BibleWorks comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you purchase BibleWorks directly from us but cannot get it to work with your Windows emulator, you may return BibleWorks for a refund (shipping not included).
Bibleworks 8 now runs in Linux through WINE.
I posted a guide awhile back walking Linux users through the steps required to get Bibleworks 7 up-and-running in Linux (using Wine). It has recently been confirmed that the steps used in that guide also work for Bibleworks 8. If you are interested in running Bibleworks in Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE) you can find the guide here.
Surprisingly, it appears that some problems that plagued Bibleworks 7 in Linux are no longer issues in Bibleworks 8. This is good news!
Some time ago I posted this introduction to free software, promising a series of articles about good free products available for all your computing needs. The promised posts have been slow in coming, but the next in the series is ready for release! You can find other posts in this series here.
This post will lost a couple of free alternatives to popular media players, such as Windows Media Player and iTunes.
Free vs. Free
Of course, WMP and iTunes are both free, aren’t they. Yes they are in the sense you don’t have to pay for them. But both are tightly controlled by companies that want to sell you there products, and there is therefore a cost attached. WMP, for example, requires you to buy a license for DVD playback. You probably didn’t know this since the cost of the license is embedded in your Windows installation, but it’s true. If you’ve ever had to re-install Windows, only to find that DVDs no longer play, you propbably had occasion to learn this. iTunes also has its problems (what software doesn’t), but prime among them is DRM. When you buy Music off of iTunes it is protected in such a way that it only plays on products you own. This is fine, most of the time, but what if the store in question stops supporting your music? Or what if you want to play your music on another product? Bottom line: it’s still their music!
Really Free Media Players
So here are a couple of selections if you want alternatives to iTunes or WMP.
- VLC Media Player. This little guy plays every media type imaginable: DVDs (out-of-the-box), mpegs, windows media, mp3s, etc. Let’s put it this way: I never encountered a format that it can’t play. This should be on your computer, if only to be able to play anything you want to. But in addition, VLC offers powerful conversion tools and other handy features, making it an all-in-one media management solution. Want to play a file that a friend sent you that’s in same weird format? Try VLC. Want to convert a DVD so it will run on your iPod? VLC can do that too! Want to setup a server to stream music to your friends on your own personal internet radio station? Well, you get the idea. One disadvantage: VLC lacks a good media library, so it won’t be your default music player.
- Songbird (get the 1.0 release here). Songbird can be your all around iTunes replacement. Simple, pretty, with lots of plugins to help you get it running just the way you want. I’ve been using it for awhile, and since it is now out of Beta it is ready for the masses. It’s based off of Firefox, with all the advantages of a built-in web browser, infinite plugins, and open-source code. Great for the iTunes user, and it runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Interested? Check out this review.
- Foobar2000. An excellent Music player and media manager, especially for the advanced user who knows what words like FLAC, ogg, and bit-perfect mean. It has plugins for almost everything, including your ipod. It’s not the prettiest (though recent versions are much improved), but it does everything, including rip your CDs with double-check for accuracy and automatic replay-gain scanning! It is a Windows app, but runs on Linux perfectly using WINE.
- Others: There are a couple of other media players that those comfortable with experimenting can take a look at. First, Amarok, which runs on Linux and apparently on Windows (though I have not gotten the latter to work). Winamp is also popular, though I haven’t used it in years.
Other Free Media Tools
The software above is great for playing videos or music, but you might also need tools to manage your files. Here are some that I use.
- Handbrake. All-in-one video converter. Allows you to convert one video format to another, with a special emphasis on easily turning DVDs into iPod videos. You can find other media converters, including some that circumvent copy protection, here.
- Orb. Share your music with your friends.
- CDBurnerXP. An all-in-one CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray burner. A simple tool for what should be an easy job.
- Other video tools: check out this post for more converters.
If you are a Linux user then Tuesday October 27 is your day. The premium software company CodeWeavers lost a bet and, as a result, are giving away their software on Tuesday for free. From their press release:
On Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008, any one visiting the CodeWeavers’ Web site (www.codeweavers.com) will be given a deal code that will entitle them to one free copy of CodeWeavers’ award-winning CrossOver software. Each copy comes complete with support.
“I realize that by giving away all my software, I’ve caused horrific damage to my company’s bottom line,” White said. “In fact, our vice president of sales wretched Starbucks all over his shirt when he learned the news. But, I figure, the way the economy is going, in a few months everyone might be out on the streets, wearing potato sacks and standing in line for squirrel soup, so why not?”
The CrossOver software (CrossOver Office and CrossOver Games) is a enhanced commercialed version of WINE, which allows Linux users to run many Windows progams. It is based off of WINE, only friendlier, fancier, and optimized for MS Office and Windows Games respectively. This is serious software, and free on Tuesday only (usually between $40-$70), so take advantage.
Curious about the nature of the bet? Well, let’s just say George Bush gets the credit on this one. Read about that here.
