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105 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate resource for the Enlish language
If you love words, there is no equal

At least Oxford University Press keeps trying. This is the 4th electronic version of the venerable Oxford English Dictionary. Each of the earlier versions had problems galore that Oxford was very lax in resolving or sometimes even admitting. Among the many small cruelties, you had to reinsert the data disk every 90 days. Or...
Published on August 23, 2009 by Jerry Saperstein

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64 of 76 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: Lacks functionality present in prior versions!
Be aware that Version 4.0 of the OED on CD-ROM lacks certain functionality present in prior versions. The most crippling of these changes is that you can no longer save the results of a search to a file for later analysis. I found this feature most useful in analyzing the use the OED makes of quotations from certain authors, so for me Version 4.0 is useless. I'll be...
Published on July 3, 2009 by Kindle Customer


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105 of 107 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate resource for the Enlish language, August 23, 2009
This review is from: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Version 4.0 (Windows & Mac) (CD-ROM)
If you love words, there is no equal

At least Oxford University Press keeps trying. This is the 4th electronic version of the venerable Oxford English Dictionary. Each of the earlier versions had problems galore that Oxford was very lax in resolving or sometimes even admitting. Among the many small cruelties, you had to reinsert the data disk every 90 days. Or the failure to adapt to Windows Vista. Ah, well, if you want all those words at your fingertips, such suffering is a price to be paid.

Happily, 4.0 seems pretty stable. Gone is the insanity of needing to reinsert the data disk. OED 4.0 runs smoothly on Vista. Still missing are synonyms. Oxford is missing a profit opportunity by not including a thesaurus add-on. They have a print version: why not make it electronic?

The user interface is cleaned up from earlier versions.

Spelling errors still result in no match rather than presenting you with a list of possibilities. Using the two wildcards is your own option.

The advanced Search is a relatively primitive Boolean mechanism that provides you three terms to match in either the word entries or quotations using AND/OR/NOT operators. Frankly, it isn't all that advanced, but it will do.

When the OED is open, you can double-click on any word and the OED will display the definition. (Windows-only feature.) Mac users need to copy the word to the clipboard.

Speaking of copying, you can only copy the entire OED entry, which can be huge in many cases. Thus, you transfer it to a note application and then extract what you need. Cumbersome to say the least, but as paranoid as Oxford is about illegal copying, it keeps people from easily creating their own dictionaries.

The help function is browser based and reasonably thorough. There is, happily, a list for all the abbreviations used in the OED and any serious word hunter will be using it.

The joy of the OED, of course, is the words. More than 500,000 words defined and 2.5 million quotations demonstrating their use. Paradise for a writer or anyone entranced with the English language. Although, in terms of use, there are other electronic dictionaries that I prefer for ease of use and online references as well, the OED remains the absolute authority and I treasure it. Warts and all, I have grown up with it in print (the tiny print version with the magnifying glass) and all its electronic versions.

The OED is and remains the superlative resource for the English language.

Jerry
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91 of 97 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oxford English Dictionary - technical review, June 29, 2009
This review is from: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Version 4.0 (Windows & Mac) (CD-ROM)
There have been many reviews of the literary content of the OED, this review doesn't approach that subject, rather as this is a software product my review discusses the technical implementation and the updates since the previous 3.1 release of this software.

Version 4.0 is the first version of the OED CD-ROM that supports the Macintosh operating system, having previously been available as a Windows application only. This review is written from the perspective of a Macintosh owner.

This release as stated on the packaging, is a hybrid CD-ROM, both Windows and Macintosh versions. The CD-ROMs themselves state that it uses 'SecureROM' copy protection, however from what I can tell this copy protection is missing on the Macintosh entirely.

The install process involved copying two parts of a compressed disk image (DMG) from the CD-ROMs onto my hard-drive, then simply opening the DMG and copying out the 'OED v4.0.app' into my Applications folder. There was no activation required, it simply ran after I extracted it from the install media. While I can't promise a similar user experience for Windows users, having had to deal with the Windows copy-protection in older versions I can say this is a welcome feature.

The user interface has been updated a bit, but still feels fairly clunky. For the gear-heads out there It's based on 'haXe' and 'nekoVM' so there's little if any customization available. On the Mac it hooks cut/paste to do automatic word lookup, but there is no integration with the Macintosh dictionary framework which is a bit of a disappointment, although clearly stated on OED's website.

There are roughly 300,000 words on the CD-ROM version, vs. the Oxford American English Dictionary which ships with Macintosh computers which has less than a third of that -- so there is a difference if you're wondering.

Dictionary lookups are fairly quick and the content if you've read a printed OED will be unsurprisingly similar for obvious reasons.

