02 November 2009

Logos 4.0 launches today

by Dan Phillips

[BTW: Last Saturday was Reformation Day, and Pyromaniacs had a post inspired by the event... in case you missed it]

Howdy boys and girls. For some time now, I've been confined in a super-secret location, beta-testing the Logos 4 software. Only now am I allowed to Go Public — and hey, look! You're the public!

Okay, the confinement part isn't true, but the rest is. The folks at Logos are unveiling their new software platform, and it boasts quite a quiver-full of changes and upgrades in performance and power. Go check it out, now.

This is not a full review, but a peek and a taste. I'm not light-speed in capturing these new applications. I still have a grossly-overdue review of BibleWorks 8 that should finally arrive this week or the next, and that's been around for a good while. But let me share some of what I am seeing about Logos 4.

All the changes I see reflect the fact that the Logos folks have been listening carefully to their customers, which is all-good. Two such specific factors may be controversial, but are clearly targeted at addressing long-standing complaints about Logos 3's speed: (1) indexing, and (2) server based operations.

Logos 4 will periodically want to perform full indexing of the product (i.e. when new databases are added). In the short run, of course, this has a significant impact on pc performance. A simple workaround Logos provides is to put off the indexing until a more convenient time.

The payoff is substantial. Because of the standing index, complex searches now take a moment or two. Example: my Logos library is very large. I did a whole-library search on propitiation.  I received 4211 results in 2470 articles in 3.13 seconds, plus another 806 results in 452 new resources (not yet incorporated into the main index) in 2.48 seconds.




That same search in Logos 3 took nearly six minutes. That's a huge improvement.

Also, in ways I don't fully grasp yet, my resources are monitored on the Logos servers. That way, updates can take place overnight. But another payoff for me is that my iPhone can use the free Logos software app (that I mention here) to access — as far as I can tell — all of my Logos resources. This is really a staggering feature.

In fact, a Logos fact-sheet says that "all your documents—notes, clippings, and custom guides—are safely backed up on our servers. If your computer crashes, just reinstall Logos 4 and all your data will be restored." This also makes it possible to sync your Logos exactly with a second computer.

Logos 4 details 100 new features. Here are a few miscellaneous specifics.
  • Logos 4 can accommodate multiple monitors.
  • Logos 4 will read your selection aloud. 
  • Put a Bible passage in the Go line on the home page, and both Passage and Exegetical searches are performed at the same time
  • The results that come up are more comprehensive and more usefully-displayed, including text-comparisons, cross-passages, and Information window activated by a mouse-over.

  • Many more facets are customizable, including layouts and tagging/rating of your favorite resources.
As I said, this is just a taste. When I'm able, I plan to do a more complete review. Go check it out yourself, compare packages — it's available to you today.

UPDATE: if all you want to do is upgrade your Logos engine, see here. I think it's certainly worth at least that.

Dan Phillips's signature

46 comments:

Johnny Dialectic said...

Dan, do you (or does anyone else) have anything to say about the Mac version of Logos?

DJP said...

No, I have an actual computer.

Meds for your IMAGINATION said...

"Dan, do you (or does anyone else) have anything to say about the Mac version of Logos?"

Everyone knows those emergent boys don't have real computers...

Mesa Mike said...

Wow, looks like that Platinum edition has everything, including multiple commentaries on what color a Christian's kitchen sink should be.

Caleb Kolstad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Caleb Kolstad said...

LOGOS has made a book lover want to sell many of his hard copy commentaries and buy the new Logos 4 Platinum edition!

besiderself said...

Bleh. Just when I am in financial straits, not only does Logos 4 come out, with an update that (for my library) will cost $102, but also comes out with a yuckPhone app and no blackberry love. I'm drooling all over the place and no napkins.
Phooey. I guess God doesn't love me any more, lol!

DJP said...

Ooh, I didn't mean to cause spiritual crises for anyone.

McGrath Clan said...

I hope they offer an engine-only price. I just crossgraded to the Mac for $70 (that's what I get for being an early-adopter), and don't need the resources in the base packages. I just want the features!

The Squirrel said...

I kept searching for the "This has been a paid endorsement..." disclaimer.

But, who am I to talk? I just hosted a Windows7 launch party...

:o)

~Squirrel

Chris Roberts said...

Johnny,

The Mac version is a few months behind the Windows version but Logos has committed to bringing it up parallel to the features and functionality of the Windows version.

See
http://www.logos.com/mac/disclaimer
and
http://www.seektheholy.com/2009/11/02/introducing-logos-4/#mac
and
http://community.logos.com/forums/t/3209.aspx

Phil Johnson said...

