God, History and Dialectic

An electronic version of Joseph Farrell’s extended work, God, History, and Dialectic is now available here for purchase. I’d recommend getting it while you are able.

93 Responses to God, History and Dialectic

  1. trvalentine says:

    Question regarding Endnote 215
    (is there a better place to post questions/comments regarding GHD?)

    In ‘The Apparatus’, pages 887-888 (pp. 58-9 of the pdf file), is the following:

    … can the equally subordinationist theology of the filioque, which deprives the Holy Spirit of a mark of deity common to the Father and the Son, i.e., that of causing a divine Person to proceed from Him, not suffer? What is the sanctification of the Spirit if, on the clear implications of this structure, it is conferred by a creature? Very clearly, that sanctification can only be created. Thus, the filioque, as we shall see, is necessary to the western doctrine that grace is a created effect or character within the soul.

    Now I intuit that this is correct, but cannot quite get my mind around the logical connection. Could someone be so kind as to flesh this out?

    Also, does the converse apply, i.e., is the western doctrine that grace is a created effect or character within the soul necessitate the Filioque?

    Thomas

  2. [] says:

    The ebook is the “downloadable” CD. Originally, we thought we were going to burn, label, pack, and ship each one individually, and then we realized that’d be silly in an age of broadband and CD burners. Not cost effective, and who’s going to do the labour? There are services, but they’re all insecure. Lulu, for instance (even if we had it in a format they would use, which we don’t) puts zero security on their ebook/CDs. Their faq says ‘it’s up to you’ to ensure it’s security, but of course they just mean you can’t secure it. In the end, ebooks made more sense. Overall, it’s been a great success. There are tons of you reading it now. 🙂

  3. jacob says:

    Can [ ] or Asher answer my question(s)? Or should I post it in the more recent Farrell thread?

  4. jacob says:

    From the GHD blog:

    GHD CD/DVD
    Posted by [] on January 7, 2008

    Good News! The God, History, & Dialectic CD/DVD version will be out soon. There’ll be a standard version first and eventually an expanded (’Director’s Cut’) format later, as well as additional similar materials. Stay tuned, and we’ll announce the release here. If you want to be alerted when it’s out, sign up for alerts.

    How will this CD/DVD differ from what we just paid $85 to get in ebook/electronic form? Should we have waited for the CD/DVD? Or did the CD/DVD get trumped by the ebook release?

  5. […] by [] on March 5, 2008 Crossposted from here: jacob Says: March 5, 2008 at 2:31 am  A tip:I was concerned that reading the Apparatus (i.e., […]

  6. Asher Black says:

    EXCELLENT TIP! Thank you. I’ll add it to the FAQ.

  7. jacob says:

    A tip:

    I was concerned that reading the Apparatus (i.e., endnotes) might be a cumbersome task (the Apparatus, Volume 4, is 358 pages long and consists of 1286 footnotes/endnotes to the Prolegomena and Volumes 1-3), but I found that I could launch the .exe file a second time and have both Volume 1 and Volume 4 (Apparatus) open at the same time. Not side by side – the ebook reader won’t let one size the screen to show two windows at once – but I can easily switch back and forth between the two to read the referenced endnote just by clicking on the tab in the taskbar for the volume I want to look at.

    In fact, I can open up all 4 volumes at once this way, but there is no reason to do that, and moving between volume and Apparatus with more than two volumes open slows things down quite a bit on my PC.

  8. Asher Black says:

    Joseph: Not much we can do for someone w/o a computer, or w. only a mac. I don’t know what I could do for you.

  9. Joseph says:

    Asher,

    I just became privy to this offering of yours, but unfortunately, I own no computer, and the lone one I have access to is my work computer, which is, you guessed, an iMac. Could you please email me at theallcomely at gmail.com

    Thanks,
    Joseph

  10. jacob says:

    Photios/Daniel – Well, then, maybe I can meet you on March 23, assuming we make the trek (per my blog, we’re at St. Maximus in Denton), or at one of the other vespers services, once I know which ones we’ll be going to.

    Pan-Orthodox Vespers for 2008

    6 p. m. – Speaker to be arranged by host priest

    March 16 — Holy Trinity GOC, Dallas
    March 23 — St. John the Baptist GOC, Euless
    March 30 — Sts. Constantine and Helen AOC, Dallas
    April 6 — St. Demetrios GOC, Ft. Worth
    April 13 — St. Seraphim Cathedral OCA, Dallas

  11. Jacob,

    Yeah I’m THAT Daniel Jones. And yes I live in Fort Worth TX. If you click the “About” on the top of this blog, it has my info.

    I didn’t have the privilege like the proud and few to be an actual student of Dr. Farrell’s, my friendship and following of him has been my own pursuit, so to be mentioned at all was a great honor.

    Photios

  12. Miki says:

    Just got the ebook and cant wait to get into it!
    Being a shmuck, this mountain is going to take me some time to climb………oh well one step at a time…… : )

  13. Asher Black says:

    Incidentally, it looks like a related book is going to be coming out in hardback (single volume). This was an earlier work that was never published and was condensed down to two of the chapters of GHD, but has it’s own take on things, etc. I’m working on it now, but I have it in pure text format, so the plan is to release it (once formatting and proofing are done) as booth an ebook and a hardcover.

