November 27, 2009

Typing Hebrew on MacOSX

Thanks to Chris Heard on Higgaion who has posted two videos on typing Hebrew on Mac OS X which are designed to:

introduce students to typing in Hebrew on a Macintosh.

November 17, 2009

Accordance to Pages Citation Paster Updated

I've added some options to the Accordance to Pages Citation Paster. All of these new options can be changed by opening the script and altering a property value. Version 0.9 includes:

  • Removal of trailing whitespace (carriage returns, spaces) from copied text
  • Return insertion point to the body text after inserting footnote
  • Can set script to manually fix the font name/size of the text pasted into the body
  • Can optionally choose to Paste and Match Style in Pages
It's available in the downloads section.

November 13, 2009

Accordance Bibliographic Citations in Pages

I am making publicly available my "Accordance to Pages Citation Paster" script.

You can download the latest version from The Macintosh Biblioblog's Downloads section.
Here is more information from the ReadMe file.

Accordance to Pages Citation Paster

version 0.7

The Accordance to Pages Citation Paster is created to work with the bibliographical citation function within Accordance Bible Software in Accordance 8.4 and up. Using that function, you can paste in copied text as well as a footnote in word processors such as Microsoft Word. However, a shortcoming of iWorks Pages does not permit footnotes to be pasted into a document. This script is a workaround for that shortcoming. In addition, the script can by default also include the task of Copy as Citation in Accordance before bringing Pages to the front and pasting in the citation, so you can do it all in one command.

The Accordance to Pages Citation Paster script:

-- Can optionally Copy as Citation from Accordance first if it is the frontmost app.

-- Can optionally insert an empty footnote if none detected in the citation.

To install: Leave 'Put bibliography details as footnote' UNchecked in Accordance preferences in order to copy a citation format this script can use.

It can be launched from the typical script locations. For information about launching the script in the system wide Script Menu run the Applescript Editor and check the help files.

If you want to assign a keyboard shortcut to run the script, you'll have to use a tool like

Quicksilver ( )

or FastScripts ( ). For a simple, system-wide key combo trigger I'd recommend FastScripts. The script can also be launched from utilities like Butler, LaunchBar, Automator, or even Services. (Do your own research on how to do so, please.)

If you open the script in the Finder, it will not run, it will open it up in Applescript Editor. There are a couple options you can tweak inside the editor. The beginning of the script includes this:

You can change copyCitationFromAccordance from true to false to prevent the script from doing the Copy as Citation within Accordance.

You can change insertEmptyFootnote from false to true to have the script insert an empty Footnote when pasting a citation that does not include one.

You can also change the script's speed to ensure stability or try and speed it up (by setting the n property to 0

Note: You didn't pay for this, so you get no implied warranties or guarantees for it. (If you do send me a donation, then you can demand any guarantee you like.)

Note: The author is not associated with OakTree software and the Accordance folks are not responsible for the support, use or content of this script.

Written by Joe Weaks, November 13, 2009

Available at The Macintosh Biblioblog

October 19, 2009

Imperialism and the Museums It Created

I'll never forget my first summer of travel, back-packing through Europe and the middle East. Everywhere I went and visited museums and ancient sites, many times over I stared at a plaque on a wall or a gap in an edifice in Egypt and Greece especially and thought to myself, "Hey, I saw this thing back in June at the British museum." What is the current status of right of return?

All Things Considered has a great story today on a new museum that has opened in Athens. One primary argument from the British Museum defending the failure to return the Parthenon friezes is that they haven't the fitting place to house them. Well, check out the images of this new museum.

"'Everyone Understands What Is Missing'

The display space is the same dimension and orientation as the Parthenon looming on the Acropolis hill, just 900 feet away. Thanks to wraparound glass windows, the exhibits bask in the same natural light surrounding the original temple, which was built for the goddess Athena, the protector of the city of Athens below.

Britain's Lord Elgin chiseled off roughly half the sculptures that adorned the Parthenon in the early 1800s, when Greece was an unwilling member of the Ottoman Empire. Later, he sold them to the British Museum."
It reminds me of the first thing you see when you walk into the Antiquities Museum in Cairo... a replica of the Rosetta Stone.