The upgrade seems pretty pricey since I have already paid for the resources and it seems to me all they are upgrading is the main engine. Yet the upgrade cost seems like it's keyed to the number of resources you have already paid for; the more you have bought in the past, the higher your upgrade fee. For me, it's $190. Is the upgrade really worth that for a lay pastor on a budget?

BTW, I have a Mac, but I run Logos in a Windoze VM. I tried an early beta of the Logos Mac engine and hated it. So I'm not planning to make the switch to the Mac version. Now, if I hear Mac users saying the new Logos for Mac is really, really efficient, perhaps I'd consider that upgrade, but that would seem a steep upgrade price, even if it enabled me to switch to the Mac platform.

So for now I'm going to stick with the version I have until I can try it hands on and judge for myself whether it's worth so much of my Christmas money.

Johnny Dialectic said...

Chris, thanks.

Dan, jealous.

DJP said...

Oh, don't be.

:^P

JackW said...

Phil, the engine upgrade only is about $70. It looks like the package upgrades have a lot of newer content. Have look closely for just the upgrade.

DJP said...

I added a direct link to the engine crossgrade. See my Update, above.

CR said...

PJ: BTW, I have a Mac, but I run Logos in a Windoze VM.

Is Grace Church not paying you enough, Phil, so that you can invest in an actual computer?

Adrian Warnock said...

Just a FYI, for those who this will be of interest to, if you don't yet have Logos, you can get 25% off by ordering thru the link you will find on http://adrianwarnock.com

Adrian Warnock said...

O and about the Mac version its only an alpha at the moment. But if you have a PC as well as a mac, running it just once on there will do the sync you need for the iPhone app while you wait for the Mac version to be ready. Some people are managing to install the alpha on their macs, so far I havent been able to

Slim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil Johnson said...

I got an e-mail from Logos explaining that the upgrade includes thousands of dollars worth of new titles. Technically, if I upgrade my package, the engine is free, and my Logos library will be bigger than ever.

I'll have to compare their chart to find out precisely which new titles the upgrade buys. Meanwhile, I'm also waiting to hear whether my massive Spurgeon collection from Ages software will still work after the upgrade.

This morning I had to buy a new external HD because my main backup drive finally went kaput whilst I was in Washington this weekend. So I've spent all my discretionary funds between now and Christmas. I'll have to watch the feedback from Pyro readers who DO upgrade. Let us know whether you think the upgrade is worth the price (and how much work it is to upgrade).

For the record, I thought the upgrade from the original Logos to the Libronix engine was brilliant. One of the best upgrades I ever purchased. If this upgrade is on the same order of magnitude, I'll really look forward to getting it.

VcdeChagn said...

No, I have an actual computer.

Snort... :D

You can d'l the engine for free NOW!

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fdownloads.logos.com%2FLBS4%2FLDLS4Installer%2FLogos4Setup.exe&h=56da748cc5f2d2deefe882778f54e8fd

I can't get it to download by stripping off all the extraneous stuff but it does work this way. I just did it and am indexing now.

This gives me a chance to test it while deciding on just a straight Gold upgrade, or a switch to platinum...or taking out a second mortgage for portfolio (Snort again).

VcdeChagn said...

Nevermind..I can't get it to work as pasted.

However, if you are a fan of Logos on facebook, it's the fifth comment..and it does work.

I failed the intarwebs I guess

JackW said...

My first impression is wow … just WOW! It was still indexing when I went to bed, but I’m very impressed. BTW, I ran my old version 3 just to see if it was still there and operational and it is. The interface on 4 is much improved I think. Morris Proctor’s job may have just gotten a lot easier. The fact that I have access to my Logos content on my iTouch is just icing on the cake.

I haven’t watch any of the videos yet, just jumped in with what have you got on “John 3?” Stunning. Easy access to everything without the information overload. Move the curser over MacArthur Study Bible Notes and a pop-up appears with the content.

First impression: Worth it.

threegirldad said...

Link to download mentioned by VcdeChagn...

Doug McMasters said...

Phil,

My Logos 4 (on a PC) is still indexing (a looooong process), and so I haven't had my hands on enough to say much.

But to answer one of yur questions: The Ages Spurgeon material I had is up and running on the new edition.

hmmi said...

Well I am not having the Love-Fest everyone else seems to be having with the new Logos 4 Bible Software.

I have puchased the updrade to my Scholars Library. Downloaded everything to include the 6.7Gb files and went through the over 6 hours of indexing only to have it open and say there is an error preventing it from working properly. Windows is shutting it down and will let me know if it finds a fix.