    Be aware, folks, these types of plans are fluid and can change. We make no promises. But I’m doing my best for the “good doctor” as we call him, and working with my archive of his material. Some of you will ask projected price or time frame on this work. I don’t have that yet. Could be 2 days or 2 years or never. As God wills. In any case, this work may also be included in the companion CD and/or Director’s Cut CD someday. All of this we’re working out as we go.

    I have to say tho, I love this work; I was weaned on it. 🙂

  14. [] says:

    Jacob. Thanks, excellent questions. Yes, my local reading society is also beginning to read GHD aloud weekly, so looks like we’ll be parallel. 🙂

    My understanding is that the connection to the internet is required only for initial registration, but not after that – you should be able to test this by simply registering it, then close it, disconnect from the internet, and reopen it. On the laptop, just be sure to have internet for the initial registration, and for unregistering it from the desktop.

    As for longevity on the registration codes, that’s another reason we chose http://www.secure-ebook.com for our license host. They look like they’re here to stay. We didn’t want to do it ourselves, because you’re right – what if we reposed – besides, we couldn’t keep up w. the labour?

    Of course, nothing is foolproof, so my advice is be sure to unregister it on any computer before you change out the primary hard drive, the motherboard, or the processor. Those often make windows need to be reinstalled, and that way if I’m with the Lord and can’t release your license, you can. It’s not foolproof, but it’s what we had.

  15. PseudoThomas says:

    I’ve tried, to no avail, to open the .exe using Wine on my Intel Mac…looks like I’m looking at either virtualization (VMWare or Parallels, etc) or Boot Camp…

    PseudoThomas (formerly known as Militus Christi)

  16. Martin says:

    Hi Photios,

    You asked:
    “Why do you think the conclusion in the Prolegamena is false?”

    I believe you are referring to the following:
    “I think that to reject the Church based upon the Prolegema one would have to believe:
    1) The Prolegema accurately reflects the mind of the Church. This presupposes an adequate acquisition of that mind. Please be sure in your conscience that you are rejecting a Church that holds the position in question.
    2) The conclusion presented in the Prolegema is false. To avoid a prima facie conclusion, one should probably read and understand the argument.”

    What I wrote was actually a response to a post which was later deleted and might have been a bit more clear in context. Nonetheless, what I wrote was purely a hypothetical intended to provide a theoretical condition for rejecting the Orthodox church based upon the conclusion in the Prolegema.

    To be clear, I don’t believe the conclusion of the Prolegema is false. In fact, I haven’t read the Prolegema yet. I reserve judgment. 🙂

  17. jacob says:

    Photios Jones:

    Are you the “Daniel Jones” that Dr. Farrell refers to in the introduction?

    And … you live in Fort Worth, TX? If so, what Church do you attend?

    If so, I would love to meet you sometime, but probably after I’ve had a chance to digest some of this magnum opus.

    You can email me at waterandspirit at yahoo dot com

  18. jacob says:

    Asher:

    I just Paypal-ed you my $85 (Amex) and have been able to open the book. I’m relying on Perry’s and EnergeticProcession’s promotion of this re: its worth. Your lengthy explanation of how and why you did this project also influenced my decision (plus the possibility that it may be available only for a limited time). I’m not sure this is the best Lenten reading, though, so it may be a read a bit here, read a bit there, project.

    Do I have to be hooked to the Internet for the activation code to open the e-book? I.e., can I install it on a laptop (after I take it off this one) and read it if I’m, e.g., traveling on the bus, instead of online?

    If one must be online to read it, what assurance is there that it will be readable in a few years? Is the activation key validation site going to be in existence for many, many years?

  19. Levi says:

    I use Arch Linux, and I am going to test it with wine. I am pretty sure I can MAKE it work if it doesn’t. People may just have to be willing to do some tweaking.

  20. Sam,

    I’ve never seen you make an argument. If you think you are informed, you need to demonstrate that you are. Perry and I have labored blood and sweat and tears on this blog and elsewhere. As far as I’m concerned, I can delete whatever I want here. This is my house and you are a guest here, and here you play by our rules. If you don’t like them, there are many places for you on the internet to spill your propaganda. The deletions can’t be censorship sense censorship is usually hiding information that is either informative or useful, and you haven’t demonstrated either. If anything the deletes, have been cleaning out the garbage.

    Photios

  21. Martin,

    Why do you think the conclusion in the Prolegamena is false?

    Sam,

    Don’t know you and don’t know many of the people posting lately with their uninformed opinions, nor do I care to read them when I find the relaxing time to read my blog. For that reason, I deleted them.

    Photios

  22. Asher Black says:

    Ah, sorry Realistic. I couldn’t even see the posts all those messages were responding to, so I thought it was ‘spam’. 🙂

    The distribution method is, right now, the only reasonably secure one available given the format of the manuscript available to me. We figured better to release it in some format than leave it unavailable perhaps forever.

  23. The posts were from a well known troll that we have picked up. THis person has been warned repeatedly and ceases to make personal insults and assaults, so I delete the comments without question. Sometimes the spam filter gets them and sometimes not.

