Just Ordered

So I got the new iMac, right. Okay, well and good. It’s display is glorious and I’ve only got it set at the 2560 x 1440 resolution. The 5k is way sharper than anything I need and makes everything minuscule anyway. To the left of the iMac is a 23″ Acer monitor that was linked to the church’s 13″ MacBook Pro as a second display as well as my Toshiba Satellite Pro as the main display since the laptop screen died on me quite some time ago.

I don’t use the church computer enough to need a second display. I really have it just for doing the multimedia stuff on Sundays and Wednesdays and logging in the offerings, which requires little more than data input twice a week. So the second display wasn’t really necessary. I hope you’re following me. I’m going somewhere. I promise. Alright, so, I decided to hook the 23″ Acer monitor up to the iMac as a second display. The truth is that my workflow is such that I require two displays. I’ve been working like this for more than a year with my MacBook Pro hooked up to dual 24″ Dell monitors.

Still with me? Good. Okay, so I discovered that while I have way more pixels with the gorgeous 27″ iMac display, I still needed another monitor to handle the stuff I do. I thought the Acer would suffice. Problem is, it doesn’t. The discrepancy in size is annoying to start. But the way the new desk is set up also presents a problem since the monitors are right next to each other and positioned straight across. They really need to be angled inward to be useful to me.

Am I making sense? I hope so. Let’s continue… So I decided that I need another 27″ monitor. I would have loved to get a 1440p Dell monitor but I didn’t want to spend over $500 on one. So I opted to go with a 1080p Dell display. I chose the 27″version of the 24″ monitors I already have. It was an easy choice since I already know how great these displays are and how much I love them. I got a good deal from NewEgg and it will be here today.

The 23″ Acer is going to my daughter so she can plug her ChromeBook into it at her desk and have a second monitor or even use it as her main display. The church’s MacBook might have to come down off of the Rain Design mStand and simply be rested on the desk in clamshell mode if there’s not enough room to accommodate everything. We’ll have to see what’s possible. But the great thing about the monitor I chose is that I’ll be able to have the iMac, MacBook, and Toshiba all plugged into it and toggle through the systems at my leisure! Can’t wait.

Thanks for listening. Until next time…


In the Mail

I went away for a few days last week and neglected to mention that Lexham Press sent along the first three volumes of Geerhardus Vos’ Reformed Dogmatics for review. These are slim books with the volumes on Theology Proper and Christology coming in at around 250 pages each while the volume on Anthropology is about 150 pages. This is a welcome change from the systematic theology sets I’m used to.

I’ve also just received a copy of All that the Prophets Have Declared, edited by Matthew R. Malcolm. Matthew recently blogged summaries of the book’s contents so when he asked if anyone would be interested in reviewing the book I naturally jumped at the chance.


Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day! Some years ago I did a series of posts reflecting on God as Father. I wish I had time this week to add to them but I will add this one reflection. God the Father sent his only begotten Son so that we would be given the right to become children of God (John 1:12). John tells us that this birth doesn’t come from “natural descent… human decision or a husband’s will” (John 1:13 NIV) but of God.

God didn’t need us. I’ve heard it preached that because God is love and love needs to be expressed that God needed to express it by enlarging his family. This simply isn’t the case. God’s love has been expressed throughout eternity between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It was purely out of God’s freedom (or pleasure and will to use Paul’s language in Ephesians) that he chose to create us so that the elect in Christ could become members of his family.

That’s mind-boggling. So think about that as you celebrate your Father’s Day. You are a child of God because he wanted you to be and for no other reason than that…


New Desk

It was only like a year-and-a-half ago that I got a new desk. This one had bookshelves built in all over the place and it was glorious. But then I got another desk that I positioned opposite this one. That one was home to my new laptop and dual (actually triple when I first got it) monitor setup. Neither picture tells the full tale of how the two functioned together but this one might help you to understand what’s been going on.

This was cool for a good while. But then I got the laptop for the church and I put that on the right side of the wooden desk, which in turn covered up valuable books and left me no space on the right side to do anything. I could have lived with that. But then I got an iMac and I had that on the left side of the desk. That also covered up books but it was way too big to go there. I had to do something!

So I took a trip to IKEA yesterday, and after a very unpleasant shopping experience, I came home with a new desk. This meant disassembling the wooden one and assembling the new one. That was all easy enough. Then came the task of rearranging things and attending to cable management, because let’s face it, nobody wants to see a bunch of cables hanging out freely. So I got all that done and here’s the final result.


Now I’ll be the first to admit that there’s a symmetry issue, but allow me to explain. The 23″ Acer monitor in the middle is hooked up to my old Toshiba Satellite Pro, which is sitting on top of the filing cabinet beneath the desk. It also serves as the secondary display for the 13″ MacBook Pro that is on the left atop the Rain Design mStand. In order to manage the cables in the most satisfactory was I know how, I had to put those exactly where they are. That left the right side for the iMac. I’d prefer to have the iMac toward the middle (a little right of middle actually, but that’s because the filing cabinet is down there). But in all, I’m pleased. This will evolve over time, of course, but it works (really well actually!) for now.


