Category Archives: Technology

Practice what you preach, online educational video edition

I’ve just been watching a twenty-minute online educational video about making online educational videos. By the halfway mark, the gentleman lecturing into the camera has told viewers that online educational videos should include a lot of images and should be five or ten minutes long, maybe fifteen at the absolute most. In case you missed it the first time, this advice came from a talking head lecturing into the camera in a twenty-minute online video.

How to use SBL BibLit on an iPad

Screenshot of Pages on iPad using SBL BibLitWait, wait, I know what you’re thinking: “You can’t add fonts to an iPad!” Well, that’s what I thought, too, until I learned about AnyFont, an amazing iOS utility app by Florian Schimanke. AnyFont does just what the name implies: it allows you to import any font (well, any TrueType or OpenType font) onto your iOS device and use it in iWork apps, Office apps, or any other app that uses the iOS font chooser. Of course, the first font I tried to install in this fashion was SBL BibLit, and it works like a charm in Pages. Even vowel points line up properly.

Now, to actually type those vowel points, you’ll need either an external keyboard (which will follow the Hebrew layout native to the Mac OS) or a software solution like the Davka Nikud on-screen keyboard (which is effective, but slow, since you have to switch character sets (not keyboards) each time you want to type a vowel point. You can also copy and paste pointed text from Accordance or Olive Tree’s Bible app (which, after many years of being called “Bible Reader,” has gone through a perplexing number of name changes in the last few years). I don’t currently know of any way to type cantillation (trop) marks on the iPad. Accordance seems to strip the cantillation marks when you copy text, but Olive Tree’s Bible app preserves them, so that option exists if you need the marks in your iOS word processor.

But this talk about vowel points digresses from the main point: AnyFont enables you to use SBL BibLit and other third-party fonts on iOS. And to me, that’s a very big deal and a very good thing.

Microsoft Office for Mac gets RTL word processing

Bilingual English-Hebrew keyboardI haven’t had many nice things to say about Microsoft Office for Mac in the last few years two decades. Despite the suite’s power and the fact that it outstrips it competition in many different ways, I’ve used other software in preference to Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for many years, largely because right-to-left text processing in Office for Mac has been poor nonexistent since the 1980s, even after the advent and wide adoption of Unicode. I have consistently made sure to have legitimate access to the latest version of Office (currently as a personal subscriber to Office 365) for collaborative purposes, but I almost never use it for my own independent work.

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ThingLink Teacher Challenge, Week 3

I’ve previously mentioned my recent experimentation with ThingLink and my participation in this summer’s ThingLink Teacher Challenge. I also happen to be vacationing at the same time, so I pretty much skipped the assignment for week 2. However, I did complete the assignment for week 3 just before dinner tonight.

Apple Music vs. Spotify, a month in

I’ve been using Spotify for quite some time now, but I couldn’t resist trying out Apple Music during its free trial period. Almost a month in, I’m pretty sure I’ll be sticking with Spotify, at least until Apple Music matures a lot. Right now, Spotify offers a more seamless experience across devices, and I have a much easier time discovering new music in Spotify. Plus, Spotify has a lyrics engine/service built in; Apple doesn’t. Sorry, Apple; I love your hardware and most of your software, but Apple Music doesn’t do it for me (yet).