  24. Realistic says:

    I am not the same person as WLindsayWheeler, nor do I know him (her?). The timing of our posts was fortuitous. The only connection between us is that we both happened to post comments around the same time which were somewhat critical, only to have them summarily deleted, for no apparent reason. My post didn’t even critique Dr Farrell or his ideas, unlike WLindsayWheeler–just the medium of delivery and the price! If suggesting that there might be a better way to spread his message is out of bounds, the rules governing this forum appear to be draconian indeed.

  25. Matthew says:

    Sorry to interupt this chain of thougt but-
    who is Joseph P. Farrell and why is this 4 volumne set so important? I remember seeing his free Choice in ‘Saint Maximus the Confessor’ many years ago and read ‘Mystagogy’.
    A little enlightenment please.

  26. Martin says:

    In terms of the cost, for me $85 isn’t a big deal for 4 volumes. I paid over $100 to pick up a rare hard bound copy of Free Choice in Saint Maximus the Confessor (and no, I don’t have any regrets).

    Having a reliable electronic copy (PDF or some non-license-bound equivalent) is in my opinion better in some ways than a bound copy. In terms of longevity, it can’t be beaten if one keeps prudent backups. I’d love to have an electronic copy of all my books. Of course, the power of an electronic copy is with indexed and searchable content (I haven’t tried searching, but according to the above post: “We did use the OCR anyway. It’s a hidden layer under the pdf, which allows pretty decent searchability”). Besides, if I want a hard copy, I can print one. Granted, it’d be nice to have the option to buy a nicely bound copy that would look aesthetically pleasing on my shelf, but ideas trump decor.

    As one on the verge of entering Orthodoxy, I am quite sorry to hear someone is leaving a 2000 year old tradition over the Prolegema of a 11 year old book written by what I gather is a lay-person. What sort of foundation was laid for a conversion to Orthodoxy contingent upon the opinions expressed in this book? I somehow doubt you are in danger of excommunication if you believe that the “West” worships the same God and reserve judgment on their salvation.

    I don’t know how new you are to Orthodoxy; but, as I understand it, becoming Orthodox doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of study, and more importantly, struggle, to acquire the mind (phronema) of the Church. In terms of this book, I haven’t read it, so I cannot comment on the content. I think that to reject the Church based upon the Prolegema one would have to believe:
    1) The Prolegema accurately reflects the mind of the Church. This presupposes an adequate acquisition of that mind. Please be sure in your conscience that you are rejecting a Church that holds the position in question.
    2) The conclusion presented in the Prolegema is false. To avoid a prima facie conclusion, one should probably read and understand the argument.

    Please do talk to your priest, bishop or spiritual father before making such an important decision.

  27. Asher Black says:

    Looks like all the same person. The posts are 10 and 20 minutes apart exactly. 🙂

  28. Realistic says:

    Apparently even those who suggest that an RC did something in a way the Orthodox might find useful are verboten.

  29. WLindsayWheeler says:

    What is this an Only Orthodox website–Roman Catholics can’t participate and express their thoughts?

  30. Martin says:

    I might be willing to OCR and proof/fix-up Free Choice in Saint Maximus the Confessor, either for resale or free distribution. Of course it would have to be a project approved by Dr. Farrell so that the copyright wouldn’t be violated.

    If copyright wasn’t an issue you could probably get it pushed through at the Gutenberg project: http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

    In terms of typing up GHD, the fastest option might be to OCR it, and have people proof and fix-up sections.

  31. Asher Black says:

    Review GHD!

    Selected reviews will be placed on the filioque.com site. If you want to write a review, please do it on the GHD Listserv, which you can join here: http://groups.google.com/group/ghd-farrell

  32. Asher Black says:

    Militus: If you do reach a solution, and want to post it or send it to me, I’ll add it as a document to the GHD site at filioque.com and link it to our FAQ w. the notation that we don’t support it in any way, but that a user reports that it works and a disclaimer to download and try the work that way before you buy it.

  33. Asher Black says:

    Satisfied, actually the GHD Listserv is a great tool for that. We’ll recruit volunteers who own the book to type sections of it, and track who is typing what, so they don’t overlap each other’s work. We’re looking at about 1350 untyped pages, and that’s just the 4vols of the manuscript, not supplemental material. But yes, if you want to contribute, check out the GHD Listserv – it’s on the http://www.filioque.com site

    Just to avoid getting people’s hopes up, tho, I think realistically, given everything entailed, it’d be more than a year before we saw the fruit of the labour. But yes, it would be worth it.

  34. Satisfied says:

    Thanks Asher for the explanation. Puts things in perspective. I once edited 100 pages of OCR with Greek text in it in about two weeks; if perhaps we could find five people willing to volunteer, we could crank out the book in 2-3 months. I’ll email you with my private email address and real name in case anyone else comes forward.

  35. Asher Black says:

    Thanks for your kind replies. Our architecture is closer to the street vendor offering you a falafel than a big box store – we’re more the mom & pop, without the mom. No cashiers, aisles, no manager, no rebates or warantee (I didnt’ spell that right, but I only got 5hrs sleep). I’d say we’re a step above rummage sale or lemonade stand, but not a big step. We’re half church thrift store with only partial hours and one volunteer, who put in months of work with no pay to do a service to readers and author. This is just all I have right now. I’ve given what I can give.

