RayK

The Objectivism Research CD-ROM

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For anyone that already owns this CD they already know its value. For those who do not I would highly recommend it become part of their collection of Objectivist material.

I bought my CD around a year ago and cannot tell you how many times I have used it. Just type in a word that Ayn Rand and a few other authors have written and it pulls them up for you. Any subject can be quickly sought and found so that one can get a better grasp of Objectivist material. What a wonderful tool the CD is.

I would like to say thank you to all that had a hand in developing the idea and especially the creator of the CD, Philip Oliver. I can only begin to think of the depth of research that had to be put into the project and I come to the conclusion that it is worth every dollar that I paid for it!

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For anyone that already owns this CD they already know its value.  For those who do not I would highly recommend it become part of their collection of Objectivist material....

Yes, I agree. This is a marvelous and valuable tool. For reference, we had a small thread extolling the virtues of Phil Oliver's Objectivism CD-ROM in the CAPITALIST CORNER forum, right here . But it also belongs in THE GOOD, so thank you Ray.

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Thanks very much, Ray and Stephen. I'm glad that I've been able to publish Ayn Rand's works in digital form. I consider her ideas to be among the most important in history, and I'm gratified that my CD-ROM seems to have facilitated the study of them.

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Thanks very much, Ray and Stephen. I'm glad that I've been able to publish Ayn Rand's works in digital form. I consider her ideas to be among the most important in history, and I'm gratified that my CD-ROM seems to have facilitated the study of them.

When can we expect a new version? One hopes it would contain, for instance, the forthcoming transcripts of Ayn Rand's Answers and her (previously unpublished) journal entries from James Valient's new book. It would be great to have everything she put forth in your excellent product!

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When can we expect a new version?

How about a version that will run in Linux or OS X? The only reason I have any sort of Windows installed is so that I can use The Objectivism Reasearch CD-ROM. :)

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What I like most about The Objectivism CD-ROM is its versatility. I recently searched for what Rand wrote about "poetry" and found two reference for "Letters of Ayn Rand." In the first letter, Rand was responding to a poet's wife who asked for advice on getting her husband's poems published. In the second letter, Rand responded to her niece Mimi, who had sent her samples of her sister's poems. Both letters were quite amazing in their warmth and kindness.

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This is an exceptional resource. It has virtually everything by Ayn Rand except for Philosophy: Who Needs It. Plus, it has Leonard Peikoff's OPAR and The Ominous Parallels. It's a terrific learning aid, making it especially easy to answer this kind of question (among others): "What did Ayn Rand have to say about ____?"

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How about a version that will run in Linux or OS X? The only reason I have any sort of Windows installed is so that I can use The Objectivism Reasearch CD-ROM. :)

So it doesn't work with "wine" ?

I have a hunch that there's going to be an on-line subscription service that will work with most web browsers along the lines of oed.com. It could not only include newer material than the CD-ROM, but could be updated on-line, in addition to working with browsers running on *nixes, PDAs and whatever's coming next.

If this happens, I hope whoever does it uses the same editions of books that Mr. Oliver used in the CD-ROM. I'm already seeing page number references from the CD-ROM in on-line discussions ; maybe we're seeing the ipso facto adoption of "standard versions" of these texts ?

That would be GOOD !

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So it doesn't work with "wine" ?

It probably does. I've heard of some realtime games working with wine which are far more particular than the software used in the CD-ROM. If that's your "thing", give it a try and let us know if it works or not. (For the mystified, "wine" is a program that runs in Linux that does a good job of emulating the Windows API, permitting many Windows programs to run under Linux.)

I have a hunch that there's going to be an on-line subscription service that will work with most web browsers along the lines of oed.com. It could not only include newer material than the CD-ROM, but could be updated on-line, in addition to working with browsers running on *nixes, PDAs and whatever's coming next.

If this happens, I hope whoever does it uses the same editions of books that Mr. Oliver used in the CD-ROM. I'm already seeing page number references from the CD-ROM in on-line discussions ; maybe we're seeing the ipso facto adoption of "standard versions" of these texts ?

That would be GOOD !

I agree. In fact I want to do just that. But I can tell you that the issue is not technical, it is legal, and other issues, which in some ways are much more difficult than the technical. Also, page numbers are a poor way to reference the work for a number of reasons. There was virtually no consistency between editions. Even some of the editions of Atlas with the exact same printing identification have different pagination! I plan to institute a more formalized text-position identifier, similar to that used for many classic books (e.g. the Bible, Greek/Latin texts, etc.), which would be printing independent. I firmly believe that Ayn Rand's ideas are timeless and ought to be referenced for millenia to come.

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I have a hunch that there's going to be an on-line subscription service that will work with most web browsers along the lines of oed.com. It could not only include newer material than the CD-ROM, but could be updated on-line, in addition to working with browsers running on *nixes, PDAs and whatever's coming next.

