From my diary

I spent this evening turning Michael Bourdeaux, Risen Indeed: Lessons in faith from the USSR (1983) into PDF form, with the consent of the author-copyright holder.  In a way it was just like old times, when I spent many a happy evening on a Friday night, after the week’s work was ended, hunched over the scanner.   I’ve just emailed him the PDF, and, with luck, we can get it online.

Today I learned that major UK media industry figures have been meeting secretly with the government to get a “copyright firewall” installed in the UK.  Let us hope this attempt to create a protected market for information is stifled. 

Time for a bath, and perhaps a film, and then back to the OCR software.  I need to experiment some more with combining Arabic transliteration characters with German language in Finereader, so that I can scan Brockelmann’s Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur with a minimum of proof corrections.  Once I can get some text, I can start using Google translate on it, and so can get some idea of what lies therein. 

It still seems remarkable to me that no English translation of Brockelmann exists.  Mind you, it seems to me that Georg Graf’s Geschichte der christlichen arabischen Litteratur is a better book.  It’s better organised, more detailed, and generally superior.

I’ve also requested a printed copy of the PDF from, because, in truth, I can’t read a book of that kind on-screen.  The second edition is available to buy in printed form — but only for those who will not miss $1,000!  I think I’ll manage without, thanks.


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