I have had past experience with Mounce’s Flashworks software, a free Windows and Mac program designed to help you learn Greek, but it has gotten a serious upgrade since the last time I checked. Here’s the description on Mounce’s Website:
FlashWorks is a vocabulary drilling program. Each word is tagged for difficulty, type (noun, verb, etc.), chapter, and frequency in the Biblical text. You can then ask for any cross section you wish, such as “all verbs occurring more than 30 times in the New Testament that occur in chapters 16 through 24 in the text and which I have tagged with a difficulty rating of three through five” (five being the most difficult for you). FlashWorks remembers words as you get them right and/or wrong and can automatically set the difficulty rating.
The download is a paltry 6mb, which is a good thing. Databases for the language (i.e., the actual vocab) are downloaded separately (though Greek is included). This, again, is a good thing; it allows the program to be modular, which means the same basic program can be used to learn any language. Databases are currently available for Greek, Hebrew, French, German, and Spanish. And you can always create your own.
You will need to download and install special fonts for Greek and Hebrew (links are available on the site), although it appears that Greek is included in the install. The software uses TekniaGreek and TekniaHebrew, which points up one big disadvantage to FlashWorks and the Teknia fonts: they are not Unicode fonts. If you don’t know what this means, or don’t know why unicode is important, check out my previous introduction to Unicode. The lack of unicode support is why I did not include the Teknia fonts in my list of Great Greek Fonts.
Installers are available for Windows and Mac, and it works beautifully in Wine on Linux (on Ubuntu). And did I mention it is free?
I do have a few qualms. The interface is terribly ugly, and the whole thing could use a usability overhall. Making your own word lists could be easier. I would love to be able to select/tag words in order to create a chapter-specific Machen vocab list, for example, but as it is that would be too time consuming. But it gets the job done, and that’s the important thing with Greek: memorize the vocab, then you can move on to more important matters!
My Windows readers will be perplexed by this post, so as a brief preface, let me just say feel more than free to skip this one (and any other “Linux how to” posts that might pop-up in the future). I spend most of my computer time in Linux, but there are a couple of Windows applications that I use regularly. Bibleworks is one of them. This post explains how I got Bibleworks to run in Linux (Ubuntu 8.04 and Ubuntu 8.10) using Wine. This guide is confirmed to work with Bibleworks 7 and Bibleworks 8 using any Wine version 1.0 and up (Bibleworks 6 has worked fine for years).
Step 1: Install Wine
Step 2: Tell Wine to Play Nice
There are a few modifications that you will want to make to ensure that Wine plays well with Bibleworks. First, and most important, make certain that you are emulating XP. To do this, type “winecfg” in the command line, and make sure XP is the selected version.
Second, the default settings for Internet Explorer will not work with Bibleworks. We will need to change it. Do the following in a terminal to backup the default setup:
mv ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Internet\ Explorer ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/IE6BACKUP
Now we need to use the winetricks script to set up a fake Internet Explorer. In the command line:
chmod +x winetricks
This will bring up the following window. There are a lot of great options here. The only one that you need to worry about at the moment is fakeie6. Select it and let winetricks do its work.
Step 3: Install Bibleworks 7
Now the fun part. Pop in your first Bibleworks disc. Open you favorite file manager and explore the CD. The application you want is “autorun.exe,” and it is best not to run it from the command line (since you will have to switch discs several times). Select the modules you want and start installing.
The only difficulty I ran into here is being a little trigger happy on the disc switching. When the window for exchanging disc opens, go ahead an put in the requested disc. Do not click OK until the disc is fully loaded. Once the disc icon shows up on your desktop (or “Computer” folder), it’s ready to go, and only then should you click OK. Jumping the gun here could result in Bibleworks never recognizing the disc, and you will have to start over. (If this does not work, you can copy the contents of each disc into a folder in your home directory, then use the command line and run wine /path/to/folder/setup.exe).
Once it’s installed, you will have a Bibleworks icon on your desktop. Drag and drop this to whatever launcher or menu you want, or just doubleclick to launch Bibleworks.
Step 4: Updates.
Shutdown Bibleworks and then start it up again. This saves your settings, which is necessary if you have a crash. You should do this anytime you make changes to Bibleworks, such as setting options or default versions.
Before tailoring Bibleworks to your personal needs, it’s a good idea to download all the updates. Sometimes an update can reset your settings, so update before your tweek.
You should be able to check for automatic online updates (this is why we ran the winetricks script). Do not use the dialog for this in the Options menu. Instead, go to Help – Bibleworks on the Internet – Check for updates. This should bring up the window to the left. Check all that you want (I recommend everything), and then click “Apply.”
It should work, and will eventually restart Bibleworks on its own.
Step 5: Getting Pretty
Check out this screenshot. Not pretty, right? That’s because the standard fonts are not really good in Wine. Go to Tools – Options. Select the Font Tab. Adjust as necessary. I used the default font for my Ubuntu theme, which looks very nice. You may also want to change your Greek and Hebrew fonts. For recommendations, check out this post.
Also, while you are in this dialog, set up the “Export” fonts for Unicode support. Use the screenshot to the left as a guide.
