Monday, April 02, 2007

Where I Am Right Now® (mostly-personal blah-blah-blah)

Posting has been light, here, recently. Some things have been going on keeping me busy and middle. Here are the ones I'll tell you about:

New laptop.
I just upgraded my old Toshiba Portege 3505 for a Gateway CX210S. Both are convertibles, which is to say that you can use it either as a laptop or a tablet. The monitor twists around, and you can write on it with a stylus. It's really cool: I've used it for classes, it comes with me on retreats or trips, and I take notes on it during sermons. I can have half a screen with BibleWorks 7, and half with Windows Journal. The older Toshiba had no internal optical driver. I had to plug in an external CD drive. But it was light and cool. The Gateway has a faster, dual-core CPU, twice the HD size, 1GB of memory, an internal DVD-RW drive, and a larger, very clear screen. I also got a 12-cell battery, so it could go a lot longer between charges. It is a lot heavier, though, but that's not a real problem.

What was a problem was that the cursor displayed as a big, black box instead of a dot. It took Gateway almost 2 weeks to hook me up with a driver upgrade that resolved the issue. Otherwise, getting a new pc is like moving into a new home. You have to install all your programs, copy all your files; and you have to uninstall the unwanted garbage that comes with the pc. (Gateway is not nearly as bad as Dell in that regard.)

Here's a funny thing: I got this great laptop for just over one-third of what the Toshiba cost some 5 years ago.

New Operating System. The laptop came loaded with Windows Vista Home Premium. This is my first experience with Vista, and danged if they didn't move everything around! So that's taken some getting used to. Thus far, I like it. It's definitely pretty! But I had to retrain myself on how to do some common tasks.

Microsoft OneNote. I gather that Windows Journal (which I'm used to) is to OneNote as Wordpad is to Microsoft Word. But OneNote is really taking some getting used to, and I'm still not comfortable with it. OneNote doesn't actually save discrete files; it auto saves whatever you're working on. I've watched a number of training videos and read some documents, but still really don't get how to organize what I'm creating. All those tabs... I just don't get it. I bet someone has a good page or post on it, but I've Googled in vain so far.

Scholar's Library: Silver - Logos Bible Software 3. I'm reviewing a new Bible Study(and more) program, and it's really taking some getting used to. It's massively powerful and very impressive, but even starting to use all its assets is (to me) not intuitive. There's just a lot to learn, but it's clearly worth it. Logos helpfully provides a lot of tutorial videos, and I've been working my way through them.

Hot times at Pyro. You can read all about it in this post, if you haven't already. Some brave anonymous professor writes about hearing God's voice and writing a book under divine inspiration. I had a few warm words to share. I thought I was probably going to be under heavy fire, but the comment thread seemed to be tapering off at 30-40 comments. Then boom! it took off, before coming to rest (so far) at 169. It never makes me happy when people get mad at me. However, some of the angry people were really kind of funny, if you look at it from the right angle.

It's what happens when you do write pointedly, and don't write anonymously.

Preaching. Some of the happiest times in my life are when I get to preach, and I just did. Read about it here, if you like.

Ouch. About two weeks ago in karate, we had one of those exercises I really enjoy. One student was surrounded by four others, each of whom was to attack with one strike, followed by the others in rapid succession. The person in the middle had to block that strike and respond quickly with at least three strikes of his own. It's a great workout; one of the students is a really excellent (and aggressive) black belt. Every encounter with him is educational. Often painful (and bruising!), but always educational.

Well, I was very winded, but doing all right for an old fossil — blocking, striking, pivoting, shoving my opponents into the others. But I have a kind of tricky right knee. A few times, I've done something and it has yelped at me to stop. So far, I've always stopped short of really injuring it.

But not that night. I probably pivoted clumsily, but all of a sudden my knee was out of it; and it was kind of hard to carry on without that knee. Sort of attached to it.

So I limped like Walter Brennan for quite some time, with a very sore knee. It still hurts. Unfortunately, I didn't injure my appetite. So I've been unable to do my hour-long lunchtime "power walks"... but I've been able to eat just fine. Clothes tighten, muscle tone declines....