Several calls and emails to Logos Support only to be told I would have to hold the line for 30 to 45 minutes (I live overseas and would be cost prohibitive to hold that long) and no replies from the email support for the second day.

So I have asked them to refund my money and I will reconsider when the bugs are out of it.

Doug McMasters said...

Indexing. Indexing. Indexing. I have a large Logos library, but WOW this isn't good.

DJP said...

I said that would be a controversial change, but I see it as a positive, now that I'm used to it.

Look in your system tray, where the pc time is. Point your cursor at the little pictures. One will offer you the option to pause indexing for four hours. Do that, and let it index while you sleep.

I think that the first indexing is the most comprehensive, and subsequent ones are less so. But your can pause it while you work, and let it do the work while you're afk.

As I said in the article (folks did read the article, right?), the time-gain is really substantial. Hang in there, Doug; see what you think over the course of a week or so.

James Kubecki said...

I installed Logos 4 last night, but I'm still only seeing the same free resources on my iPhone. What do I have to do get my books to show up there?

(Yes, I'm logged in with the same Logos.com account on both my PC and my iPhone.)

I might try removing the iPhone app and reinstalling. Maybe it only syncs when it launches/logs in for the first time? I've tried logging out and back in, but nothing happens then.

DJP said...

James, I'm not an expert, but:

Open the app, touch on the Library icon at the bottom, then the Library button at the top.

You do that, and nothing shows?

James Kubecki said...

Nope. (Also tried reinstalling the app, no luck.)

All I seem to see are the resources listed as free on the Logos iPhone Support Page and the Bibles available from bible.logos.com, and a couple more foreign language Bibles. Total book count seems to be about 51 titles.

On my desktop, on the other hand, I have 504 books.

James Kubecki said...

Dan (and all),

After finally getting the Forums on Logos' site to work, various posts there seem to imply that you have to BUY a Logos 4 package instead of just upgrading the engine upgrade.

I posted the following question/concern there, which may be of interest to Pyro's readers. (Apologies if you consider this cross-posting and it's frowned upon... If so, feel free to delete this.):

"I installed the core engine upgrade for Logos 4, but have not purchased an upgrade or crossgrade library. It seems that I am unable to sync my library, then, with my iPhone - i.e., it shows I have 504 books in my Logos 4 on my desktop (titles I have purchased previously), but only the standard 'free' ones on the iPhone.

1. Is my understanding correct, that I cannot get access to my paid library without paying an upgrade cost, even though I have 4.0 installed and have purchased these titles?

2. Doesn't this run counter to Logos' traditional licensing stand, that once you buy the book, you own the book?

I am really impressed with the 4.0 software, and the iPhone app, but I'm having a very hard time to not feel disappointed and feel like Logos is significantly changing, for the worse, their business models and policies regarding upgrades, content licensing, and usage."

TruthStands said...

The way Logos has always worked is that the engine on its own is free. However when they come out with a new engine they try to get people to buy an "upgrade" which really means buy the new base package of books.

The FREE engine will be available in coming weeks. They're just trying to get people to buy the books first.

It's smart to crossgrade because they've included all the reverse interlinears in all the packages which will make running Greek/Hebrew word studies a breeze from any English translation.

They've also added up to 270 new books to each collection and kept the price of the collection the same as it was before! If you cross-grade, you're probably getting a couple thousand dollars of resources for pennies on the dollar.

Phil, all prior resources work with the new version. No worries there. Come on down to my office if you want to check it out. I have it on my laptop and desktop (since this leaves my username, I'm Gabe Powell in the web team at GTY).

Additionally, this software runs side-by-side with v. 3. It's a completely different application. So whatever is temporarily missing (they're still adding more features) you can use v. 3 in the meantime.

TruthStands said...

James,

I don't have an iPhone, so I don't know all the answers to your questions, but you should be careful to distinguish between 1) not having access to your books, and 2) not having access to your books on the iPhone.

You make it sound like you have to pay more money to touch your books, which of course is false since you can still use v.3 and v.4 with your books.

Logos has to work with the publishers to get permission to put books on the iPhone, so it's not as simple as it might seem. You own the book you bought, but the licenses that Logos has agreed upon need to be updated to meet new mediums of distribution.

Dan said...

To hmmi,

Indexing takes a long time. A really long time.

Logos 4 is a professional-level power tool. It is like ordering a hand crafted Rolls Royce and recognizing it will take a few extra days for them to embroider your monogram into the headrests. :-) (is daddy's car ready yet lovey? hmmm?)