I understand that it is not a clear-cut issue. But isn't the main issue that an older colonial empire stole these items from their homeland, and in 2009, it's time to return them? Western imperialism and continued profit-making at the expense of middle-eastern nations won't subside without acting on that reality.

If the news of this new museum in Athens is not met with enthusiasm in England, then shame on you.

October 08, 2009

Back to Quicksilver on Snow Leopard

Quicksilver, the amazing tool that it is, continues to live on life support. A small open source community seem to be giving it attention. I spent an intentional month with LaunchBar and then with Google Quick Search Box each to try and migrate to either of those. It just didn't work out. LB was certainly stable, but still underpowered. Some things in QS that I just depend on can't be done in LB (global triggers one of them). So, then on to Google's attempt, which is developed by QS' creator. It is definitely the underdog in this category... searches didn't even find the files I wanted. You have to use xcode to write plugins for now. I really look forward to trying out gQSB2.0 when it arrives. I expect huge improvements.

So, for now, I'm back with Quicksilver, though I've begun to play with creating Services for some of my own plugins that can now receive global key combinations in Snow Leopard. I have all my Accordance actions running native on Snow Leopard now as Services that don't require Quicksilver, Launchbar or anything. I hope to find the time to make them available soon.

And speaking of Snow Leopard...

On The Apple Blog a month ago, there was a helpful article pointing out that some QS plugins are causing crashes in Snow Leopard.

From what I’ve been reading on support forums, some users of Quicksilver saw no affect from upgrading their machines to Snow Leopard. I however, was not one of those people. And although I am warming more and more to Google Quick Search Box, I still supplement my usage of QSB with Quicksilver where the former is lacking in features. So I tinkered around until I was able to resuscitate and use Quicksilver again under Snow Leopard.
Really, the thing to do is install the latest Open Source build

and then navigate to:
~/Library/Application Support/Quicksilver/PlugIns
and remove all teh plugins and restart QS. If things run well, then you can selectively try plugins to add back in. Definitely stay away from UI plugins and AirPort Module.qsplugin and Services Menu Module.qsplugin.

August 18, 2009

Quicker Save PDF's to Desired Location

I've used this for a long time, but this article reminds me it's one of those OSX gems that few know about. Many of us do a lot of saving things to PDF's. The little PDF button at the bottom of print dialogs lets you do so, but if you want to quick-save it to a folder without having to navigate dialog boxes, you can add that as an option to the list using "PDF Services".

1. Put an alias of your desired save folder into the PDF Services folder inside your Library folder that's inside your home folder. 2. In a print dialog, select PDF popup at the bottom and you'll see the option to quick save the PDF to that folder. If it comes from a web page or a word document or the like, the title will be taken from the document, so often will be quite appropriate.

August 13, 2009

Next Mac Microsoft Office due late 2010

Microsoft made an announcement this week about next year's (yeah, right) release.

Microsoft announced Thursday that the next edition of Microsoft Office for Mac will be released in late 2010. The new edition of the venerable office suite will include Outlook for Mac, a new application that will replace the Entourage.
They also announced a reduced pricing scheme, the Home/Student edition and the Business edition. I'm skeptical that they will make the 2010 release date? And if they do, I'm very skeptical they will improve right to left Unicode support.
Etherington at TAB has a source that VBA is being reintroduced into Office 2010. I would certainly welcome that, but I think this discussion has made me realize I won't be buying Office '10, just like I haven't purchased Office '08.
You've gotta love Miller at MacWorld who writes:
My first reaction to Microsoft’s Thursday announcement that it will release a new version of its Office suite for the Mac in 2010 can be summed up in one word: Why?
Update: Someone reminded me that my prediction was 2012: Unicode Hebrew Coming to Word 2012!

Update: Microsoft still anticipates the next Office Mac release at the end of 2010. No definitive word yet on right-to-left Unicode languages, but it IS confirmed to include VBA.

August 10, 2009

Bible Software Review of Accordance

Accordance is such a mature and finely developed program that a full review is impossible. I certainly don't have the patience to make an attempt. Rubén Gómez of the Bible Software Review has done a great job with a review. I highly recommend it.

