Laridian’s Jim VanDuzer: First Responder

So we’re at Jim’s place in Pennsylvania this week, having our annual board of directors meeting and doing a little skiing at Blue Mountain. Jim’s on ski patrol there, which requires that he receive training as an Emergency Medical Service: First Responder. We’re on our way to the local Panera Bread to drink some coffee, tap their WiFi, and have our second session of meetings.

As we’re approaching the mall we come across a very fresh accident. The driver of a mini SUV has apparently run a red light and been clipped by a semi, causing the SUV to spin and the driver’s head to break out the driver’s-side window. Jim pulls over, grabs his med kit and heads to the scene to offer assistance. There he finds that the driver is covered with broken glass and is bleeding from a cut on her ear. Pictures after the break…

Jim (in the red cap, bending over) gloves up and begins to assess the situation.

From left to right, the semi-truck driver tells his story to cop #1 (Pee Wee Herman); cop #2 talks to witness (obscured); Jim briefs the first EMT (wiping nose on sterile glove).

Second ambulance arrives.

Third ambulance arrives.

Jim briefs paramedics from the second and third ambulances.

Pee Wee Herman briefs cop #3.

Finally at Panera Bread, Jeff regales Jim with his ideas for Laridian in 2009.

Craig and the other Jim listen as Jeff continues rambling on.

39 Replies to “Laridian’s Jim VanDuzer: First Responder”

  1. TECHNOLOGY GUIDE: Probably should identify the devices on the table. In front of me is my MacBook. I like traveling with the MacBook because it boots up faster than my Windows laptop (which is in the bag on my right, along with my iPhone). Jim Coates (on my left) has his iPhone. Jeff is also carrying a MacBook and iPhone on this trip (he and I have been working on iPhone code while we’re on the road this week). Jim has brought along his iPod Touch and perhaps the most esoteric device at the table, an Everun Raon UMPC running Windows XP. It has a touch screen and a BlueTooth keyboard. We considered offering these for sale on our site with PocketBible for Windows pre-installed but couldn’t make the pricing work out. But we ended up with a couple evaluation units and Jim often uses his when he goes mobile.

    Preferred beverages: Jim V: Black coffee; Craig: Cafe Mocha; Jeff: Peach soda; Jim C: Mountain Dew.

  2. Three ambulances for two people? Something similar happened to a coworker of mine… He called for an ambulance, and two were sent. Then they had the nerve to try and charge him for both! (Everything ended up OK, btw.)

  3. One of the first things I noticed when I saw those last pictures was the MacBook (being a Mac user myself). Now that you’ve identified the plethora of Apple gadgets roaming around, I’m hoping that we may see a Mac version sometime in the future….. (I know you don’t comment on projects in development or planning, so I’m not expecting you to say so). It would just be really nice to have a Mac version so that I can finally get rid of Parallels. I might as well be running a Windows machine with that thing running. Keep up the great work, though!!!

  4. Lawson,

    There was only one injured person. The driver had gotten out of the car then sat down in the back seat and was in that seat when we arrived.

    The first ambulance was transporting a patient and stopped to see if they could help. Then the police showed up — a pair of officers on their way to court and therefore not in uniform. The second two ambulances were on their way somewhere else when they happened upon the scene. Several minutes after these four emergency vehicles coincidentally showed up (five if you count us), a second cop car arrived, responding to the 911 call. πŸ™‚

    Dale, no comment on the Macs other than to say once OS X is as mature as Windows maybe it will come close to matching it in usability. I like the fact that my MacBook boots up in 30 seconds or less. And since it’s quite a bit newer than my laptop (2.4 GHz dual-core processors compared to 900 MHz in my 7-8 year old Windows laptop) it’s very nice to use. However, it’s still saddled with OS X so simple things like a delete key and page-up/page-down are beyond its level of understanding. And Safari completely misses the mark with its so-called tabbed browsing.

  5. So I’m thinking. . .How could they be skiing when we still don’t have our native iPhone Bible ? Then I read the part about writing iPhone code. . . just had to cover your bases there. Ya right. And then dis-ing the Apple community !!! How much more can I take? I’m thinking again. . . (probably too much by now). How can they sleep nights till this iPhone thing is done? Then I realize THEY all HAVE working copies of the native version so they can take their time, so I’m thinking again. . . . . John

  6. Didn’t dis the Apple community, just one Apple product.

    My copy of the native version doesn’t work right now. That’s why I’m still coding.