That is a really great idea!

If this happens, I hope whoever does it uses the same editions of books that Mr. Oliver used in the CD-ROM. I'm already seeing page number references from the CD-ROM in on-line discussions ; maybe we're seeing the ipso facto adoption of "standard versions" of these texts ?

That would be GOOD !

The CD-ROM has long been the standard that I have used, and for some time I have been thinking of making that "official" by mentioning that in Guidelines for THE FORUM. By "official" I simply mean that on THE FORUM, unless otherwise specified the page numbers reflect the editions used in the CD-ROM.

What a great product that CD-ROM is!

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I have a hunch that there's going to be an on-line subscription service that will work with most web browsers along the lines of oed.com. It could not only include newer material than the CD-ROM, but could be updated on-line, in addition to working with browsers running on *nixes, PDAs and whatever's coming next.

I agree. In fact I want to do just that. But I can tell you that the issue is not technical, it is legal, and other issues, which in some ways are much more difficult than the technical.

That's a shame. It would be such a wonderful way to keep up-to-date with Objectivist material. But, nonetheless, I thank you again for that fantastic CD-ROM. I find use for it on a daily basis.

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---------

I agree. In fact I want to do just that. But I can tell you that the issue is not technical, it is legal, and other issues, which in some ways are much more difficult than the technical. Also, page numbers are a poor way to reference the work for a number of reasons. There was virtually no consistency between editions. Even some of the editions of Atlas with the exact same printing identification have different pagination! I plan to institute a more formalized text-position identifier, similar to that used for many classic books (e.g. the Bible, Greek/Latin texts, etc.), which would be printing independent. I firmly believe that Ayn Rand's ideas are timeless and ought to be referenced for millenia to come.

I really am looking forward to that. I love the CD version: it saves me uncounted hours looking up information. My only complaint has been with the issue of pagination. I find it difficult to find the pages because they are inserted within the text. Many times I don't refer to the page because I found the information faster than I can find the page number!!

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I firmly believe that Ayn Rand's ideas are timeless and ought to be referenced for millenia to come.

I agree!

At my office I am limited in the amount of space that I have. The CD allows me to have the capacity to look up almost anything written by Ayn Rand without taking up all the space that my home library does. Although this is not the main value for me, it is another very good value of the CD for me individually.

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I only recently bought the CD-ROM. I never even looked it up before because I just knew that such a wonderful product, like the lecture series I covet, would be beyond my means to own. On a whim one day, I clicked through to Phil's site to check it out. I was stunned to find that I could afford it!

I live on a tiny sail boat, and my living space is severly limited--I have friends with walk-in closets that are bigger. My library lives in a storage unit that I'm not able to visit very often. For me to have Ayn Rand's works again at my fingertips is a boon I can hardly describe. I can't thank Phil Oliver enough for not only making this possible, but doing so at a cost that my strict budget could handle.

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I don't know why--but for some reason "Philosophy Who Needs It" is not on the CD. Of course with one exception you can look the articles up in the Ayn Rand Letter--if you know what they are! (The exception is "Faith and Force--Destroyers of the Modern World")

Other than that--marvelous!

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I don't know why--but for some reason "Philosophy Who Needs It" is not on the CD. Of course with one exception you can look the articles up in the Ayn Rand Letter--if you know what they are! (The exception is "Faith and Force--Destroyers of the Modern World")

Yes. Unfortunately, for reasons never fully explained to me, it was not possible to get the rights to include that article, which is a real shame because it's so good, and especially relevant to the world today.

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I have a technical question about the CD-ROM:

Is there any way to install the entire contents of the CD-ROM on my computer so I don't have to have the CD in to use it? When you created the CD, did you intentionally require that the CD be inserted because of licensing or to prevent piracy?

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I have a technical question about the CD-ROM:

Is there any way to install the entire contents of the CD-ROM on my computer so I don't have to have the CD in to use it?

Yes. First create a directory on your hard drive, that contains no spaces in the entire path. C:\OBJROM is a good simple one to use. Copy the entire contents of the CD-ROM into that directory. Uninstall the product, then run SETUP.EXE from the hard disk directory (e.g. C:\OBJROM\SETUP.EXE in my example.) Complete installation from there. Note that you will need the installation key.

Naturally, you shouldn't let somebody use/copy the CDROM after you do that - best thing to do is to put it away in a safe place if you need to reinstall on your drive.

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Is there any way to install the entire contents of the CD-ROM on my computer so I don't have to have the CD in to use it?

You can do it without having to reinstall the program simply by changing what the desktop shortcut points to after you copy the CD files to your hard drive. The use of secondary pathnames in shortcuts is a useful windows feature worth knowing about.

Assume the program is installed in

C:\programs\objcd\

and you have copied the CD to

C:\programs\objcd\CD\

You can't edit the standard desktop shortcut, so stash the old one away someplace first and make a new one by right clicking on the program file C:\programs\objcd\ui_mv32.exe, drag it to the desktop, and select 'shortcut'.