All in all, I consider this a great step forward for OED in that Macintosh is supported, as well that the draconian copy-protection of 3.1 appears to not be inflicted on Macintosh users.

I consider this worth the money simply in having it at my fingertips and not having to endure the ad-spam of[..]. I would have rated it 5 stars had there been integration with Macintosh's dictionary framework so that the data would be available through the OS supported search/lookup mechanisms, for lack of that feature I felt it worthy of dinging a star off.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars weak interface to a magnificent human effort, November 5, 2009
By 
Naromiyocknowhusunkatank (Land of the long tidal river.) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Version 4.0 (Windows & Mac) (CD-ROM)
A software interface to the Oxford English Dictionary has enormous potential, which is only partially realized in this version.

Rudimentary searching is available. Which only makes me wish for more: a search pattern language for example.

Simple wildcard searches -- that match any number of characters ("*"), or match single characters ("?") are available; but you can't, for example, straightforwardly find all words with 5 letters or less that end in "ish"? ( An "*ish" (dictionary find) search will return 3411 matches of arbitrary lengths. A "??ish" (dictionary find) search returns 50 matches, of just length 5. )

The advanced search facility, while having more functionality, doesn't have a search pattern language either, beyond the two wildcard characters. There are some filters, for case-sensitivity, parts of speech, and two extra boolean ("and", "or", "not") search fields -- but no pattern language. Phonetic searches are limited in the same way.

Advanced search is buggy, and time-consuming. Some searches work; some freeze up the system. After which one has to quit and restart the application, to do another search. (Operating system: OSX 10.5.8)

Formatting of entries is primitive, and hard to read.

The Dictionary application, developed by Apple for its Macintosh computers, (introduced with Mac OS X v10.4) which is based on the New Oxford American Dictionary and the Oxford American Writer's Thesaurus, -- does a beautiful job formatting, by comparison). It comes free as part of the Mac software. It is also linked to other applications running on the Mac, so you can look up a word you don't know -- on the fly. The search facility, however, is even more limited than OED version 4.0.

Perhaps Oxford University Press and Apple could combine efforts?

I regard the OED as a human resource of treasury quality, and look forward to a software interface to it, of the quality it deserves.

Rating explanation: OED = 7 stars; interface = 1 star. Therefore an overall rating (average) of 4 stars.
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64 of 76 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: Lacks functionality present in prior versions!, July 3, 2009
By 
Kindle Customer (Pennsylvania, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Version 4.0 (Windows & Mac) (CD-ROM)
Be aware that Version 4.0 of the OED on CD-ROM lacks certain functionality present in prior versions. The most crippling of these changes is that you can no longer save the results of a search to a file for later analysis. I found this feature most useful in analyzing the use the OED makes of quotations from certain authors, so for me Version 4.0 is useless. I'll be returning it and resuming my use of the prior version. Perhaps there's a kludge you can do by printing the result set to a file, but why should we have to go to the trouble?

In case I'd missed something I e-mailed the OED some days ago asking them to confirm that they've removed the save functionality, but no reply so far.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How will this sad love story end? UPDATE: Happy Ending!, July 7, 2009
This review is from: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Version 4.0 (Windows & Mac) (CD-ROM)
A Love Story in Three Parts:

The Past--

Potential and promise always entice me. What's more seductive for a language lover than the OED? I first bought the OED CD-ROM 2nd ed. Version 2 in 2000 for the lordly sum of 250 GBP--almost $400 at that time. The content was exceptional. I had all 20 volumes of the OED at my fingertips! I was so smitten. Then the problems started appearing. It had to be reauthorized every single time I started the program by putting the DATA cd in the drive and all searches had to be run on the CD itself. The CD could not be backed up because of the C-Dilla Safedisc1 copy protection. How was I supposed to run it all the time yet have no backup disc? I was always nervous about it getting scratched or simply wearing out. The other handicap of the data protection was that with every computer upgrade or operating system update (or change in the weather?) the data CD would suddenly stop authorizing. (No help from the OED tech support.) This was never a program at my fingertips. It was always a program that should work, but most of the time did not--an object of desire that remained out of reach. A cold lover.

The Present--

I had been able to get the OED to work on Win 98 SE a Virtual PC on my Mac G4, but when I bought my new iMac (Intel) running Leopard 10.5.7 I needed a way to run my OED. Virtual PC no longer would work. So I tried other virtual machines, Parallels and VMWare Fusion, with mixed results because of the copy protection on the OED. (But it's my legal copy that I want to run on my computer!) Oxford University Press said they would not support a virtual pc of any kind. There's nothing I could do about the copy protection problems which were keeping me from running my OED on a new machine. "So sorry." says the OUP. I gave up and ordered the version 4 OED upgrade, but then found out that it won't run on Win Me or Win 98. I would have to buy an upgraded version of Windows--XP or Vista. OUP will NOT give any kind of a discount to current owners of the OED on the full version 4.0 of Mac/Win OED (that reportedly will work natively on my new Mac--that's the only reason I gave 4 stars to the full Mac upgrade 4.0 --I have to give stars to post this review). No matter what I do I am going to have to spend a LOT more money just to have a working copy of the OED.

