7.0391 Rs: OED on CD-ROM; End of an Era (2/70)

Tue, 11 Jan 1994 14:01:33 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 7, No. 0391. Tuesday, 11 Jan 1994.

(1) Date: Sun, 2 Jan 1994 21:02:06 -0800 (42 lines)
From: mef@netcom.com (Mary Ellen Foley)
Subject: OED on CD ROM

(2) Date: Tue, 4 Jan 1994 15:54:22 -0500 (EST) (28 lines)
From: jod@ccat.sas.upenn.edu (James O'Donnell)
Subject: end of an ear

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 1994 21:02:06 -0800
From: mef@netcom.com (Mary Ellen Foley)
Subject: OED on CD ROM

somebody asked...
>I've heard that the OED is available on CD ROM. Can anyone tell me
>where I might get some information about it? I would appreciate it.

I got the Compact OED of Modern English on disc as a Christmas gift,
with all the HW necessary to use it. On the same disc I got a couple
of dictionaries of quotations, a thesaurus, the Bible, a complete
Shakespeare, and more.

Sounds great, right? Too bad the user interface is so terrible, the
stuff is practically useless.

In order to look up anything in the dictionary, you have to use about
60 zillion keystrokes, because the information is in a format only
readable by stupid book-reading SW from IBM. For example, when you ask
it to look up a word, it searches not only the dictionary entries but
also all of the text in the whole dictionary (might be a useful feature,
if you could also limit the search to dictionary entries). Then it tells
you it found the word you're looking for, but you have to go through
several keystrokes to get the thing to display what it found. In addition,
the preface to one of the dictionaries of quotations says that since we
have this great SW for reading books, they haven't included the index!
Unfortunately, the searching SW brings up the names of the people who
originated the quoted material, but none of the contextual information
that is USUALLY found in an index to such a volume. So if you want to
know "who said...<something>", you get to look through EVERY entry for

So does anybody know whether there is aftermarket SW for reading IBM
formatted (ISSC) files?

And if I pay the bucks for the whole OED, do I get a decent UI?


Mary Ellen

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------49----
Date: Tue, 4 Jan 1994 15:54:22 -0500 (EST)
From: jod@ccat.sas.upenn.edu (James O'Donnell)
Subject: end of an ear

With thanks to those who replied to my query about how to get data from
one huge hard disk to another, the chief useful suggestions are:

(1) Use Laplink or something like it;
(2) Think about unplugging an old hard disk and putting it in the
new machine, even if only temporarily;
(3) Integrate what you are doing for backup now with what you
will do when the time comes to move on.

Reflecting on this I realized that I've reached a watershed. Cleaning
off my desk today in a pre-term burst of energy, I saw that since I
bought my Kaypro II in February 1983, I've always had a box or more of
floppies (and lately a pile of 3.5's) taking up space on my desk. But
now they are only backups, and originals of things friends have sent me,
and the like, and they can be decently relegated to a file cabinet
drawer, giving me back a square foot or two of desktop. And whatever
happened to "Elephant" brand diskettes ("They Never Forget")? Forgotten

Jim O'Donnell
Classics, U. of Penn