Right click on the new shortcut, select 'properties', and then

1. add a new path in the shortcut for the new CD location by changing the shortcut's 'target' to have two paths, one for the program and another one for the data:

C:\programs\objcd\ui_mv32.exe C:\programs\objcd\CD\

2. and to handle the temporary data, set the shortcut 'startin' path to

C:\programs\objcd\run\

(I think you have to create the 'run' folder; you can make that whatever you want.)

I don't know if this can be made to work by escaping blanks in the pathname if you have them since I don't use blanks. If you allow everything to be installed in the default 'C:\Program Files' you will have to deal with this issue since Phil says not to use blanks in the pathname for where you copy the CD.

If you haven't installed the program yet at all, then it is easier to copy the CD to the hard drive first and install the program from SETUP.exe in the new folder the way Phil described. The desktop startup will then have the necessary information built into it.

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Thanks. This will be much more convenient.

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ewv - you're probably right in your instructions (I haven't tried it), but an important thing to bear in mind is that my instructions are designed to be the simplest that I can find to accomplish the goal (then I can simply convey them easily to anybody who asks without worrying much about their technical level). In my experience in dealing with customers, simpler is better. Any step involving an edit, for example, amounts to a great deal of complexity for many people. Simplest of all would be an option to install entirely to hard disk, but for non-technical reasons I decided not to pursue it. My next revision though, if there is one, will probably have it as an option.

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ewv - you're probably right in your instructions (I haven't tried it), but an important thing to bear in mind is that my instructions are designed to be the simplest that I can find to accomplish the goal (then I can simply convey them easily to anybody who asks without worrying much about their technical level). In my experience in dealing with customers, simpler is better. Any step involving an edit, for example, amounts to a great deal of complexity for many people...

I agree. I thought that Dave and some others might find it useful to know about the 'shortcut' method, which is useful for other purposes as well (I use it, eg, to run my own shell scripts from desktop shortcuts). Everyone else on this forum is at least smart enough to know that if they don't know what I'm talking about :D they should re-install the way you suggested :D.

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PhilO's instructions helped me a lot--I had tried that before but with a space in the path (it was copied to "C:\Ayn Rand"). Since my laptop does not have a CD ROM (I'm in the process of obtaining an external drive by getting an enclosure then cannibalizing the DVD/ROM from my old defunct laptop) I had to use my desktop machine to copy the CD to a 1GB flash card, install from there, then leave it in the slot.

[speaking of "The Good": A 1024 megabyte card the size of a postage stamp (albeit thicker!) with no moving parts! My first hard disk back in 1988 was a 5 1/4 inch half-height 40MB that cost me $400. This card cost me $25 in 2006 dollars and contains storage I would have had to pay $10240 for back then--in 1988 dollars! I'd wouldn't be surprised if it's faster than that old MFM technology too.]

I suppose now I need to burn the copy of the CD off the flash card and probably uninstall from my desktop as well.

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That is a really great idea!

The CD-ROM has long been the standard that I have used, and for some time I have been thinking of making that "official" by mentioning that in Guidelines for THE FORUM. By "official" I simply mean that on THE FORUM, unless otherwise specified the page numbers reflect the editions used in the CD-ROM.

What a great product that CD-ROM is!

This reminds me of a conversation I had with someone recently. It would be nice to be able to cite "chapter and verse" on occasion. I suggest numbering paragraphs within a chapter--be it a chapter of Atlas Shrugged or a chapter in VOS (which would really be an article from one of the periodicals), or an article in a periodical. The numbering could be turned on or off for display and may (or may not) eventually be printed in the books (probably about the time they come with a ribbon for a bookmark, flexible leather binding, *really* thin paper, "presented by" title pages, and gilt on the pages!) So you could cite something as Atlas Shrugged II/7:146 (Atlas Shrugged, Part II Chapter Seven paragraph 146) *or* give the name of the chapter or article in the case of the non-fiction collections.

The same approach could be taken with the Nathaniel Branden articles if/when they ever are on the CD (and I understand why they aren't--I'm not one of those pinheads who screams "censorship" or "altering history"), without breaking the numbering scheme since it is by article and/or chapter.

Paragraph numbering would be totally independent of future pagination as well--a discussion group could simply say "paragraph 53" without worrying that everyone have the same printing of the book. Future collections like the Ayn Rand Reader could preserve the numbering even when they excise paragraphs--that would make it obvious where things have been removed.

Someone stop me before I start imaginining "Study" editions with cross-references in the margins.

******************

Speaking of future editions: I spotted a number of typos in the last chapters of Atlas Shrugged--the most egregious being "gall" for "Galt". I imagine these are OCR glitches from scanning. Is there a good place to report them? (I wish, now, that I had noted them when I saw them.)

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