There are, of course, even more features to highlight. At the top of the list in my opinion are:

  • Well-thought-out keyboard shortcuts
  • Tremendous stability
  • Text display customizability
  • Advanced Grammatical Tagging of core texts
  • Ridiculous "older system" compatibility
  • Amazing user and support system

June 09, 2009

OS X’s Summarize Service

This is a very helpful, well, summary of OS X's built in summarize service. It uses rules to reduce text into a shorter form, in hopes that you can skim and still get the gist. I've used this some early on and it really is helpful in some contexts.

It would be hard to rely on such automated truncation in many regards, however the idea can easily find import in some uses. Services in OS X Snow Leopard are about to be much more functional and user friendly, with customized and context-sensitive menus and contextual menus. I'm excited about this.

May 26, 2009

iPhone e-reader: Eucalyptus

There's a new player in town as far as e-book readers for the iPhone. It's called Eucalyptus and after finally getting approved by Apple, it is receiving lots of love on the internets.

It uses the Project Gutenberg etexts, which it reformats beautifully on the fly. Definitely mentioning. However, it's not for me. I'm most interested in readers that can make use of etexts that I create myself. I can dump articles or commentary chunks I have for instance in my bible software, and take them to read on the go.

Side note: Should we settle on etexts, eTexts, or e-texts? ... ebooks, eBooks, or e-books?

May 25, 2009

FlashCord File Converter Video Tutorial

In response to others' requests, here is a video demo of FlashCord File Converter:

May 23, 2009

gFlashPro Flashcards for iPhone

This is a really good idea... gFlashPro Flashcards for iPhone are powered by a Google spreadsheet you create. This makes for a powerfully capable offering.

May 18, 2009

FlashCord File Converter

FlashCord Converter

(Accordance Analysis to Tab Delimited File Converter) 

Available for download on the downloads page.

This droplet allows you to convert text from an Accordance analysis result into a tab delimited file for use in a flashcard program or spreadsheet. The tool is designed to be used by users of Accordance Bible Software. For more information about Accordance itself, please reference Accordance Bible Software (Oak Tree Software, Inc.

Basic Use

You may launch the application directly and then either choose a data file to convert or use the contents of the clipboard. Also, you may drag and drop a saved Analysis window from Accordance onto the application in order to create the tab delimited file.

Creating a Data File

Creating text files to be converted is completed within Accordance in three steps-- create your search within a tagged text, set up a compatible display in an Analysis window, and save that window as a text file.

I. Create your search within a tagged text

Using the Word search within a tagged text module, run your search.

II. Set up a compatible display in an Analysis window

Use the Details button to open an Analysis window.  Choose "Set Analysis Display..." in the Display menu (Command + t) in order to customize your Analysis window. 

In the section of the "Set Analysis Display..." window titled "Select items for sort and display...", you may request specific information about the words that meet the search criteria. Adding multiple items to a column provides a hierarchical breakdown for each word. Remember, if the search contains only a single term, then only the first column is relevant. 

The converter can read three different formats/sets of information. 

The Analysis results may be set to three different display options: 

1. LEX

This setting will result in a data file that can be used to quiz you on lexical forms and their English gloss. 


This setting will result in a data file that can be used to quiz you on inflected forms and their lexical form and English gloss.

3. LEX  |  INFLECT  |  TAG

This setting will result in a data file that can be used to quiz you on inflected forms and their lexical form, English gloss, and parsing information. 

Note: In place of "TAG", any of the sort order options may be used, such as Gender, PrtSpeech or Class.

