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Squeezing the bible on a Psion palmtop or Symbian smartphone

Revised October 2006

There are a variety of approaches to displaying bible text on a Psion/Symbian palmtop.

On a Series 60 (S60) device

On a Symbian communicator (e.g. Nokia 9210/9500, Sony Ericsson P900)

  • The World English text is also available as an even more highly compressed TomeRaider database. This offers very fast keyword lookup. Download this version here (2.1MB). And here's the ISV New Testament, in the same format, ISVNTv130.tr (563K). You can get the shareware TomeRaider viewer from Proporta.
  • Mobipocket Reader is a versatile freeware reader that can cope with the World English Bible in standard ebook format. Here's the New Testament, to get you started. MemoWare has the full set.
  • As a last resort, you can go online and tap on one of the books at bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=NIV&passage=all and save the resulting web page. Then you can just open this again in your browser later on.

On an EPOC device (e.g. Series 5)

  • Portions of both World English and Old King James Bibles are online in both Data and compressed etext format in several places on the net, including PocketInfo.
  • The World English text is also available as an even more highly compressed TomeRaider database. This offers very fast keyword lookup. Download this version here. And here's the ISV New Testament, in the same format, ISVNTv130.tr (563K). You can get the shareware TomeRaider viewer from Proporta.
  • Selected key verses are available in easy-to-use format in my freeware LifeGuide.
  • Palmix have developed a freeware book-by-book reader application. Find out more at palmix.itil.com/newpalmix/products/bible_home.htm
  • Mobipocket Reader is a versatile freeware reader that can cope with the World English Bible in standard ebook format. Here's the New Testament, to get you started. MemoWare has the full set.
  • As a last resort, you can go online and tap on one of the books at bible.gospelcom.net/bible?version=NIV&passage=all and save the resulting web page. Then you can just open this again in Web later on.

On a Series 3a/3c/3mx

Firstly, consider a set of WORD files, each with the text of one book of the bible. The main problem with this approach is the limit of 32,000 or so characters for each file - quite a few of the bible books exceed this.

Secondly, you can think about keeping the text complete (or at least in larger sections) and using Barry Childress' Reader shareware program, which allows browsing and searching of large text files. Even better, it allows us to use pre-compressed files (which can be distinguished by their .TCR extension), so for example our 1Mb New Testament text only takes up 400k or so. Pre-compressed versions of both the Old and New testaments in Old King James format are available from the usual shareware sources. A pre-compressed version of selected books from the World English Bible is here as webs3.zip (270k).

[Screen Shot]

Thirdly, several people have been working on specific bible reader applications, which offer special features like jumping to specific references or offering concordance links, in addition to some kind of compression system to save space.

System screen shot

One such program which is available now is Christopher Took's BIBLE program. So far the only datafiles ready are the basic Old King James New and Old Testaments, broken down into separate books, but there is a menu option for a concordance, and the basic program looks very promising. Again, even in its compressed form, the bible will fill a 2Mb flash disk. In fact, using Christopher's system the total size is 2.3Mb.

Lastly, my own "Lifeguide" is freeware and displays appropriate verses in modern english for particular moods or situations.

With the advent of the World English Bible, I dare say that some or all of the Old King James texts mentioned above will be converted into the new translation format. Watch this space!


If you speak german, see also M.Nitzke's page.

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