The Future--

I will have to return my unopened Windows upgrade of the OED since I will not buy a Windows PC just to use it and it will not work on a virtual pc on my Mac. Then I will decide whether or not to buy the OED full Mac/Win 4.0 version. Hmmm, let's see. This object of desire has always behaved badly. Do I make more excuses for its bad behavior and spend more money on it believing its promises to behave better in the future, or part company? We can always bump into each other at the library--with no commitment.

But seriously, I am going to wait and read reviews here and elsewhere until there has been time to learn whether or not this new full 4.0 Mac version is really working as promised. Everything else works better on a Mac so maybe the OED will, too. And maybe if there had been a Mac version available all these years the OED would not have been behaving so badly. Maybe. But it's not moving in with me until I know.

UPDATE: I am now the proud owner of the OED CD-Rom version 4.0. As I wrote in a technical review posted elsewhere: It works! It's much faster than version 2.0. It takes up less hard-drive space than version 3. It does not have install or authorization problems. It's possible to save whole entries to Adobe pdf files. Would it be more useful if it saved search results? Absolutely. Is it eye-candy? No, but you still have to love it. It's the OED at your fingertips--a working OED!

So the love story finally ends happily.

Amazon and elearnaid have the cheapest prices.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great dictionary, atrociously awful Mac app, September 25, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Version 4.0 (Windows & Mac) (CD-ROM)
[...]
but the summary points are these:

This is the ugliest Mac application I have ever seen in my entire life. It lacks even the basic Copy/Paste menu items. The default option of having the pasteboard continually monitored for cut/copied text is bizarre and confusing. The preferences aren't even where they should be. Even the icon, which is nothing more than the letters "OED" are ugly.

The "help" is exceedingly plain HTML which doesn't even include any screenshots. The OED website doesn't include any screenshots. Perhaps they are aware of how ugly it is and didn't want anyone to see them?

Having the OED on the Mac is nice, but please be sure to file the OED v.4 on CD-ROM under the definition of "the least we could do."
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not compatible with Windows 7, April 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Version 4.0 (Windows & Mac) (CD-ROM)
The system requirements say this is compatible with Windows up to Vista. It says nothing about Windows 7. I have two separate computers that are both running Windows 7. It wouldn't install on either one. I tried to uninstall and then reinstalling it but that didn't work. One of my computers has Windows 7 Professional which is able to run most XP software as well. In view of all the glowing reviews I had high hopes. However, if you look at the dates of the reviews most are from 2009. The only positive review from 2011 was by a person talking about the on-line version - not the CD-ROM version. Unfortuantely I'll have to return it. So if you have Windows 7, don't bother to order this.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Finally Got It Right!, August 16, 2009
By 
Wild Bill (San Diego, California) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Version 4.0 (Windows & Mac) (CD-ROM)
Having owned the 2nd version of this software with it's onerous requirement to insert the damn CD every 60 or 90 days (I forget because because I very rarely used it because of that) this version is a pleasure to use. The installation was a breeze and so far no need to verify the Mac version. The Windows version requires verification only the first time (hopefully) you run the software. Functionally is is very easy to use and has an advanced search that allows you to Boolean search the entire text of the dictionary for up to three words with various filters. I just received it a few days ago and haven't played with it a whole lot, but so far no snags. One interesting point though, when I look up the word "set" it's not in alphabetical order it first appears between sesh and seskyn. You have to scroll down a few pages alphabetically to get to the rest of the definition of set (the 20 or so pages of text).
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a craving satisfied, March 13, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Version 4.0 (Windows & Mac) (CD-ROM)
I have always hungered for the Complete OED, but it seemed an impractical idea, as well as a substantial investment. The choice of one disc versus 24 volumes is a good recipe. Adding new ingredients, search-ability and the capacity to check a highlighted word from another program on your computer, makes it delicious indeed. Now I can trace origins of words, historic quotations, pronunciation, alternate spellings, and other attributes, grazing from word to word as appetite dictates.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS time they did it right!, October 12, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Version 4.0 (Windows & Mac) (CD-ROM)
I had the version 1.0, and a couple of upgrades. Every problem and inconvenience, everything I did not like, has been handled in v4.0. It installed easily and is lightning fast. It is very easy to use as the functions and menus are intuitive.
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Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd Edition, Version 4.0 (Windows & Mac)
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