You can “pretty up” the rest of the interface by using the aforementioned winetricks script to install the “Core Fonts” package and “Tahoma.”
Step 6: Fixing Smaller Bugs
One minor annoyance occurs when Bibleworks starts and the Welcome Screen appears. In the bottom right hand corner of this dialog box you can uncheck the “Appear at Startup” button, but it won’t do any good. To keep this screen from appearing you need to manually change a line in the bw700.ini file. Located this file in your Wine/BibleWorks 7/ directory and change the following line:
Change the value to 0.
Step 7: Enduring Problems
There are several issues, but only one of them is major. The most obvious is the lack of any icons on the toolbar. This is really not a problem, however, since Bibleworks gives you many ways to get to the dialogs you need.
Update: Some of what follows is not an issue in Bibleworks 8, but help files do still crash Bibleworks.
The biggest issue is that modules that require Windows Help files (.chm) will crash Bibleworks when you close them. This includes many of the various “books” that Bibleworks provides, such a Gesenius’s Hebrew Grammar. There is a work around, however: don’t close the window after you open it. As long as you do not close the window, you can browse, read, copy/paste to your heart’s content. Bibleworks lets you have as many of these windows open as you want, so when you are done with them, just minimize them.
Work Around: You can always view the resource in a native Linux CHM viewer, such as gnochm. I have linked all the .chm files in the Bibleworks “databases” directory into a separate folder to make accessing these resources easier.
Finally, if you do have a crash, you will see the screen to your right. Make sure you select the last option. Bibleworks is a little over-protective. Do not allow it to delete your .ini file, as you will have to reset all your settings. Instead, select “Let the operating system handle the error” and just restart.
I very much recommend backing up your settings file, particularly if you make heavy modifications to the default options (such as specialized search versions, font choices, etc). Despite Bibleworks’s claim to the contrary, the bw700.ini file in the Bibleworks directory is not the file to backup. Bibleworks creates an .ini file in the Windows directory, and that is the one you need (this has been fixed in a recent update). To backup, simply browse to that directory and copy the bw700.ini file, or use the terminal:
cp ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/bw700.ini ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/bw700.ini_BAK
Do the same for the file in the Bibleworks directory, since the most recent version does use that file:
cp ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Bibleworks\ 7/bw700.ini ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Bibleworks\ 7/bw700.ini_BAK
Should you have any problems in the future, just restore your backup file. Windows users will benefit from this as well (I get the occasional crash there too).
I have not had too many crashes. It is pretty stable, for a Wine app, and you can always use something like VirtualBox if you need more stability. Also, whenever you spend a good amount of time changing your settings (such as default search versions, etc.), shutdown and restart to save your settings.
I hope this helps Linux users use this wonderful software. Please post problems (and solutions) in the comments. Here is one last screenshot, with everything running:
Despite more recent developments to the contrary, drinking and enjoying wine is still regarded as somewhat taboo in evangelical circles. In the course of preparing an article for the upcoming Baker Bible Dictionary I have found this attitude to be increasingly suprising, given the biblical evidence to the contrary. Even if we exclude all the technical details, such as the impossibility of maintaining large amounts of grape juice without refrigerators, it is interesting that the abundance of wine is a pretty prominent symbol of God’s blessing upon his covenant people.
Here is a small sample of verses to that effect:
Genesis 27:28 May God give you of heaven’s dew and of earth’s richness– an abundance of grain and new wine.
Isaiah 25:6 On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine– the best of meats and the finest of wines.
Isaiah 55:1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Amos 9:13 “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills.
1 Corinthians 11:25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Correspondingly, when God wants someone to know that they are under his curse, he denies them wine (Hos 2:8, 21-22; 9:2; Joel 1:10).
Of course there are two sides to this coin; the abuse of wine is a persistent symbol of God’s curse. This is also an interesting pattern in Scripture: when someone falls into persistent sin, God’s response of judgment is somewhat paradoxical. Rather than deny them their heart’s desire, he gives it to them in great abundance.
Isaiah 63:6 I trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground.”
Jeremiah 25:15 This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.
Jeremiah 51:7 Babylon was a gold cup in the LORD’s hand; she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad.
So was it blessing or curse that Jesus received when he drank wine on the cross (Matt 27:34ff)? The ambiguity is informative, for Jesus on the one hand foresees in Gethsemane that he will have to drink a cup of judgment (Luke 22:42)–and perhaps this drink symbolizes that cup (and, of course, Elijah does not come to Jesus’ rescue). On the other hand, it is by receiving this cup that Jesus receives the great Joy of covenant blessing (Heb 12:2), and it is in that rich inheritance that we receive the blessings of the covenant.
All this to say, wine should be enjoyed with thanksgiving! Why? Not just because it “delights the hearts” of men and women (Ps 104:15), but more importantly because it is one of many symbols that God uses to remind us of the abundance of blessing he has provided in Jesus Christ. To put it another way: Christians actually have more reason to enjoy wine than non-Christians!
On a lighter note: readers interested in a more practical exploration of theology might (somewhat ironically) find Seven Deadly Zins to be an affordable start.