- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Three years after I first reported on plans by Logos Research Systems of Bellingham, Wash., to move their popular Logos Bible Software to the Macintosh platform, the firm is on the verge of moving to market with a working product.

It took longer than expected for Logos to get to this point. In 2005, when the firm first announced its plan, they had hoped to have it ready by the end of that year. Developing software sometimes can hit snags and speed bumps, and while the company hasn’t disclosed all the issues, it would seem this project encountered more than its share.

That’s understandable: Logos Bible Software has been on the Microsoft Windows program for many years. Crossing the chasm to reach the Mac platform, even if the Mac OS now runs on the same Intel chips PCs use and even if the Mac OS has its base in Unix, has its own challenges.

The challenges seem to have been met. The thousands of volumes available for the Logos system — a market leader of programs that let users couple their Bible reading with libraries of reference materials on the Scriptures — are now directly accessible in a “native” Macintosh-based version of the program.

As mentioned three years ago, this move delivers some important things to Mac users. Most important is the ability to run the program directly, and to easily copy and paste text from one’s library of documents into a word-processing program such as Microsoft Word 2008 for Macintosh. It also opens up the wide array of Logos-based titles, many of which are not available in other Mac-based Bible programs.

The level of interest in having this content available should be pretty high. While a program called Accordance (www.accordancebible.com) has long dominated the Mac side of Bible software, I’ve found that program sometimes challenging, and also a bit pricey in terms of content. Logos’ advantage has long been that it offers bundles of reference works at a reasonable price, as well as “pre-publication” offers of various new titles at significant savings.

None of this would be worth anything if the software didn’t work. That even in this stage the software works as well as it does suggests that the final version, which I expect will be available at retail later this year, should be a stellar performer.

Here’s my take: Firing up the software reveals the traditional “splash” screen and short “theme music” for the program, both familiar to users of the Windows version. The home page offers program updates and a way to initiate a quick Bible search — again, the same as in Windows. You can also open up a separate search window or view the volumes in your digital “library” and select one of these. In each document window is a search bar for quick look-ups.

I was pleasantly surprised that all the Logos-based volumes I had used over the years in Windows now opened in Mac just as easily. There seems to be no hiccups in terms of displaying the content of a given reference work: It shows up on the Mac side the same way it would be viewed in Windows. If you have a Logos software license for Windows and want to try out the Mac version — presuming you have a Mac, of course — you can download the alpha version, and eventually the beta versions, from www.logos.com/mac. If digging into the Bible is of interest, Logos is now your tool of choice.

Read Mark Kellner’s Tech blog at http://video1.washington times.com/technology.

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