    On the Intel Mac, I’m sorry – that’s the information I was given. It said “the new intel macs” so I don’t know if they’re talking about a next gen Intel Mac or if they’re just wrong. As it is, if you’ll provide a census of Mac users who read this forum and seriously want to buy the product, I’ll look at a solution. Even the big box operations don’t invest in a product w/o market research to show it will sell more than a couple of copies. I’m a falafel stand, worn out and broke, and I can’t do the research.

    The reason for not doing lulu is that the ocr is so bad that we’d probably get booted off their site for making them look bad. The ocr is gibberish in sections, especially the apparatus. It’s just not feasible. And if one loves the work (I don’t know how to convey that – you either do or don’t) one doesn’t release it looking like absolute garbage, with words like %in*(tr@*$s^!*. The swearing alone would get the result in trouble. Besides, we’re not going to put out to the world a set of books that presumes to be scholarly work that you can barely read in its primary language – it’d be like doing it in crayon.

    I’m sorry folks. I think our culture is so used to the big box stores (Home Depot, Best Buy, Walmart, Blockbuster) and has forgotten all about the Mom & Pop places those bastards crushed (Mom & Pop now work for $8/hr as junior assistant night managers there, under a 12-year old store manager named Skip), and it has gotten us used to a socialized system of commerce. If I ran a falafel stand and you came up and complained I don’t have enough cashiers, or my falafels aren’t hot dogs, or they’re too ethnic and need to be less seasoned, or what have you, I’d simply point at the McDonalds across the street. The falafel guy doesn’t owe you chicken nuggets, or a falafel done your way, or a warranty on the falafel, or falafel on a stick, because you want to eat it when you drive. It’s what it is, as they say on the street.

  36. I’ve only got a slow DSL connection, so I’ll d/l the sample tonight, see if it works with WINE by the end of the weekend and then report my results…

    Also, ‘Q’ (http://www.kju-app.org/kju/) is (I believe) an open source program that does what VMWare, Parallels, etc will do and can be downloaded for free…you’d still need a copy of Windows, but at least you’re not out the charge for the Parallels-esque software. I’ve also heard of an open-source Windows called ReactOS…still in the beginning stages I think, but again, more options for less coin.

  37. Does anyone know if they are going to release a pdf copy of “Free Choice in Saint Maximus the Confessor”?

  38. I am writing this for the undecided. If you have an interest in this material and you meet the system requirements or can get someone to work it for you, then you need (if it is within your means) to purchase this product, it’s priceless. I am another satisfied customer; I have been reading this thing for several hours now, but once I saw with my own eyes the 18-page outline of Dr. Farrell’s argument, I finally understood the level of hype surrounding this work, but then couldn’t understand why there wasn’t 1,000,000,000x more of it. Every Orthodox Christian who wants to fully understand and communicate to the contemporary West most efficaciously needs to purchase this. I hope that I have persuaded at least some of the undecided, I have some reading to do.

  39. I’m an Intel Mac user, and I’d be interested if I had the 85 bucks lying around…as of right now, I don’t, but in a few months maybe?

    I am curious however, to know if this .exe option would work on an Intel Mac using WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator)…something Linux users have used in the past to get .exe files to run…and something I’ve used with a .exe program or two on my Mac. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

    Thank you Mr. Black, for all your invaluable work on this project!

  40. Carl says:

    “Mac will support .exe files when the new Intel Macs come out.”

    That is incorrect.

    A) Intel Macs are out now. I’m typing on one. I’m even using OS 10.5, the latest and greatest of Apple’s OS X operating system series.

    B) Intel Macs cannot run .exe files without first installing Microsoft Windows XP or Vista. Which means buy those products. Which can cost several hundred dollars depending on the exact version that you get.

    If can ask, why not run the .TIFF files through some quick and dirty OCR (optical character recognition) software, use that to make truetype PDFs and then sell the book off of Lulu? Yes, there will be typos galore, but that’s not the end of the world as long as people can make it out.

  41. Asher Black says:

    You’re welcome. Pray for me in my unworthiness.

  42. Andrew says:

    Asher,

    I, for one, am extremely satisfied. In merely reading the prolegomena and browsing through the table of contents I am so glad that I threw down the money. Shoot, I would’ve paid $300 for it. In thinking over the countless dollars I’ve wasted on books that sucked, $85 for this massive tome is chump change.

    Thank you for all the hard work and long hours you put into making this available to nerds like me. And thank you especially for going the extra mile to make it available to this computer illiterate Mac user.

  43. [] says:

    On this last part, I’m not trying to attack computer illiterate people. I’m simply saying that another person’s basic ignorance about using the computer they own and the internet to which they pay access, is not the primary burden of an ebook publisher, but of the user himself. When I didn’t know how to use a computer, I learned. We sell books, not teach classes. Again, the objectivist line.

  44. Asher Black says:

    All that said, how many MAC or Linux users are there here that really want to buy this thing?

