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News, How-tos, and assorted Views on Accordance Bible Software.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006  

A User Talks About the Dallas Training Seminar

Robb Brunansky is a pastor in Wichita, Kansas and an enthusiastic Accordance user. He traveled quite a way to attend the recent training seminar at Dallas Theological Seminary, so I asked him to share his experiences and his thoughts on whether or not it was worth the trip.

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending an Accordance training seminar. I live in Wichita, KS, and the seminar was at Dallas Theological Seminary. I traveled over 700 miles round trip and spent money to stay in a hotel room the night before just to be able to attend this eight-hour session. Was the training seminar worth that much time and money? Without hesitation, it was.

One of the best aspects of being at an Accordance training seminar is being able to get questions answered instantly on virtually anything related to Accordance by the people who design the software. Imagine having a question about a feature in OS X. What if you were able to get an answer from Steve Jobs as he stood at your computer and showed you how to use the system? At the training seminar the people who write the software are there to look at your Mac, see what you are doing, and immediately answer your question. And they don't merely tell you how to do a given task; they show you how to do it on your own Mac. Usually not only do they answer your burning question, they open up new worlds you never knew existed in Accordance. That kind of help is priceless for the serious student of the Bible.

At the particular session I attended, Dr. Roy Brown was the instructor. It was incredible to see the different types of searches that can be constructed in Accordance. How would a person go about finding all geminate verbs in the Hebrew text (verbs where the last two consonants are the same)? By using a simple wild card search. How do you add your own custom people and events to the timeline and have them display by default with all the standard timeline items? That question is too complex to answer in a review, but it's pretty simple when Dr. Brown is there to show you the answer! When would you use the options All Text, Articles, and Paragraphs in the tool window? Sure, you could read the manual to see what those settings mean, but watching those settings as they are applied to different tools and searches will give you a better understanding and appreciation for them. Have you ever wanted to add dividing lines to your search ranges to separate, for example, the Old Testament books from the New? There is no "add divider" feature in the Define Ranges dialog box, but there is a way to do it. The training seminar can show you how.

There are many other benefits to attending a training session, such as seeing modules you don't own being demoed, being able to pick up a new CD-ROM, or upgrading a CD-ROM without having to pay shipping costs. The one drawback to a general seminar is that everyone in attendance has different questions and different needs. Some aspects might seem a little basic for some users, while other aspects might be too advanced for another group of users. Some might want more Greek or Hebrew searches, while others might feel like they saw more than enough Greek and Hebrew to last them a lifetime. But whatever level you're at, you'll leave the seminar with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for Accordance. And I think you'll find it worth your time, even if you have to drive over 700 miles to attend.

I want to thank Robb for taking the time to tell us how it went. We're going to continue offering these seminars at different locations around the country, as well as in the UK, in the coming months. You can find out more about them here. I hope many of you will be able to take advantage of them.





Comments:
I second Ron's comments whole-heartedly. I was another non-Texan who drove to the Dallas seminar last Saturday (perhaps the only resident of Norman, Oklahoma on the Interstate not going to the football game!).

The seminar was a fantastic refresher course. I felt tremendously invigorated as a result of spending an entire day thinking about how to optimize my use of Accordance, with demo's of tricks and tips coming right and left. With my laptop in front of me, following along with all of the demo's was a form of guided practice, increasing my practical facility with Accordance even when the demo was something I had heard before but had not really used in a habitual sense. When 5 o'clock rolled around, I was not ready to quit and wished it would go on for the entire evening, even though I had been up since the wee hours in order to make the drive that morning.

Perhaps the most lasting effect of the seminar is the result of being in a roomful of fellow evangelicals and Mac-users all day. I highly recommend the Accordance training video, but this experience had a different dimension altogether. What made the seminar so much more fun than watching a video are the faces I will remember: meeting Roy and Helen Brown in person, instead of just in the forums, or sitting near Robb, who has helped me in the forums as well, or meeting seminary students during breaks and eating lunch with other Accordance users.

Come to a seminar, take your laptop, talk with other users throughout the day -- it is wonderful!

PEACE
Kerry

PS: I promised one person I met a url for a web page I've made on resources for those new to the Mac, but I forgot to give it to them and don't have their email address. So maybe it will be useful to others here as well:
New to Mac OS X
 

Here is one other thought that came to me from attending the Dallas seminar and hearing of their monthly Accordance user group meetings. What a great idea! My thought is that a local Accorance user group would offer many of the same benefits of the seminars -- personal interaction, demo's of tips and tricks, the chance to see modules other than ones you currently own. So I'm thinking about starting an Accordance user group in the central Oklahoma area. A monthly meeting could begin with a demo of the tips outlined in this Accordance Blog since the previous meeting, and then proceed to informal Q&A and show and tell. Anyone else in central Oklahoma interested? If so, please email me using the mail link on the page linked to in my comment above. Thanks.

PEACE
Kerry
 

(Robb, sorry I called you Ron in the first line above!)
 

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