    On the other hand, I carry PocketBible for Windows Mobile to church and use it as my primary Bible. It has a clipboard and I can buy software from more than one vendor. πŸ™‚

    Seriously though, one of the things to realize is that writing code is only a part of what we do. We still have a company to run (actually, three companies). We find it’s extremely valuable to take a few hours every few months to step back and talk about what we’re doing. It helps us make sure we’re headed in the right direction. Some very good things came out of our meetings this week, and despite somewhat slushy snow and yours truly catching an edge and planting his face in the snow in the terrain park, we’re better off today than we were on Monday. πŸ™‚

  7. Do you have any intention to provide a kindle version of your product? I’d like to buy a Kindle from It surely would be nice if you would publish a kindle version of your stuff as well as a Windows version.

    you should have a “contact us” section on your home page so I wouldn’t have had to go through this much trouble to contact you.

  8. Harvey,

    We have contact information listed under “About Laridian”, “Help Desk”, “News”, and a lot of other places on the site.

    The Kindle does not support ANY third-party applications.

    We have a Windows version. It’s described by clicking on the “Windows Desktop” link on our main landing page at

  9. @JimV.-You drink your coffee black too? It’s genetic I guess, oh the things you learn.
    AND, my new boss looks just like PeeWee Herman too, that cracked me up. One of these days I’m gonna slip and call him that to his face.
    AND, oh I love the ongoing Apple vs Microsoft discussions. Once I went Mac, I’ll never go back.
    AND, since you guys are such computer geniuses, one of you must be able to write the code for an iPhone App that would allow us to send pictures in text messages. There’s your million dollar idea, you’re welcome, I want a cut. πŸ™‚

  10. @Craig Rairdin “However, it’s still saddled with OS X so simple things like a delete key and page-up/page-down are beyond its level of understanding.”

    Um, on your Macbook hitting Fn-delete does the “Del” key. You can also press Fn-up for Page up and Fn-down for Page down.
    Perhaps it is just beyond your understanding ;).

  11. Oh, I agree there are lots of things about the Mac that are beyond my understanding. Like why you have to wait for someone to stumble on a random blog comment to learn how to delete a character, and why the key labeled “Delete” doesn’t delete the character you’re sitting on but rather the one you just typed. (If you think that seems natural, then what do you call the key that deletes the current character? “Backspace” and “Delete” — for deleting the previous and current characters, respectively, make intuitive sense. “Delete” and “Function-Delete” for deleting the previous and current characters do not.)

    And I don’t understand why Function-Down scrolls the screen but doesn’t move the cursor. And why as I type and reach the bottom of the screen the text suddenly jumps up so now I’m typing in the middle of the screen, causing me to lose my place. And why there’s not a key to move between open windows of the current application — why I have to use a separate application to figure out where all the windows are that belong to my app, because they’ve been covered by other windows. And why Safari doesn’t give me the option to always open links in a new tab instead of in a new windows. And why settings dialogs don’t give me a positive way to affirm that I want to apply my new settings — instead I just close the dialog — or a way to revert to my original settings before I accidentally changed something. And why a two-finger scroll on my MacBook moves the text in the opposite direction of the motion of my fingers, while the same scroll on my iPhone moves the text with my fingers.

    These things are all beyond my understanding. Perhaps my brain has been addled by Windows, where backspace moves you back a space, delete deletes, page-down scrolls the text (and the cursor) down a page, page-up moves the text (and the cursor) up a page, I just type away on the last line and text scrolls up when I reach the bottom of the screen, I can see all the open windows of my application because they’re all contained in the application’s window, my browser never opens a new instance of itself — just new tabs, “Apply” applies changes and “Cancel” cancels them, and text always moves in the direction you expect — whether you’re using Windows or Windows Mobile. Yes, the excessive weirdness, counter-intuitiveness, mislabeled keys, and programmer oversights in Windows have rendered me unable to understand the simple “computer for the rest of us”. πŸ˜‰

    [[Now, just to make it clear for those of you who are going to come unglued, I love my MacBook and I love our customers and all of the above is in good fun. Note that I didn’t say anything mean, like make fun of Isaiah for putting an at-sign in front of my name because he thinks it’s cool to know about Twitter. I didn’t call anyone any names. Yes, I used sarcasm to make my point, and yes, I know some of you think that’s unbiblical (mostly those of you who haven’t really read the Bible). We’re just having fun here. So be cool. Thank you. πŸ™‚ ]]

  12. haha, its all in good fun. I’m just trying to be helpful. Here’s some more information for you:

    Command-~ (tilde) moves between open windows of an application, or you can use Expose: Application Windows – you may have to assign a shortcut for it in Apple: System Preferences: Expose and Spaces: Expose: Application Windows

    Command-tab moves between applications.