In addition combination of information for different columns in a multi-word search may be used:

The results of each of these three Analysis results window text display options in Accordance would look like this:


Total number of verses = 6

  (total number of verses displayed = 6) 

[noun] [verb] *fos (6 total words)

Number of different forms = 6:

      dida¿skaloß  teacher = 1

      e˙leuqeri÷a  freedom = 1

      mimhth/ß  imitator = 1

      shmei√on  sign, miracle = 1

      uJpo/deigma  example, pattern = 1

      cara¿  joy = 1


      gi÷nomai  to become, be, be born, be created = 2

            gi÷nesqe = 1

            e˙genh/qhte = 1

      euJri÷skw  to find = 1

            euJrh/sete = 1

      hJge÷omai  to lead, consider, count, regard = 1

            hJgh/sasqe = 1

      kale÷w  to call, summon, invite = 1

            e˙klh/qhte = 1

      lamba¿nw  to take, receive, choose = 1

            la¿bete = 1


      aÓdelfo/ß  brother = 5

            aÓdelfoi÷ = 5

                  NOUN masculine plural nominative

                  NOUN masculine plural vocative

      bre÷foß  infant = 1

            bre÷foß = 1

                  NOUN neuter singular accusative = 1


Note: The sort order must be one of the three shown above. For instance, choosing INFLECT  |  LEX  instead of LEX  |  INFLECT will result in strange, if not silly, results.

For more information on how to customize the Analysis display, see the Accordance help file titled "Set Analysis Display Dialog Box for Tagged Texts".

III.a Save the Analysis window as a text file

Under the "File" menu, choose item "Save as Text File". Make certain your settings in the preferences do not convert the Greek font from Helena, or the Hebrew font from Yedudit, but that they do reverse the direction of Hebrew characters. And, make certain you save the file as plain text (not rtf).  You will drop this resulting file onto the converter to use it as a data file.

Note: If you're clever enough, you can create your own custom data files by manually combining two or more text files. You can add new words to an existing tab file.

III.b Copy the contents of the Analysis window

Simply select all and then copy the contents of the window for use in the converter.

IV. Run the converter

If you saved a file, you can simply drag that file onto the droplet app. It will save the new file with a new name by default in the same location. If you have saved the data on the clipboard, simply launch the app and use the data from there, choosing where to save the file.

Purpose and Usage

The purpose of the tool is to be able to use the spreadsheet format data in a spreadsheet for your own research, or also to import them into a flashcard program. 


Known issues:

Need to fix capabilities for unicode fonts

Review the addition of a blank line between appended data

Current version:

Current version is 0.2, Released 5/19/09

May 04, 2009

Brite Bibliobloggers

I just today learned that there is more than one other biblioblogger who hails from the doctoral program at Brite Divinity School of TCU, where I'm completing my dissertation. I was delighted to peruse these new discoveries and see some quality offering. Here are the Brite Bibliobloggers I am now aware of, and would love to hear of any more to add to the list, current students or graduates:

April 28, 2009

Amazon acquires Stanza ebook reader for iPhone

For those of you following the progress of ebook readers on the iPhone, Amazon just bought out the major competitor. I have mixed feelings about this.

April 20, 2009

Microsoft will end support for Office 2004 in October

Microsoft announced this week that it is ending support for Office for Mac 2004 in October. What that means for those of us hanging on to 2004 is that security updates will stop after that points.

Some of us have stuck with 2004 because of VBA functions we rely on. However, I would suggest anyone switch by October, and for enterprise contexts, you need to get your VBA applications recoded in Applescript by then.

April 08, 2009

Setting Up Your Own Mac Web Server

If you have reason to be setting up your own web server on a Mac, office-based or home-based, these are very clear instructions from a get-you-started perspective. There are a number of reasons you might want to do this, including ease of mass distributing documents and data to a group.

Please note that many basic consumer internet contracts disallow you running your own web server. And furthermore, for even the most basic web page, I would recommend hosting remotely... I do so with all the web sites I am involved with.

April 01, 2009

Spotlight in Snow Leopard to include Bible Lookup

I've earlier touted the data recognition concept behind Apple Data Detectors. It was recently announced that the new version of Mac OS X "Snow Leopard" would include more system wide data detectors, and hopefully expandability beyond recognizing just phone numbers and addresses.

I was surprised to learn a random tidbit from the developer's blog at TextMate regarding the merger of data detectors with the implementation of Spotlight. In Leopard, they added things like recognition of calculator computations, such that you can put 4*5 into Spotlight and get the quick resulting calculation. But the latest seed of Snow Leopard has included the new data detector features. No word yet on whether the capability exists for user defined data detector actions, but it does include a large number of pre-installed data sets (more than two dozen), including reverse zip code, advanced URL recognition and scripture lookup!

