Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Saturday, April 02, 2011

If the old doesn't go, the new can't come. 

旧的不去, 新的不来. If the old doesn't go, the new can't come. That's the colloquial expression that was quoted to me when my laptop was stolen.

Downloaded the new e-sword software today. I have had e-sword on my computer for several years, but alas, my laptop was stolen. Fortunately, I had backed up my e-sword files. Actually, I wrote a batch file that backs them up for me. Then I went to the Task Scheduler in the Control Panel and created a task that executes the batch file once a day. The files are backed up to my Drop Box, which is backed up automatically online, so fortunately I didn't lose any data.

E-sword was designed by a software engineer by the name of Rick Myers. He created the application, made it available free of charge, with the only restriction being that it cannot be sold. I really respect people like him. They are doing something I would like to see a lot more of--presenting premium software as a public service.

With e-sword, all relevant data (study notes, topic notes, underlining, etc.) is stored in files in the e-sword directory. If you have taken the trouble to back up those files, restoration from a disaster is pretty simple. Just reinstall the software, open e-sword and make sure everything is working, then close it down again, go to the e-sword folder, paste the old backed up files in over the new, and when you open it up again, all your information will be there.

My problem was that I had neglected to save a copy of the software. Not a problem, ordinarily, except that e-sword has gone through a major upgrade, so the database is completely new, and all the file extensions have changed. You can't paste in the files from an old installation over files with new file extensions, because the new software will just ignore them. The files are useless by themselves. But when they are properly incorporated into the software, every verse you have underlined before is underlined in the new version. And every note you have taken magically appears whenever you click on the verse to which it refers. Fortunately, I was able to find a copy of the old software that I had burned on a CD to give to someone, so I installed that, put in my old files, and then installed the new update over the old.

I am not a fanatic about always having the latest software. New software often has glitches, and sometimes the new stuff is much more problematic than the old. This is especially true with Microsoft operating systems, but the principle applies to other stuff, too. To tell the truth, I was not that impressed with the previous upgrade of e-sword. In fact, at times I found myself wishing I hadn't upgraded. But this new version is really nice. It has a download manager, which is important, because there are plug-ins that you really need to install. None are required, but some are very important. Albert Barnes' commentaries used to be a shelf full of expensive books. Now it's a 20 minute plug-in for e-sword. I also like Clarke and I usually install J. N. Darby's commentaries as well. Matthew Henry is a little wordy, but he's a really nice guy, so I always install at least the Concise Commentary. Click on a verse, and you have your choice. Thayer's dictionary is useful for the New Testament, especially since you can reference the entries directly from the Strong's Numbers. You used to have to look up the words individually in Greek. Myers has also started incorporating old classics as e-books which can be installed as topic notes. Really handy. He's got Calvin's Institutes, which is an old classic of course, and I was happy to see that he also has Edersheim's Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.

And I didn't mention the new Bible versions. The King James is the default, of course, because of Strong's Concordance. But I have always installed the old ASV (American Standard Version from 1901, not the New American Standard, which came out in the Seventies), as well as the Chinese Version, and the English Standard Version, all of which are free plug-ins. Now he has added the old Geneva Bible (the Bible used by the Mayflower Pilgrims), as well as the Latin Vulgate, and he even has the Septuagint (ancient Greek translation of the Old Testament, which predates the oldest Hebrew manuscripts we have available).

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