    For the delete and backspace debacle, Apple considers the Fn-Delete to be a Forward Delete. This is in the Macbook manual, which is where I found the Fn-Delete information first.

  13. Craig,

    Moving the cursor does vary a bit between programs. In Word, function down arrow or up arrow does move the cursor. In TextEdit and Pages it just moves the scroll bar. However, in both TextEdit and Pages, Command Up or Down Arrow does indeed move the cursor as well.

    As far as finding all the Windows in your app there are a number of ways to do this. Almost every Mac App has a “Bring All to Front” menu item on the Window menu. You can add a keyboard shortcut to this in System Preferences if you would like to do so. What I’ve found is that whether or not all the windows of an app come to the front depends on how you switch into the app. If you are not in the app and just click on one of its windows, only that window comes to the front… this is designed this way so that you can more easily drag and drop things between windows of two separate apps or use the window of one app as a reference while working in the window of another app. However, if you switch to an app by clicking on it’s dock icon or by command tabbing to it then all of it’s windows come to the front. So, if I want windows from two separate apps side by side I can do that easily or if I want to see all of the windows of the current app up front I just command tab out of it and command tab right back into it. Finally, the other way is to use Expose.

    The reason the window position jumps to the middle of the page once you reach the end of the screen is probably just to give you a sense of more space to work and to move your gaze to what is usually a more comfortable position (mid screen rather than bottom of screen) but I can see how that could bother you if you are used to the other way.

    By default Safari always opens a link in the current window and opens links that the site has programmed for a new window in a new window. However, be sure to visit the “Tabs” section of Safari’s preferences. If you are using the trackpad you can have “Command click” open the link in a new tab. If you are using a mouse you can program any button to be a “command click”… for instance I have my mouse set so that when I click the scroll wheel button it opens the link in a new tab. Finally, you can always right click on a link and choose whether you want it in a new tab, new window or other options.

    With a little help you can even program your multi-touch trackpad to switch between windows so you don’t even have to hit command tilde if you don’t want to… just swipe three fingers whichever direction you decide. Just Google MultiClutch.

    What else is bugging you? We have lots of good answers!

  14. There are two issues here. One is “what are the six Mac keys I have ot press to do the things that take one key press in Windows” and the second is “when are we going to recognize that the Mac emperor has no clothes?”

    I know I can configure any key to do anything in any app on my Mac, but the bigger question is, why have I NEVER wanted to do that on Windows? And yes, I know Expose and Spaces let me organize my windows on the Mac, but why haven’t those apps even been imagined for Windows?

    I know the answers to those questions. Windows is a more mature operating system. It simply works better. Of course Windows apps don’t suddenly move the text up half a page while you’re typing. Of course Windows apps provide a simple way to get to the beginning and end of each line. Of course next-word, next-word, previous-word, previous-word takes you back to where you started in a Windows app. There’s your toolbox window, there’s your navigation pane, there’s your document — it’s Windows; they’re right there.

    What I really want to hear is one Mac user admit that, while the Mac is cool, it’s not very refined. What’s the saying? “Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining?” Sure I can command-click to open a link in a new tab, but that’s avoiding the issue. I can’t tell by looking at the link that it’s going to open in a new window. It’s only after I open the new window that I realize I should’ve command-clicked. And yes, I know I can select “merge windows” from the Safari menu (where is it? Oh yeah, way over there on my other monitor, nowhere near the windows it controls). But again, why is there no such command in Firefox for Windows? Because Firefox solves the problem for me instead of giving me a way to plaster over it.

