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[tlug] Dictionary problem

Thomas Blasejewicz writes:

 > I have been contemplating the following "question" for a long time, 
 > since every time I dare asking something like that, I am stoned to death 
 > or burnt at the stake within 7 seconds of posting.

Please provide examples from this list, or stop posting this nonsense
about how you're persecuted.

 > In a recent response to my (apparently stupid) question about HDD 
 > problems, Mr. Turnbull used the term "technopeasant" (a new term?).

It was not a response to you.  It was in the same thread, but it was a
response to Kalin.  As a translator, you should take care to be more
accurate in your use and interpretation of language.

 > That is exactly what I am.

According to the goals and behavior you describe, I must agree.  But
so are at least a billion people who are clearly smarter than the
average human being.  (Surely of the smartest 2 billion, there are
fewer than a billion people who are skillful with software that isn't
"WYSIWYG".)  "Technopeasant" is only an insult if you choose to take
it as one.

 > And according to the person who wrote the article cited also by Mr. 
 > Turnbull

Ah, well, Rick Moen.  He did *intend* to be insulting.  It was
probably a mistake to cite him, even in response to Kalin.

 > About 8 years ago I came across something called "Linux for
 > translators" and was happy of finally having found something NOT
 > Microsoft!  Since then I have spent hundreds (maybe thousands of
 > hours) trying to figure out how to make Linux work,

Why?  This completely puzzles me.  The only explanation I've come up
with that makes much sense is that it gives you an excuse to troll
Linux experts, but that doesn't make all that much sense.  I mean, you
don't try to make Linux sing like Edith Piaf or Ozzy Osborne, do you?
Thus is just a less extreme case of "if it hurts when you do that,
you're probably using the wrong tool for the job."

 > used multiple computers (even bought one for practice purpose) and
 > the stack of Live-CDs of the various flavors and versions reaches
 > to the moon.  Unfortunately, I have not had much success so
 > far. (Another proof of my stupidity?)

AFAICS your problem is not stupidity.  It is your stubborn insistence
on trying to treat Linux like an appliance.  I'm pretty sure that if
you were willing to spend as much time studying Linux as you have
already done reinstalling it, you would not have problems today.

But you clearly don't want to do that (and as an economist I advise
you *not* to do that, because you can't get those hundreds of hours
back by throwing future hours after past ones).  So my response to
Kalin, interpreted as advice to you, is to either *buy* the Linux
dictionary system you dream of (probably very expensive, several
thousand euros) or to use a system *designed* to be an appliance
(Windows -- Mac would work too but doesn't make sense since you
evidently already have a ton of dictionaries known to work on

 > Dictionaries???

Same problem as Microsoft itself.  The good ones are copyright by
people who believe that the way to make money is to enforce copyright.
It's very difficult to enforce copyright on Linux, and in any case the
vast majority of professionals (other than IT professionals) use
Windows (or sometimes Mac) these days, so Linux is a niche market.
Microsoft is willing to cooperate in protecting their copyrights and
Windows gives access to a huge market, so they commission expensive
software for Windows.  Linux *can't* do the same (Google for "Andrew
Tridgell BitKeeper" for a very instructive case).

 > I would NEVER walk into a bookstore and spend money on those, if
 > they were printed on paper.

But you'll never have to.  The dictionaries "we" use are mostly beer-
free, and usually speech-free too.  (I myself actually just use my
phone's dictionary and sometimes Google for waei and eiwa work.  For
crucial terms, the dictionary is way inferior to the phone: voice
connection to the author is what I need.  But if I was going to use
software for Linux, those packages are all I'd use.  That doesn't mean
your style of work is inferior to mine, just that it's *different*.)

 > Well, try running Windows dictionaries under Linux. I have been
 > spending years on this little tasks.
 > VirtualBox? I was not able to make that work.

Weird, works for me without any special effort.  But OK, it just
didn't work for you.  Why don't you just hire somebody to make it
work?  I can't see why dictionaries would exercise features beyond
those required by games, which do run (albeit slowly) in VirtualBox or
VMware.  It should be cheaper than buying new dictionaries (of course,
given your habit and evolving languages, you'll probably do that
anyway -- but at least you can postpone it until your existing
collection starts to chafe).

 > Wine? Does not work at all.

Not entirely weird, but I'm a little surprised.  I can't see why
dictionaries would exercise features beyond those required by games,
which is the main motivation of the Wine developers AFAICT.[1]

 > Unfortunately, currently my machines are technically not advanced
 > enough.

The yen equivalent of 1000EUR buys a Mac which is quite sufficient for
running virtual machines (Parallels, VirtualBox at least), though they
do require expert tuning to the application to get acceptable
performance from Linux clients.  I have no experience with Windows,
but I would imagine it should be possible.  I'm not recommending that,
though.  A similarly beefy Windows/Linux machine probably costs 2/3 of
that, and there should be an active market in second-hand machines.

 > ARE there any "acceptable" dictionaries for Linux.  With acceptable
 > I mean: I would walk into a bookstore and NOT hesitate to spend
 > money on buying a printed copy.

Why are you asking us?  There's a reason why you find gjiten, gwaei,
and friends insufficient, but they continue to exist: "we" find them
useful.  (See "I use my phone" above for why "we" is in quotes.)

 > Or should I "just forget about using Linux" (like the advice from
 > the Crossover team) when it comes to translation, because it is
 > "not up to the job"?

Hasn't that been the advice you've been getting here for a year?  The
"technopeasant" issue is irrelevant, as far as I can see, except that
maybe if you could afford an 2500EUR machine and were willing to fuss
with the VM incessantly, you *might* be able to get that working to
the point where it becomes second nature and never irritates you (and
that is everybody's goal here, to help you achieve a system that
doesn't irritate you!)

But why?  Do you have a recent (post-2005) automobile made in Western
Europe?  If so, that "appliance" has more lines of code in it than the
Linux kernel, but you'll never see any of them.

If you really want Linux to be your primary system, make yourself a
cheap Windows box with whatever hardware happens to be lying around,
get somebody to help you configure VNC, and run your dictionaries
(which you already have, IIUC) on the Windows appliance.  Here's some
advice from Ubuntu about VNC servers (the configuration on Windows
will undoubtedly be different, but the ideas will be the same):  I suspect you'll have
to buy a decent VNC server for Windows, but I don't think that would
cost more than a couple hundred EUR.

 > Over the last 8 years, in ALL communities, mailing lists I have joined 
 > over the years, hinting at THAT possibilty always meant death
 > sentence.

Then you're posting from the grave?  Not!  Please stop this nonsense.

 > If Linux really has nothing useful to offer for my "dictionary problem", 
 > I maybe be forced to use Windows after all.
 > Something I would really like to avoid ...

Why?  Sometimes you just have to accept that wishes aren't fishes, so
you'll catch nothing as long as the nets you cast are in your

My own hobby horse (which I threw at RMS himself *18* years ago) that
*still* has no acceptable GNU solution is OCR for Japanese.  Yet every
100EUR Japanese scanner or multifunction printer provides perfectly
acceptable software for the purpose as part of the bundle (of course
you need to use a proprietary OS, and sometimes it even has to be

[1]  Actually, I don't know the Wine developers.  I know the DJGPP
(GCC for DOS) crowd, and *they* use Wine primarily to play games.

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