  45. Asher Black says:

    Dis…

    Yes, been down that road. Thanks for your kindness, and sorry to all that I blew my stack. I’ve been working on little sleep, giving this long hours at grave expense to my family and finances (there’s no customer service dept., no programmers – just me), and Dr. Farrell and I each are barely getting by, frankly. So there’s a certain amount of, maybe I’ll just go mow some lawns or drive a bus, which I’ll probably have to do anyway. 🙂

    The text you see is something we had in typed format (the Prolegomena) since Dr. Farrell wrote a new one for this edition specifically. The actual four volumes are less crisp. The problem w. OCR solutions is this: The manuscript is not pristine, since it was first printed some years ago on an older and inexpensive printer – they didn’t have the resolution available inexpensively in those days that we do now. I remember getting DOS_Word files from Dr. Farrell back then that were so old even at that time that Word for Windows wouldn’t import them, not even with their array of converters. I had to strip them down to text files and start over, redoing all formatting by hand. Fortunately that wasn’t GHD.

    But the other thing is the massive work contains many different languages. There’s German, French, Greek – there are bizarre characters (as far as OCR is concered) and most OCR engines have simple dictionaries – this is written by an Oxford Professor, so if he has written dactyloid, damnum fatale, and dasymeter (or words as challenging) every page or so, the OCR either makes you stop and hand correct each page (which takes longer, in some cases than just typing the whole page again), or else prints out useless gibberish – with the end of one word that it doesn’t understand confusing it as to the beginning of the next.

    Here’s an example of just one paragraph, on a page of three such paragraphs, as OCR sees it (and this is really good OCR):

    That is. in order for there to be a fulfillment of the Old
    Testament. there must be a repetition and
    recontextunlizaticm of its themes in the Life of Christ
    and where necessaly a reversal of them This
    presupposes certain principles in order for typological
    exegesis to take place. Types are like leitmotkfz in music’
    they must be repeated atld with each repetition ‘ .,! recontextualized. reaching their fulfillment in Cltristao
    Types, indeed can only be recognized as such by their
    repitition they are inherently tied to a specific historical
    tradition

    It missed the period at the end – no doubt thinking it a speckle or part of the n. Imagine fixing all of that by hand x3 for each page, x 1350 pages. Yuck.

    We did use the OCR anyway. It’s a hidden layer under the pdf, which allows pretty decent searchability. So we were sensitive to the fact that Daniel and others would probably strangle us if it was released w/o functional search. 🙂 Pulling that off was tricky, and definitely committed us to specialized PDFs, which would have been the only real option anyway, since there’s no way to protect multi-page TIFs and, even if there were, almost no one knows how to read those.

    In short, I’m doing the best I can, and going broke doing it. I was a protege of Dr. Farrell’s at one time, a student, and a convert, because of him, rescued from things you don’t even want to think about. And because of that, to quote the film Rounders, “I owe.” And even if I didn’t, as the good doctor has called it, this is a “labour of love”. I wanted to accomplish several things:

    * Preserve this work to history and posterity
    * Preserve it to Dr. Farrell, who has been ripped off more than once and received nothing for his labours.
    * Get it into the hands of people clamouring for it all over the net, and asking me, when I indicated I had it, what they needed to do to get it in some format.
    * Help him earn income from it, which he needs, being (and he’d blush at this, but I’ll say it anyway) a martyr to modern academia’s prejudices, blindnesses, and ignorance, and yes even to the attitudes of we Orthodox in many circles. He deserves to have something off the threshing floor, having dedicated decades to thinking that resulted in the salvation of a dozen people I can name off the top of my head (there are many more than that – I just don’t have all the names in our ‘geneology’), the intellectual freedom from blindness of countless university and seminary students, and dare I say even the widespread interest in these topics, that caught like fire from dozens of parts of the country (wherever his students, godchildren, and friends landed and continued to think). I was telling Daniel that I attribute the current interest not from the fire started by Fr. John Romanides (whom I love), not from all the anti-Augustine thinkers out there either, but from the planting of these things all over the English-speaking world by this man, who synthesized it all and distilled it all and did quite a bit of creative and original thought, even in the synthesis, and made it accessible to people who carried it home with them all over the place, not to mention his travels and teaching/speaking engagements to take it to them.

    To me, it’s fitting that this at least, his magnum opus, not either die in obscurity, be ignored into oblivion because of the challenges it poses, nor be ripped off and become another involuntary “public domain” work. Not this one, and not this time, not on my watch. 🙂 Since I’ve been in publishing for some years, I offered to help.

    Downloading and testing platforms took a week. All but one made it two clicks to dump out pure, unprotected PDFs, which would have screwed him yet again. I’m too loyal for that. I have a large comparison chart of platforms with prices, features, limitations. Only 2 handle PDFs as they should, and one of them is an expensive subscription service that we pay for whether we sell anything or not. The platform we chose gave us a simple .exe (one file), secured the PDFs, gave us flexibility with navigation, accepted our modified PDFs with search layer, and gave us easy billing and payment processor integration. It became the obvious first choice when I tested it last, as fate would have it, of all the others. Eureka! I called the good Dr. and told him I’d found it. Then spent two solid days w. almost no sleep at all, preparing the book to fit the platform perfectly, producing it, and setting everything up. That was after about a month dedicated to all the initial scanning, converting, etc. From individual jpgs (organized to match the exact page number of each volume) to tifs to pdfs – and trying many different settings for compression, dpi, etc. – trying to get the balance right. It’s been a huge undertaking, and I lost a lot of income doing it. But the result is something that hits our goals.