Ah well, life of an old man taking karate with a bunch of younguns. Not likely to get much better.

Reading. I've also finished reading Tremper Longman (The Third, if you please)'s new commentary on Proverbs. I plan to do a review over at Pyro. Stay tuned.

Greeking — in public! Plus I've had a pretty steady output over at my Greekblog. I have really appreciated the folks who come regularly and interact betimes. I do hope the readership builds, and particularly among pastors. If your pastor isn't going there regularly, tell him about it!


ann said...

I am envious about the computer, sorry for Your knee, glad for Your sermon (listened to it and learned a lot), and want to wish You a blessed Passion Week. (I do not like this Easter-terminology).

Ron said...

I was an early adopter with OneNote and I love it. I was going to Charleston Southern University (religion major) when it came out and I've been through each version. It is an excellent note taking program. Take the time to learn it and you'll be glad you did.

Kevin Stilley said...

Dan, how do you get Blogger to accept your Greek fonts? When I copy from Bibleworks 7 using Unicode, it always turns out weird.

DJP said...

Ann—thanks. And we agree; we call it Resurrection Day.

Ron—it certainly does look powerful. Do you know any site, though, that explains and illustrates in simple terms how to organize if you're going to do lecture notes from a series of classes — or, in my case, Sunday sermons?

It took a lot of fiddling, Kevin. First of all, IE6-based browsers won't see it right. IE7, Opera, and Firefox will. Second, I have it set to copy or export in that Palatino, with Unicode checked. I have to copy it into the BW text editor, and then from there into Blogger. Can't go straight to Blogger. Hope that helps.

Chris said...

I just ordered a dell laptop... the lightest Inspiron they had. We'll see how much garbage I'll have to remove. At one point in the ordering process, it let me select an option to not install a pack of garbageware! It was great.

Connie said...

Well, if I hadn't seen you posting at your Greek blog and at Pyro's I would have started to worry! Hope your knee is on the mend--I've got one that "reminds me" how old I am rather often.

I'll join the others in wishing you a very blessed Resurrection Day--that's what I prefer to call it, too.

***Weird, the "word verification" for this comment contains "djp"--coincidence? I think not! :-)

DJP said...

Thanks, Connie. Happy Resurrection Day to you.

Chris, one word: .

LeeC said...

I'm striving not to covet your laptop. My old HP is getting really long in the tooth and figuring out the best option is tough enough without having to be able to afford it!

I love Logos software. We had a fellow from Phils church who works on it come over and do a seminar on the latest version last year for several nights. It's overwhelming what it can do.

Again, I have the basic version with a bunch of software from Rejoice Christian software on the cheap, but it still a great tool!

I hear ya on the Karate thing. I have been getting active again in studying German Longsword and Pollaxe and I can feel the warning twinges all the time.

I can't wait for that new body!

Hapy Ressurection day!
He is Risen!!!!

WhatIsChazaq? said...

You've GOT to be kidding me!

LOGOS is $1,000!?

I'll stick with's FREE and has more features, resources, downloads, commentaries then I can get my mind around.

DJP said...

1. I hear ya.
2. There are less expensive Logos packages.
3. I love E-Sword, too. It's amazing, for freeware.
4. If you do original-language study, BibleWorks is a fantastic buy.

But, having said all that:

5. Be sure to read my eventual review of Logos. I had a similar attitude going in, until I saw what it could do. It really is an impressive program.

LeeC said...

You can get some really great tools for not a lot of money using Logos/libronix.

Check out rejoice Christian softwares site where you can get stuff like this:

MacArthur LifeWorks

List Price: $79.99
Our Price: $34.95
The MacArthur LifeWorks Library features over $1,200 in print edition value including books, commentaries, study guides, and audio books by John MacArthur. Navigate the resources on the CD, or move the materials to your hard drive.

The Bible reference material included with this product (see below) was selected by John MacArthur. Perform searches, generate reports, add notes, copy and paste, and more. Powered by the Libronix Digital Library System (included).