Just Ordered

Flipboard is easily one of my favorite iPhone apps. I flip through dozens of articles daily and they’re all tailored to my interests. Today I happened across an article saying that B&H Photo was having a sale on Apple’s 5k Retina iMacs. They were offering something like $300 off the base model, which I strongly considered getting, but ultimately, after a day’s worth of deliberation, I decided on upgrading to the model with a 1TB fusion drive. B&H is a certified Apple retailer so I’m getting exactly what I’d get from Apple but I got it for $50 less than the Apple price and didn’t have to pay sales tax on it. The savings from tax was like $154! So in all I saved over $200, not to mention that they threw in a free copy of Parallels 10 with the purchase. That’s like a $70 program. I run Windows 8.1 in Parallels 9 on my MacBook Pro and I love it. I have to imagine that the newest version provides an even better experience.

Now someone might wonder why I got a 5k Retina iMac. It’s not like I actually need one. The long and the short of it is that I wanted it. I’ve wanted an iMac since I got the MacBook Pro and it just so happens that now was the time to strike. For the same configuration of the regular non-retina iMac I would have paid just as much (see below) and with this one I’m getting more VRAM, although from what I’ve read, many prefer the NVIDIA graphics card of the non-retina iMac over the AMD graphics card in the retina for work with Adobe’s creative suite. Time will tell how well it works.

Screenshot 2015-06-10 22.45.37

At the end of the day I don’t need a new computer. I don’t need another computer. The truth is that I got my MacBook Pro because I thought my Toshiba Satellite Pro was ready to give up the ghost. The Toshiba is still functioning; quite well in fact. Whodathunkit? Nobody really needs any of this stuff, but I like it, and while I’ve really come to appreciate Apple products after years of eschewing them, I’m still not read to join the choir of lemmings who think they’re without flaw or God-sent. For me, I like how this stuff looks; I like how it functions; and it helps me to get my work done efficiently. That’s good enough.


Quote of the Day

Matthew W. Bates:

Accordingly, despite the I-am-merely-a-historian claim offered by some working in this field, I am grateful that we live in an era in which it is increasingly recognized that there is no neutral, objective, independent ground that is unsullied by prior commitments and worldviews upon which any historian might stand when examining these matters. With respect to the study of anything, Christian origins included, everyone is equally intellectually positioned while undertaking the task–those outside, inside, on the fence, self-avowedly neutral, bitter, “in love with Jesus,” intrigued, congenial, hostile. Yet, this inescapable perspectivalism when doing historical theology must not become an excuse for lack of fair-mindedness or intellectual rigor in seeking the truth. The best we can do is to try to be honest with ourselves and with others about the lenses that we bring, exercise a healthy self-suspicion, and then to pursue the truth wherever it might lead.

The Birth of the Trinity, 11.


In Which I Wax Eloquent on Bible Software (@emschumacher)

Eric Schumacher asked for some advice on Twitter about whether he should go with BibleWorks or Logos since he’s just switched over to a Mac. To complicate things I threw Accordance into the mix. The reality is that all of these programs are great and they can all run on either Windows or OS X nowadays. This wasn’t always the case. There was a time when Accordance was the only game in town for exegesis on a Mac. Then Logos crossed over and from what I understand, the early version of Logos 4 for OS X was buggy and not a great joy to use. They’ve come a long way. I’m still using Logos 5 even though 6 is out and I love it for the things I use it for.

And that’s the issue. Logos, for me at least, is a great searchable digital library. I mainly use it for reading and searching the texts that I’m reading as well as it’s fantastic cross referencing features (you don’t know the joy that it brings me to be able to hover over a footnote in one of Craig Keener’s commentaries to an ancient writing and have the Greek or Latin version of the writing along with an English translation [thanks to the Perseus collection!] ready to be referenced at the click of a button). I know that it’s capable of doing intense exegetical work but compared to Accordance and BibleWorks it takes too long. To be honest, the mobile app is what I love most about Logos, and when I say love, I mean it! That app is fantastic and if ever I do use Logos for exegesis it’s when I’m out of the house and have the app handy.

But Accordance and BibleWorks both fly through even the most difficult tasks. Sure, over the years they’ve built up respectable book packages, but nothing that comes close to rivaling Logos’ massive library options. But that’s not a problem since they’re both great for—you guessed it—exegesis! Now a couple weeks back I noted how I’m just getting back into BibleWorks 9 even though it’s the reason I put a virtual machine on my MacBook Pro in the first place. The reason I stepped away is because I’ve been using Accordance. Honestly, they’re both equal in my eyes, but Accordance offers a little more customization in terms of the user interface. I like that. I like it a lot.

But this is all stuff I’ve said before. Just search through the technology category on this blog and you can find my thoughts on all of these programs as I’ve used them throughout the years. The bottom line—and this seems to be the sentiment of most that I’ve discussed this with—is that Accordance & BibleWorks are preferable for exegesis; Logos is preferable for building a strong digital theological library.