Several of the screen shots are quite cool but this scripture lookup data detector is rather surprising: Some of the other plugins are equally questionable in their potential use (such as the Messier Object database), but I still think the scripture lookup directly within Spotlight to be a very odd addition by Apple. I'm wondering if some of these won't be making it into the final release of Snow Leopard.

Update: Apparently the feature only works on April 1st.

March 30, 2009

Mind-mapping at Tech Landscape

I have for years been intrigued with Mind-mapping and Concept-mapping software offerings and the practicality of their use. I have yet to encorporate them in my work. There are great Mac apps out there, Nova Mind, Curio, etc.

I have been interested in a new blogger, Seth, who has been blogging some thinking about the subject, including reviews of solutions on the Mac. I'd recommend you have a look at Tech Landscape, if you are interested in this topic.

March 16, 2009

The Utility of Ebook Readers

It seems to me that availability and interest in ebook readers has catapulted recently. Much of this surely is related to the success of the iPhone (and presumably other full-screen mobile phones) and Amazon's Kindle. I have off and on for years used a Palm device as a reader, converting my own text files, html's, and pdf's into suitable e-texts. I would do things like export articles from the Anchor Bible Dictionary out of Accordance and put it into the device for portable and especially late nite reading. But now with an iPhone, the screen has improved, and with Stanza for the iPhone and Amazon's Kindle iPhone app, things have gotten even better.

However, one of the great advantages to the days when I used a Palm device is that I could roll my own e-texts. The ability to pull content from where I could get it offered the greatest advantage. If you have an iPhone or a Kindle and need an e-text management tool, there is an app called Calibre that may be for you. Calibre allows you to roll your own texts for use on an iPhone or a Kindle (and it does much more as well).

Amazon's entry into the field means that some ebooks of interest will be available to ministers and bible scholars, but still, relatively little for now. I suspect it will long be the case that the most useful e-texts we will load on our own devices will be pdf's we've pulled off our library full-text databases, and other custom sources, and that most often the capability to put our own content onto these devices will provide the greatest utility.

February 06, 2009

Snow Leopard OS Update preview

I found this to be a good summary of the coming features of OS X Snow Leopard that will appear in the next few months. It is all about stability and speed and integration updates. And Finder will finally go Cocoa!

January 28, 2009

New Blog "My Mac Hero"

I don't do many blog announcements, but I did want to welcome my friend J.P. Kang and his newly active My Mac Hero blog. In addition to his state of the Mac (and iPhone) blog posts, he offers consultant services. What you may not know about J.P. is that he is a pastor and a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and a very smart guy.

January 20, 2009

Mellel's New Features Get Coverage

I was pleased to see that Mellel got good coverage of it's new features in anarticle by MacTech Magazine.

I own Mellel. I think they're doing great stuff with it. But I confess I never use it. But I'm glad it's there.

January 07, 2009

New iWork '09

Apple this week announced the new version of IWork, their word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software bundle. We have previously discussed the medial place Pages has played as a word processor for doing biblical writing. It does have some unicode Hebrew support even. However, I think I've finally found a version of iWork that I'll be purchasing. The new addition of Applescript support is the deal breaker for me.

I'll be interested to see more reports and reviews on Pages '09 and Numbers '09.

January 05, 2009

iPhone Usefulness

For months, people have in conversation with me assumed that I have and use an iPhone. I am not typically an early adopter when it comes to computers and gadgets--it is among other advantages a way to keep my tech-lust in check. One question is whether the tool's usefulness justifies the cost it represents. We have just transitioned into iPhones for some of our staff, and after just one month, I can say that this smartphone has been an incredibly useful tool. I will offer more posts on my iPhone use in the future, but to demonstrate the iPhone's usefulness, let me summarize key advantages it leant today alone:

In addition to the standard Apps, I make use of other third party apps as well, including the note-taking service Jott, the excellent BibleReader, and the Melodis VoiceDialer. All of my Apps to date are free, though I'll soon experiment with some with the typical $1 to $5 cost. This morning in between services, a member asked about my availability for a meeting later in the week. This is always a problem for me, since it's easy to not have my calendar with me. I was in this instance able to quickly check my calendar and add the meeting. After the third service, our Hospitality Elder came to me asking if I knew where the camera was for taking the picture of the new family that had just joined. I did not, but I said, line them up and let's give this a try. I used the built-in camera which took a perfectly acceptable shot. And then, I quickly emailed the photo to the office so the secretary could process it appropriately for posting in the new member book. After services, I was in a conversation where we were discussing scheduling this Spring. The question came up about the school district's schedule. A quick jump onto Safari on my iPhone gave easy access to the district's school calendar and instant verification. At one point in at home after lunch, I determined to go make a hospital visit in 45 minutes or so, so set a quick timer to remind myself, lest I lose track of time playing with the kids or dozing off on the couch. I find the built-in Clock app to be superb for alarms and timers both. On the way to the hospital, it was incredibly easy to look up the hospital phone number using the Maps app. This gave me quick access to one touch dialing to call and get room numbers for those I was visiting. It also gave me access to turn by turn directions had I needed it (which I didn't). I thought it a good idea to write down the room numbers so I'd remember them while roaming the halls of the hospital once there. While visiting the two folks I went to see, I thought it appropriate to read them the Epiphany story, our text for the day. It was a joy to do it with the BibleReader app which I'm certain to post more about in the future. (Note that my copy of BibleReader is a beta version, containing Greek and Hebrew testaments, something I'll be showing soon.) After the visits, since I have imported the entire active church member directory into my contacts with a simple tab delimited file, it occurred to me to call one of the patient's families to give them a report on their beloved in the hospital. A simple voice dialer app works brilliantly, no voice training or presetting involved. I can speak any name and category (such as "home" or "mobile") found in my Contacts and it can autodial for me. Also on the trip back, my mind raced with a couple ToDo items to add to my list for the office tomorrow. The Jott app is a superb application that transcribes your voice into text notes and todos. I love how this thing works. I arrived at the office with a few idle minutes, so went straight to my todo list to get my head around what I might accomplish. I am keeping things in Jott, which also synchs with the web interface when at your desktop. But, there are many great (and some VERY fancy) ToDo List and productivity apps on the iPhone. One item on the list was something I could attend to with a phone call, so I made this call, and it's worth saying that I really like the Phone functionality on the iPhone. Lookup is easy. Recents perusal is well done, and Visual Voicemail is a godsend. During the call, we decided to move a later meeting in order to have the right people involved. So, I quickly sent an email out on the fly to the pertinent person involved in the meeting change. So, in summary, if the topic of the iPhone's usefulness carries an implied question, then for me, today, the obvious answer is a profound yes. Most of the tasks I mentioned I would have or at least could have accomplished with other means, but means that would not have been as seamless, as centered on one point of focus, an possibly not at all given barriers of not having tools ready to hand.

In one short month, I am very impressed.

January 01, 2009


Downloads available on The Macintosh Biblioblog

Drop some Services into place and you have global access to selecting text and quickly looking it up in Accordance via contextual menu or customizable global keyboard shortcuts. Also, the old "F-key" functionality of inserting full text into your document is a snap. Also includes Quicksilver Actions if you use that, and a plugin for Microsoft Word.

Clean Up Windows in a Non-Scriptable App
This Applescript serves as an example of changing window positions in a non-Scriptable application using User Interface Scripting.

Accordance to Pages Citation Paster
This script overcomes a shortcoming in iWorks Pages which breaks Accordance's bibliographic footnote function.

FlashCord File Converter
This droplet allows you to convert text from an Accordance analysis result into a tab delimited file for use in a flashcard program or spreadsheet.

Accordance File Type Fixer
Accordance Tool and User modules can sometimes lose their resource fork identifying the file type, disabling them from being added to Accordance. This can happen when copying a backed up file, for one. This droplet allows you to recover those modules by reassigning what module type it is.
Includes versions for PPC and Intel, including OSX Lion.