System Needed Product Includes: ISBN: 0785250182

98, Me, 2000, XP

CD-ROM Drive

128 MB of RAM

60 MB Hard Disk


• King James Version
• New King James Version

Audio Books

• Can God Bless America?
• Our Sufficiency in Christ
• Ten Audio Messages from Grace To You
• The Battle for the Beginning
• The Love of God
• The Murder of Jesus
• The Vanishing Conscience
• Twelve Ordinary Men

Books by John MacArthur

• Alone with God
• Anxiety Attacked
• Ashamed of the Gospel
• Can God Bless America?
• Different By Design
• Found: God's Will
• God in the Manger
• How to Meet the Enemy
• In the Footsteps of Faith
• Our Sufficiency in Christ
• Reckless Faith
• The Battle for the Beginning
• The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness
• The Glory of Heaven
• The God Who Loves
• The Gospel According to Jesus
• The Gospel According to the Apostles
• The Murder of Jesus
• The Vanishing Conscience
• Truth for Today Devotional
• Twelve Ordinary Men
• Unleashing God's Word in Your Life
• Why One Way?

MacArthur NT Commentaries

• Romans
• 1 Corinthians
• Galatians
• James

Pastor-Teacher Helps

• Introduction to Biblical Counseling
• Rediscovering Expository Preaching
• Rediscovering Pastoral Ministry
• MacArthur Bible Handbook
• MacArthur Study Bible
• MacArthur Topical Bible

MacArthur Study Guides

• Ruth & Esther
• 1 Samuel
• Nehemiah
• Daniel
• Mark
• John
• Acts
• Romans
• 1 Corinthians
• Galatians
• Ephesians
• 1 & 2 Timothy
• Hebrews
• James
• 1 & 2 Peter
• Revelation

Reference Library

• 100 MIDI Hymns
• Heritage of Great Evangelical Teaching
• Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary
• Nelson's 3-D Bible Mapbook
• Nelson's Complete Stories, Illustrations & Quotes
• Nelson's New Christian Dictionary
• Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
• Nelson's New Illustrated Manners and Customs
• Nelson's Topical Bible Index
• New Strong's Dictionary of Hebrew & Greek Words
• Strong's Enhanced Lexicon
• The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
• What Does the Bible Say About

HeavyDluxe said...


I'm a fellow Logos newbie... I just got the Scholars Library (step down from yours) in the mail on Monday. I'd been wrestling with what to buy since about the time you posted your BW7 review.

I'm sure there are merits to both programs, but the whole eLibrary idea with Logos was a huge sell for me. Of course, now I need to figure out how to optimize everything...


HeavyDluxe said...

Oh, one other thing: Leec mentioned all the stuff you can buy to snap in, but one of the coolest things I found was all the people making 'personal books' for Libronix.

If it's out there in the public domain, you can probably find someone who'd turned it into a libronix book. Sites like this serve as a good launchpoint.

For an extra $100, you can start making your own pbbs as well, IIRC.

philness said...


Whatever happened to your post about Christ came to destoy the works of the devil bit over at Pyro? What were your conclusions of why it doesn't seem that God is correcting those that are out of line theologically? I have often said that if a catholic person, for instance, is truely saved, then the Holy Spirit would not have that person in that church for very long. And as long as a catholic person is partcipating in the catholic church system I will continue to witness to him. You would agree with me, yes? Now I forgot how I was going to tie that into your vexing question you posted at Pryo. I hate when that happens.

Oh, on an off topic. I notice you like Chicago the rock the band. Do you or did you play an instrument by chance? I've always wanted to ask you that.

Love your stuff at Pyro. Keep up the good work.

DJP said...

Thanks very much for the kind words Phil. I really didn't reach conclusions, though folks did offer some helpful thoughts; my time-crunch was such that I didn't get to dive in and interact much. I may/may-not do a post interacting with some of the main strains.

I've played guitar and drums. (I didn't say "well"!)

Peculiar Pete said...

GET A MAC, my dear friend...

Your life will never be the same! :o)