    Just a note on the firewall/adobe/mac thing. During the real estate crash of 2007, I got laid off from a software company that specialized in real estate software, along with countless other people. Our two biggest tech support issues regardless of what we did, or how simple we made something were:

    * security software & firewalls blocking connectivity from .exe files (and folks, an .exe is pretty much any windows program you buy, download, or install) – 90% of our clientelle didn’t know how to control their own firewalls – that’s common these days, so they could either disable it to install the program, or do it in safemode w. networking when all else failed.
    * adobe – all our documentation was pdf, but adobe sometimes installs w/o registering itself properly in windows. It may work flawlessly opening a pdf from hard drive or the net, and still not be registered in windows properly. If that’s the case, it won’t open PDFs from within a program, making all our help files inaccessible. The solution was uninstall/reinstall adobe – if that didn’t work, uninstall/reinstall adobe in safe mode (firewall blocking proper registration of adobe in windows)

    The number one compatibility call we got, besides how much ram do I need, etc, was Does it work with Mac? The answer we gave was ‘no’. 96% of the real estate market used PCs (roughly the same as the general populace), so it didn’t pay our developers to dedicate a year creating a Mac version, when one can get a pc for about $300 these days.

    I’m just lending all this some perspective. Given that we’re a team of 2 (Dr. Farrell and I) and Dr. Farrell is, shall we say, from an age before computers 🙂 – it’s all on my shoulders. Considering what I had to work with – reams of dog-eared paper of different thicknesses that would jam my sheet scanner if I put in more than seven pages at a time, and sometimes needed to be scanned individually – just for starters, I haven’t done that badly. 🙂

    Anyway. I won’t bail. I just got frustrated. I’m sorry. Frankly, the candor is one of the reasons I don’t generally venture into forums. I’m from a different culture and time, too, and I’m not used to it.

  46. Dissatisfied says:

    The manuscript as I see it in the sample chapter looks very clean. Have you tried importing the TIF characters into an OCR? I have done that successfully with JPEGs before. If OCR can pick up the brunt of it, all you would need from a volunteer staff would be to catch the places OCR messes up. I might be willing to put my money where my mouth is and assist you if OCR is a viable route.

  47. Asher Black says:

    Militus – this is essentially a downloadable CD, but if we delivered it by CD rather than download, besides the cost going up, it wouldn’t make any difference, given that it’s a PC-compatible format. It’s the format, not the delivery method. Mac is limited to pure PDFs.

    Mac will support .exe files when the new Intel Macs come out. In the meantime, it seemed better to release it to the PC userbase w/o waiting for that. Linux users might be able to use it, since many versions of Linux will run .exe – if in doubt, they can download the sample chapter and try it.

    I’d love to do print on demand. We’d go platinum with that. But to retype this, as technical as it is, and as many volumes as there are, would be a massive undertaking. You’re looking at a volunteer staff here, a weary one – having spent day and night for quite some time on it – who brought this to you in *some* format, so it wouldn’t be completely unavailable.

    Some day, if volunteers send us the typed chapters, you may see it in print again. There’s also an incredible amount of companion material that’s in the same shape – paper manuscript only. So if we want to do a “Director’s Cut” some day, it’ll be like this, with this amount of work going into it again, and it won’t be soon – maybe never. But if that were typed, that too, would probably become Volume 5 – the GHD Companion.

  48. Dissatisfied says:

    Dear Mr Black,

    Please do not get so defensive. You produced a product that is not meeting the needs of the people in the way you anticipated. While it is understandable that you are frustrated that this occurred, you should not blame the consumer. It is not their responsibility to meld their ways to your product. Your product should be melded to meet the needs of the consumer.

    Your attack on computer illiterate people is simply rude.

  49. Asher Black says:

    Shall we take it off the market? Frankly, with the number of complaints we get – it came out too soon, it took too long, it costs too much, it shouldn’t be secure, it’s not available for mac…. I’m thinking actually of pulling it from the market. My involvement with it is strictly voluntary. I can tell you this: if I pull it, hell will likely freeze over before it comes out again. The last thing we’re doing is ripping it to unsecure files and either giving them away or piddling for $40 a pop for this work. We’re not Books-a-Million.

    Computer Illiteracy: God save the computer illiterate, because none of the rest of us can. Only in this culture do people blame others for their own ignorance. I’m sorry if this is your first PC-based ebook, but the FAQ is there, answering your questions; did you read it?

    Print on Demand:As far as lulu.com, it’s a scanned manuscript from the original, not pure text based, as the faq indicates, and that’s why a print on demand solution wasn’t selected. I’ve already indicated that with volunteer typists going at it, that may happen some day, but it’s not like we owe you a book at all. It’s not public domain, and it’s not community property – if you don’t want it, don’t buy it.