    However, despite all this, I appreciate all the suggestions and pointers to all the third-party plaster. I just one time want to see that chubby little PC guy come out and kick the snot out of that skinny Mac guy while yelling, “Of course I want to access the same iTunes library from all of my PCs and iPods! Yes, I want apps to close when I close their last document window! I don’t care if you think that file is a Unix executable, I want to open it in TextEdit!”

  15. What are the keys on the PC for next word, next word and front of line, end of line… are their separate keys for those? On the Mac word to word is option left or right arrow… for the line it is command left or right arrow… I don’t think it’s much harder… it’s just different.

    I’ll be glad to admit the Mac is not as refined in some places if you’ll admit that the PC is not as refined in other places. The PC cut it’s teeth on word processing so the manufacturer’s still put labels on their laptop keys for page up, page down, etc. Apple has all those keys, they just don’t put labels on them because so few Mac users care about them… the typical Mac user didn’t grow up trying to get as much text as possible edited as quickly as possible… notice that there is not even a fake numeric keypad on the Mac laptops anymore… Apple figured out that it’s users were more annoyed by having the num lock be accidentally turned on and not knowing why their keyboard wouldn’t work than they cared about a poor excuse for a numeric keypad.

    So, Windows is may be more refined for text editing but the Mac is far more refined for handling things like PDFs (built in creation and viewing), photos, editing movies, etc.

    Finally, Firefox is NOT windows. Firefox on the Mac works the same way as it does on the PC. If you want you new windows to open in a new tab, use Firefox… just like you do on a PC!

  16. Ctrl+Left and Ctrl+Right for previous and next word, respectively. In Windows apps, they always take to the beginning of the previous or beginning of the next word. On the Mac, command-left goes to the beginning of the previous word and command-right goes to the end of the next word. They’re not analogous. As a result, if you do previous followed by next you don’t end up where you started.

    Home and End take you to the beginning and end of the line. There are keys for that. Those keys on my Mac take me to the beginning and end of the document. I can imagine I might want to go to the top or bottom of a document, but if you’re going to use a single key for something, make it be something that is frequently used. So use the two-key combinations to go to the top/bottom of the document and the single keys to do start/end of line.

    I’m not buying your word processing history on the PC. You would’ve never heard of the Mac if not for desktop publishing, which is all about typing text. The early killer app for the PC was Lotus 1-2-3, hence the separate (and very convenient) numeric keys on PC keyboards and the lack thereof on the Mac.

    Microsoft released numbers recently showing that 77% of U.S. Mac users use Microsoft Office. Even if no other Mac users use any office applications, that’s a lot of word processing going on using Macs.

    My experience is with doing development on both platforms. That’s all about typing text, hence my sensitivity to that particular element of the overall experience with the platform.

    I agree with you regarding the fake numeric keypads on laptops. It’s a bad solution; they shouldn’t even try it.

    Forget Firefox, let’s talk about IE so we can stay with Microsoft vs. Apple. I can configure IE to open new tabs instead of new windows. I can’t do that in Safari.

    I’m not a big home video editor (though my 16-year-old runs Vegas on his PC and edits real movies) but I’ve used both iMovie and Windows Movie Maker and Movie Maker wins hands down. There’s way more flexibility. Sure, there are probably some good high-end products for the Mac but for what the average person does every day we’re just talking about the software that’s bundled with the machine.

    I’ll have to go download Firefox for browsing on my Mac. It will be interesting to see how the speed compares. I do most of my Web browsing these days on the Mac because it’s faster (my Mac Pro has dual quad-core processors and 8GB RAM).

  17. >Forget Firefox, let’s talk about IE so we can stay with Microsoft vs. Apple. I can configure IE to open new tabs instead of new windows. I can’t do that in Safari.

    Do you mean opening in new tabs when you click on a link in an application? In Safari 3, it’s in General Settings at the bottom.

    That said, Firefox is much better than Safari on the Mac. My favorite Add-Ons are Adblock Plus (Ad blocker, duh) and Speed Dial (Caches images of sites you frequent so they’re displayed in a tile format on new blank tabs.)

  18. No I mean clicking a link that would normally open a new window. In Firefox and IE I can specify I want those links to open in a new tab instead. Keeps everything in one tabbed window, which is the very purpose of tabbed browsing in the first place.

    With Safari, clicking such a link always opens a new window unless you suspect in advance it’s going to open a new window and you command-click instead of just clicking.