Most of us are like little kids on Christmas day with the coolest brand new battery powered toy. We tear that wrapping paper off and can't wait to open it up and play with it right away! If someone forgot to get batteries for our new toy, the wait for breakfast, relatives, relaxing... until dad will run to the store to get new batteries is interminable.

The same is true of Logos 4. You just bought it and you want to play with it! Now! We know, the wait can seem like an eternity.

We wrote a blog post today to help give people a better understanding of what indexing is all about and why it is a really, really, really, good idea.

Let's be honest, downloading and indexing is going to take a long time. You are going to need something interesting to do while you wait, so you might as well go read the blog post or check out the new Logos 4 videos, so once your Logos 4 is up and running you will have a head start on playing like a pro!

-Dan (from Logos)

Dan said...

The Logos 4 Video Tutorials are located here:

http://www.logos.com/videos

If you can't watch the videos, there is a good walk-through "brochure" here:

http://www.logos.com/logos4

It just so happens to be very similar to the "brochure" that we just put in the John MacArthur cover-issue of Bible Study Magazine along with a free download of MacArthur's Romans Bible study...
http://www.biblestudymagazine.com/john-macarthur/

William Dicks said...

Living in South Africa, buying Logos is a luxury that I cannot afford, and by extension, probably about 98% of the population. I do not earn a bad salary, don't get me wrong, but Logos' pricing for a South African is quite ridiculous.

Logos in South Africa haven't updated their website for Logos 4 yet, so they only have the Logos 3 pricing. That pricing is almost 50% of my salary. I can only imagine how expensive Logos 4 will be in SA.

That is why I still use the trusted e-sword free Bible software. It may not have what Logos or Bible Works has, but it is a worthy alternative, especially when price is considered.

So, while Logos and Bible Works are amazing, it remains unaffordable here where I live.

Doug McMasters said...

I'm past the indexing stage--I think--after 2+ days.

I bought 4.0 before I knew anything about the length of time needed for indexing. Would have appreciated a heads up. Glad to see the Logos blog includes one now.

And I had to find out the hard way that any new updates restarted the indexing cycle. I discovered through a search of the Logos forum pages that turning off Auto Download Update prevents that.

I like what I see so far. Once I'm able, I'll start walking through the videos and familiarising myself with the changes.

hmmi said...

Ok I finally got my Logos 4 reinstalled after many headaches and no tech support from Logos.

I had to find where it installed, uninstall and delete the folder it leaves behind.

Once I accomplished all this, I had to redownload and install everything and this time the download was 7.2Gig instead of 6.7Gig.

Then it went through hours of indexing which I was expecting.

I finally was able to take it for a test spin and in the Library, I tried to do a "find" and as soon as I typed in a letter, any letter, it errored out and shut down.

It reopened, everything seemed to be normal and I tried it again and it did the same thing. Everytime I try to use "Find" in the library, it errors out and windows shuts it down.

I tried to use the double click on a word and open the dictionary. This it did but errored out just like the Find issue.

I have emailed Logos about both issues to see if there is a response.

Also I noticed that after the download it goes through Phase 1of 3, Indexes but I never see what Phase 2 or 3 of 3 are. Does anyone know about this?

Bryan

DJP said...

BTW, I agree that eSword is a remarkably good tool, for a free tool. I hope (at least) everyone who has it as his main tool makes a donation; the creator of the SW says very, very few do.

SermonFire said...

quick question to any Logos officials on here or anyone who can direct me to an answer:

I'd like to upgrade in a month or so, but will the discount price I have know stay the same or will it go up if I wait?

Would very much appreciate an answer or link to an answer, thanks.

Dan said...

Doug or Phil, I have Ages software collections (Calvin, Spurgeon, and another). I didn't realize you can include those resources in Logos. Can you briefly describe how you did that? I would LOVE to add my Ages software to Logos. Thanks! Dan Huff

Doug McMasters said...

Dan, when I upgraded to 4.0, I happily discovered that the Logos version of my Calvin Commentaries and Spurgeon's Sermons reformatted too and are available for use. Note, these are not the pdf-style files that Ages issues for some things. I highly doubt you can integrate those into Logos 4.

Doug McMasters said...

My Logos-based Ages material (Calvin and Spurgeon) loaded into Logos 4 when the rest of my Logos 3 library reformatted. Note, Ages pdf-style material won't work with Logos 4.

Rygle said...

If you want to just upgrade the engine, simply download and run this file for FREE;
http://downloads.logos.com/LBS4/Installer/Logos4Setup.exe