    The Price: We don’t hide what it is, and what you’re paying for. For the amount of time it took to research it, document it, write all four volumes, scan the manuscript, get it in a deliverable form, setup billing and licensing, and the cost of licensing and financial transaction fees, frankly $85 is reasonable. Frankly, again, it’s been impossible to obtain a bound edition, except in person from the author, for years. And that avenue is dry as well. You’re getting something by this method that, other than this, just isn’t available. If it was important to me, I’d get it regardless of whether it was a handy paperback. But that’s your call.

    Ebooks and .exe As far as explaining what an ebook is, or using an .exe file, I’ll say this: I’m surprised the computer illiterate can use a blog, since it required launching an .exe file to get here; if you’re on the net, and you’ve got a PC, that’s what you did when you clicked on an icon to launch your browser. And if you buy any software from anywhere and install it, you’ll also run an .exe (and usually it won’t be a single, self-contained file like this is – which is uber-efficient) and for store-bought software, you’re looking at inputting a registration code at least once; same here. We can’t get simpler than that.

    Macintosh If you don’t have a PC, I’ll point out that no ebook publisher at all anywhere supports mac except in PDF format, which Mac handles differently and makes inherently insecure. Since Mac users represent about 4% of the total personal computer users out there, it’s not cost effective for us to support it. That’s true of all kinds of software publishers as well.

    We don’t apologize for the limitations on the product. What we have is a paper manuscript (only), now scanned into multipage tif files, and converted to PDFs (not one pdf, but seven or more, and quite large ones), then packaged in a secure, organized, and single deliverable file as an .exe – That’s what we have. If you want to complain that there’s not a print copy, perhaps you’ll volunteer to type all 1400 pages or so, and have them properly proofed and edited, then get them to us so we can read and approve them, and then we’d think about it. Should take about a year and a half. Meantime, if you want an electronic copy of the manuscript, it’s available. Owning this book is not some kind of right, it’s a trade. If you have a pc and want to own it, this is what it is, and what it costs.

  50. Dissatisfied says:

    It’s a shame that this important work was released in such a non-user friendly version. I don’t mean to knock the guy that produced it–I am sure he spent considerable time weighing the pros and cons of various solutions to getting this published, but the product is just not something I would ever spend money on. The fact that it is limited to Windoze (a horrible Micro$oft product) is one problem; another is the fact that it has licensing schemes in an .exe file format that is difficult for computer illiterate people to access (I am very computer literate but just spent 40 minutes trying to explain to my friend how to buy this book and read it and in the process became very annoyed).

    I am curious why a self-publishing house like lulu.com was not ultimately chosen? 85 bucks for a PDF file is unacceptable.

  51. Blast! A pox on the Microsoft house!

    Is the CD/DVD of GHD still in the works or is this it?

  52. Asher Black says:

    Me too – me too! asherblack.com. Home of Haunt Press.

  53. [] says:

    Quite a number of them, actually, under various faces. 🙂 – Here’s a couple.
    orthopraxy.com
    seraphimsociety.org

  54. Andrew says:

    [],

    Do you have a blog?

    If you don’t, get on it, pronto.

  55. [] says:

    One last point – I would indeed compare St. Augustine to the Hesychasts, who also answered the charge of heresy. Not because they made wrong statements, but because their detractors were ill-equipped or had lost the ability to understand their claims apart from philosophy or doctrinal. Their’s was not a discursive activity, like St. Augustine’s, but they parallel his troubles, in that for this reason, looked at in that way, what they are saying is indefensible, despite St. Gregory’s defense. But really, his theological defense of them does not convey the divine light, does it? So by that defense, we don’t really know, and don’t know more than when we started.

  56. [] says:

    Oh, I agree it’s disturbing, but in a devotional way is precisely how I understand that.

    Let me make two points: art, and the monolithic status we give St. Augustine.

    First art: I would contend that St. Augustine is, at his heart, an artist. City of God is looked at as ‘religious art’, but St. Augustine comes from a time where that distinction didn’t exist. It’s classical art, like that of Boethius. Yes, it’s philosophical art – in the sense that Atlas Shrugged is, or Brave New World, Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Zamyatin’s “We”, Sartre and Camus’ nihilistic drivel, and other such works. That said, how does the artist see and approach the world and what is his interaction like with others who share his Faith? I venture to guess that St. Augustine would be bewildered by the response of today’s Orthodox. The artist deals in extremes, in dramatization, in (when he’s a discursive artist) philosophical error – and this might make your flesh crawl – but error in the service of truth – the equivalent of an extreme metaphor for some of us artists, but in philosophical art it’s pursuing an idea to it’s irrational consequence as tho it were rational. It’s related to Reductio ad Absurdum in that way. I’ve seen Dr. Farrell do the same thing in his books – carry a point creatively to where you’re in lala land wondering what planet you’re on – his Giza books have already been cited in exactly this fashion here. St. Augustine is like the “Christian” artist who paints a wildly extreme (and inaccurate) mural of Christ’s passion. Taken as an icon? It would be heretical. Taken as philosophy: absurd. Taken as art: we don’t make judgments in that way – the only question is did the artist convey the drama of his passion. If I paint a portrait of Christ going into a meatgrinder, or one of Christ as a victim of Abu Ghraib, people will throw a fit over the “philosophy” of it, or the “religion” of it, but it does make the point, precisely thru error, exaggeration, heresy, unreality that Christ suffers, is with the poor, is wounded by the suffering of the world and each individual in it, etc. St. Augustine’s “doctrines” are, in my opinion, the visions of an artist expressed in classical form, and should be taken as devotional expressions of truths even when as doctrine they err.