  19. Trying to figure out why, though I keep getting emails letting me know I am on the ‘iphone mailing list’ I have never received anything from it – instead I come here looking for news.

    I keep checking my junkmail/deleted mail – nothing. Any ideas?

  20. Chances are good you’re on the wrong list. The iPhoneList is for and is related to our Web-based product. The only posting to that list recently has been one a couple months ago in which I explained that news about PocketBible for iPhone (our native app) is being posted to PocketBibleiPhone list.

    Which brings us to the right list, which is PocketBibleiPhone. You should verify that you’re signed up for PocketBibleiPhone. is the lists page.

  21. Thanks Craig – that was it! Now will be checking email in-box waiting anxiously for announcement of Laridian PocketBible for iPhone.

  22. Craig,
    Thanks for all you guys do – been using the products you’ve produced way back to Quickverse when it used to ship on all those 5.25 floppies! Still holding out for the ESV study bible notes – hopefully soon… πŸ™‚

    Keep up the good work.

  23. I am a member of the Episcopal Church. I have often thought that there is a need (market) for two palm-based tools which might mesh well with your current products.
    Firstly, a simple calendar-based reference tool for the Revised Common Lectionary which gives scripture readings based on a three year calendar. I find using the printed one in our Prayer book to be a pain. An add-on to my bible could list the readings for a given day and jump to the readings with a tap.
    Secondly, our Prayer book itself. I think you could sell it as an add-on book and I don’t think the royalties would be much if anything.

    Lastly, most Episcopal congregations seem to use the New RSV. I haven’t seen this translation for MyBible but I would buy it in a wink so I could remain in my Laridian world while using the same translation as my paper-bound brethren.

  24. Is there a chance that there will be an audible version of the Bible (preferably – NKJV & NLT) available for the Pocket PC in the near future?

  25. While you are thinking about ideas for Laridian, how about puting out a nice piece of hardware like a Sony Ebook. I am sure that there are many like myself who would like to carry my Laridian library in a pocketbook sized unit with a leather cover, particularly when preaching. A cell phone or PDA just doesn’t carry the same visual authority as a “real” Bible with a black leather cover; at least not in the eyes of many of our congregations who are still in the Gutenburg frame of mind. As Marshall McLuhan noted “The medium is the message.”

    David Chesney

  26. I would like to see a hyper-linked journal for recording notes in PocketBible. I would like to be able to link to references in reference material discovered during study, and to link to verses in multiple versions of the Bible. Thus the toplevel document that would be open would be the journal entry. The journal entry would serve as the overall organizational structure that points to the different references.

    I would also like to see the HTML parser in the Notes editor on PocketBible understand multi-level numbered and bulleted lists.

    Roger Benson

  27. Roger,

    One of the benefits of having moderated comments on our blog is I get an email that notifies me each time a new comment comes in. That’s good in this case since the comment is on an article about Jim VanDuzer’s EMT training and I wouldn’t have thought to look here for product suggestions.

    With regard to your last sentence about the HTML parser in the notes editor handling multi-level numbered and bulleted lists, it already does this. I wrote this blog article about creating outlines using HTML. You might want to check it out. Also check out your HTML reference book for information on changing the bullets on bulleted lists. That works in PocketBible.

    Thanks for your suggestion about the journal.


  28. Hi to All,
    I have been using the Laridian software for a number of years now with my iPAQ. My familily just switch this week to an iPHONE and was please that you have iPHONE support. I planned to call this week to see if there was pricing for migrating my current licenses to the iPHONE but see that is it is a Web app. His means that I can not use it unless I am in a place that has internet access? Will there be a native capability or are all iPHONE apps web apps? I am new to the Apple world. I definitly do not want to carry both my iPAK and iPhone. But the network connection seem to be a short coming. Blessing to you all,


  29. Hi Craig,

    Thank you very much, I did not see the comment & statement on the other blog that addressed my question. You all do great work and I regret that for some there is a significant work remaining for the Holy Sprit in the area of basic civility. I use your software daily with my family in our evening study. Keep up the good work.



  30. 13 years later and despite all the Mac-bashing I did in this thread, today Laridian is a 100% Mac shop. We’re developing our new Windows version entirely on Macs. The first time we’ll see it run under Windows is when our users do. πŸ™‚

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