just too hard to implement. Interestingly, some of the same arguments apply to simple cross-platform synchronization. So for example, the iPhone can’t handle word highlights. Even if you tried to convert word-level highlights to verse-level highlights for display on the iPhone, then you have to figure out what it means when someone changes the color of the highlight on a verse or deletes the highlight on the verse. Did they intend to change or delete all highlights in that verse or just the highlights that were that color?

    So this is why I say you may need to be patient. We need to figure out a way to do this very complex thing in a way that is meaningful and appropriate regardless of platform. I’m thinking now that since we’ve completely disconnected word- and verse-highlights we should be able to support word highlights where possible and verse highlights where it’s not possible.

    In the meantime we have plenty of other work to do. So to summarize, we’ve heard your concerns and feel your pain. We’re on your side and are moving in the right direction. We just can’t commit to what the end result will be yet. I can say that the desktop program will default to verse-level highlighting and that we’ll provide a way to convert word highlights to verse highlights on the Pocket PC if you want to keep them in sync.

  38. Wayne Bird says:

    Steve Palmgren,

    Thanks for putting in your two cents concerning the word/verse highlighting issue. I agree with you completely. Craig needs to hear from many others like us who find this feature valuable. Currently as it stands, we’ll get the word highlighting but it won’t sync. I’m thankful for the continual ability to word highlight, but I don’t quite understand not having the ability to sync those word highlights. I also agree with you concerning the usefulness of verse highlighting–what use is it? Maybe someone can shed light on the benefits of only verse highlighting. Even with word highlighting you have the ability to highlight the entire verse.

  39. No Craig doesn’t need to hear from others on the word highlight issue. :-) We’re moving in the direction you want us to go. We’ve been able to work around many of the word-highlighting issues I mentioned in my earlier comment.

    So just be patient and wait for us to have time to implement this. In the meantime everything else will be synchronized between the desktop and Pocket PC. (Alternately you can merely copy the database from one device to the other, as the format is identical on both platforms.)

    As far as the usefulness of verse highlights, ask the Rainbow Study Bible people. For years they’ve been publishing an entire highlighted Bible using verse-level highlights.

    (EDIT: I stand corrected. The Rainbow Study Bible doesn’t always color the whole verse in the same color. Back when we published the RSB for QuickVerse when we were at Parsons Technology they provided us a version that used only full-verse highlighting. That may have been a special edition or it may have been what it looked like at the time.)

  40. Aaron Evans says:

    Craig, I’m a full-time minister and a seminary student. I love PocketBible, and I’m totally stoked about the desktop release! Now there’s only one thing PocketBible’s still missing — a Hebrew/Greek text. I know there might not be a huge market for it, but it would be invaluable for a lot of language students and pastors. There are several free Biblical Hebrew and Greek fonts available (see teknia.com) so I’m sure it can be done, and I would be glad to help in any way I can. Thanks!

  41. Rob says:

    My first thought is it looks old. Too many dividers and sliders and tabs to look nice. Also, why the fixed width tabs when they should scale to the width of the text.

  42. Rob,

    Thanks for your thoughts. One of the problems with posting a screen shot is that it’s just that: A picture of my PocketBible layout at one point in time. There’s no indication of how the program works or what it can do.

    For example, if all the dividers and sliders make the program look complicated then just open one Bible at a time. There’s no need to have commentaries and dictionaries open until and unless you need them. That’s fine with us. I like having ready access to the resources I use the most. But everyone is different.

    As far as it looking “old” that’s difficult to define. I’m composing this reply using the latest version of Firefox — one of the more popular alternatives to Internet Explorer. It has a title bar across the top, a menu under that, then a toolbar, then another toolbar, then a tabbed window for all my browser sessions. Below that is a status bar. Other than that bookmark bar, it looks exactly like PocketBible for Windows, including those fixed-width tabs you don’t like. They put their tabs at the top; we put ours at the bottom. They have a sidebar for bookmarks and history; we have a sidebar for bookmarks, notes, search results, and highlights.

    I know I’m just picking one example, but I’m trying to make the point that “old” and “new” when it comes to user interfaces is tough to define. Furthermore, some of the “new” UI concepts being pushed by Microsoft are of questionable value.

    We could have spent a lot of time making PocketBible skinnable and making the windows be round instead of square and use some kind of fancy new kind of controls for scrolling text, but we decided to focus our energy on functionality. The UI does a lot of work for you so that you don’t spend most of your time tinkering with resizing and stacking windows and instead can get right to the task at hand. The program launches in a couple of seconds instead of tens of seconds or multiple minutes that you’ll find in other Bible software. Those are the things we thought were important.

    I hope you’ll decide to give PocketBible for Windows a try. We’re pretty old-fashioned when it comes to making people happy: If you don’t like it, ask for a refund.

  43. Thomas Cison says:

    Will you consider making the application U3 compliant? That would be very convenient for those that don’t have laptops at work, but would like to have their notes with them wherever.

  44. Maybe you didn’t read the article carefully. PocketBible leaves nothing on your PC when run from a USB drive. You can configure it to save its data files to My Documents, but to run from a flash drive you change that option so it saves data files in the working directory, which is the USB drive.

    PocketBible doesn’t need to be U3 compliant because there’s nothing to delete when the USB stick is ejected. U3 is for apps that don’t know they’re running from a USB stick and don’t know how NOT to leave tracks on the machine. PocketBible doesn’t need special U3-compliant media because it was designed to run this way.

    The other thing a U3 drive does for you is present a launcher when you insert the USB device. When you purchase PocketBible from us on a USB drive, we put an autorun file on the device that gives you the option to launch the program. Otherwise you can just open the folder with File Explorer and run the executable.

  45. Jeff Brain says:

    I could use some help please:

    1. I purchased PocketBible for Windows when it first came out but haven’t seen the sync update that was to come out “almost immediately”. Did I miss that – what is the status of the updates allowing for full syncronization?

    2. I noticed that with the desk-top version, when I highlight, the entire verse is highlighted, instead of just the word or phrase that I want hightlighted – which is how it works on my hand-held. In fact, not only the verse, but if it is verse 1, also the heading before the verse and the chapter listing. I understood the features would be the same but at least with this, you cannot seem to highlight a single word or phrase, it always defaults to highlighting the whole verse. ????

    Any help on these questions would be appreciated! Thanks!

  46. Jeff Brain says:

    Craig,

    Pardon my previous question about word versus verse highlighting – I now see it was asked and answered in previous blogs that I am now just reading.

    ANother question, when I logged in and saw an update for PocketBible for Windows, I ran it – but how do I know what that update provides? WHere would I learn about what the update that is available actually does?

    – Jeff

  47. Hi Jeff,

    The part that was to come out “almost immediately” was the Pocket PC update to allow it to synchronize. If you’re keeping up with Pocket PC updates, you already have that update.

    The part that takes longer is the sync provider for Pocket PC. In my most-recent blog article I give an update on the progress of that software. We made changes to the daily reading part of the program which resulted in some extra time required to finish the sync provider. It is starting beta next week (the week of November 26).

    Highlighting in the desktop version is by verse, not by word. This has been discussed in several postings here including this comment (above), and and this one (also above). We’re not sure we can support synchronization of word-level highlights but that is our eventual goal. For now you have verse-level highlights on the desktop.

    The revision history for all our products is on a “revision history” page that is accessed from the Help Desk menu on our Web site. You should also go to http://lists.laridian.com and subscribe to all the lists fro products you own. These are announcement-only lists that are only used for product updates. They aren’t used for marketing and they don’t allow members to post so the number of messages is relatively small.

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