24 Apr 2000 kjk   » (Journeyer)

I have some time to write this diary entry: I'm trying to find a bizzare (well, they only come in this flavour) memory overwrite in Noah and instead of doing it intelligently I took a brute-force approach: I've set a watchpoint in gdb. It slows down the emulator to a crawl but no wonder: every memory write has just become a bit more expensive.
Since I'm in a dictionary business now I'm looking for some free dictionary data. There is WordNet, which I have already incorporated, there is Webster 1913 edition and nothing much else. Or so I though. There was this guy, Samuel Johnson, who almost single-handedly wrote a dictionary in 18th century. I think it was even before Noah Webster did. Some guy who e-mail'ed me and looks like he's even more of a dictionary geek than I am (he has 7 of them, including antique edition of said Samuel's dictionary) said that this is his favourite. Amazing thing is that this dictionary is now in public domain (albeit it's probably even more outdated that Webster's). Another amazing think is that no one has e-text'ed this. There is a cd-rom version of first & fourth edition combined (which I've of course ordered immediately from Amazon (mind you, I'm all for a boycott, I just couldn't help myself and it's not sth. you can just buy in your nearest B&N)). I've also ordered paper 1836 edition from www.abebooks.com (one of the 3 sites I know that let you find out-of-print and antique books). It was strange, because the price of it was incredibly low $25 while there were editions from around that time that costed up to $2500. I'm puzzled. I'll see in a few days what I've actually bought.

Which leads me to another thing: believe it or not, but it's easier to find a dictionary from 18th century than out-of-print book by a contemporary, fairly succesfull SF author. You don't believe me? Try to find "True Names" by Vernon Vinge. I've found only 2 copies at www.bibliofind.com while there was at least 10 different editions of Johnson's dictionary. I'll hold off, though. According to Amazon a new edition of this book with foreword from (among others) RMS is slated to be published in April 2000. And don't tell me that IT IS April. I know, god damn it! I'm not holding my breath, either. Originally they were to publish it in September 1999, then in January 2000 and now in April 2000. I no longer care and they've just lost a costumer. When it comes out I'll just spend a day (or two) at B&N and read the book in one of their comfortable chairs.

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