Missionaries, younger children, and senior citizens

M issionaries, younger children, and senior citizens. What do these three groups have in common? I wondered this when I read an advertising blurb for LcdBible on The CrossWire Bible Society site.

* Limited functionality (only The World English Bible, no commentaries or dictionaries)
* Simple for missionaries, children, or seniors.
* Small 500kb download including WEB-NT.
* Under 1 sec launch and searches even on obsolete Lowest Common Denominator 486’s (640*480 res, Win95)

Digging further I went to the FAQ page for LcdBible. Answering the question, “How is LcdBible different from other Bible software?”, the developers state:

[T]his resulted in LcdBible also being suitable for less computer literate people with or without modern computers (such as missionaries, younger children, senior citizens, etc.).

While I laud the desire to make affordable (in this case, free) software that runs on a minimal hardware configuration, I dislike being characterized with younger children and senior citizens as “less computer literate” and “without modern computers”. It shouldn’t be that way and it isn’t that way.

I’m not just taking offense as a missionary though. My own “younger children” are quite computer literate, as are their Trinidadian classmates. My “senior citizen” parents are adept at using modern technology, using it frequently to communicate with their far-flung children.

As a missionary I have invested heavily in developing a digital library on the Libronix platform, primarily from Logos Bible Software. The newest versions of this software do require significant computing power, but the features make Bible study and sermon preparation easier and faster.

However, I recognize that most of the pastors that I interact with and the students I teach at the Seminary, can not and will not be able to afford Logos. For them I recommend e-Sword. While it doesn’t have all of the wizz-bang features of Logos or the number of resources available, it does provide a significant number of works and features that make it a valuable study platform. Best of all, it’s free.

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