    I think this difficulty of perceiving St. Augustine is not only because we are no longer a people of art, let alone classical art – because it is precisely the aesthetic movements that developed out of AugustinISM and filioquISM that decapitated our aesthetic science and aesthetic sense (2 compliments).

    But I also think it’s because we attribute to St. Augustine a monolithic status (which is odd, because that’s what the Augustinists, Thomists, etc. do) rather than the status of a devout Saint (call him a holy fool or deranged visionary if you will, but we never call him a heretic, as you know) – a devout Saint within the CONTEXT of an array of voices, a consensus patrum, which now we’d like to freeze as having but one body of unified content, but then was understood (in the conciliar days) as a dialogue. You cannot have a dialogue without people of strong but differing opinions WITHIN the Faith, because it certainly isn’t going to include those without the Faith. And viewed, as I think we should, St. Augustine occupies a place in the great congress of Fathers, the way some of the Holy Fools do, whose actions make no sense apart from their context, but who nonetheless know intimately an experience I can only babble about theoretically. Give me the heretical madman who knows God, and he’ll lead me, where the correct father who describes God is actually the one who sends me running to that madman to find the thing described. St. Augustine is one of our voices – our voices – the Orthodox. And his thinking dramatizes for us the seriousness of our condition, of judgment, of the need and desire for God, where sometimes, luxuriating in a sea of correct doctrine, we may forget and not feel the need or desire.

    I see him as the Kazantzakis of his age.

    Sorry – I know THAT will amount to a very provocative statement. Not trying to be provocative, but I love St. Augustine the artist. It is he that taught me, through Dr. Farrell, of the saving objectivity of prayer, justified and defended by reference to infant baptism and communion.

    I’ll go one further. Even Dante can be understood, in many ways, in an Orthodox sense – the moreso when one takes it as art, as described above, rather than philosophy or doctrine. Art, my friends, is the art of speculation. That’s what a painting, a novel, a vision… that’s what they are. Doctrine – or what we perceive to be doctrine – is sometimes that, too. Remember, another name for Sci-Fi is “speculative fiction”. When we speak of the City of God, we are all speculating. None of us is there. Theology is a speculative enterprise – that’s what it means to be apophatic. Theosis could be called speculative, because it’s absolutely unique to each individual. The divine light of the Hesychasts is speculation – it’s also true and real – but can we really call it “true” as tho it were a philosophical proposition, or “real” as though it were comparable to realities perceived by the dim speculation of our ordinary philosophical faculties. If God is real, then I am not, and vice versa. St. Augustine knew how to maintain through philosophy the reality of the sensible world, but at the same time deny it through theology, ascending like Plato to the realm beyond the Cave, the speculative realm.

    Forgive my poorly expressed even poorer opinion. I may be wrong.

  57. [],

    A further point, I take your view about Augustine as a devotional and pastoral writer, but I do so only on part of his corpus not on everything he wrote carte blanche. On his Sermons, the exegetical works on the Psalms, and the gospels for example, but not so much on his controversial works like his Anti-Pelagian writings where you see a lot of this Neoplatonism crop up.

    Photios

  58. [],

    All good points, and I recommend your thinking highly.

    But let’s take Augustine’s views that I stated to a very practical level that he himself actually addressed as a pastor.

    Augustine thinks unbaptized infants are damned because mankind forms a massa damnata et damnabilis. He concluded as much on the basis of his views on original sin and soul= person. Hence unbaptized infants are damned. Not just damned to death, which Christ lifts for evey man, but to eternal punishment (however so light based on misdeeds). I don’t think there is a devotional way in understanding that, perhaps I’m wrong. The devotional and the theological meet up in that practice for Augustine.

    I see the Monastic Fathers in emphasizing us being captive to the devils weapon: death, not to an irrevocable decree on predestination because of a concept of World Soul being in Adam that condemns me.

    Photios

  59. Asher Black says:

    Thanks. Well, it is taking some doing to make these personally-licenced PDFs special (i.e. identity-tagged, secure, and so forth). Macs are a pain. 🙂 But you’re our Honorary Mac Guy – the HMG – or THMG, if you prefer. The THMG of GHD the EV. OMG! LOL! Anyway, you cried loudly enough to the heavens that we took pity and helped. 🙂

  60. [] says:

    Photios, Hmm. You may be right, but I take St. Augustine as primarily a devotional writer, and his writings on those topics, while doctrinal, primarily as devotional writings. Think for a moment if your primary interest was devotional – what does this entail? A strong interest in grace, in being drawn to God, in depravity. You see it in all the monastic fathers. Evagrius is fantastic in this area – though, taken as doctrine, his work is condemned. But he remains our teacher. Like Tertullian in some respects. Take St. Dionysius – he gets taken to task for excesses – but that’s more about the reader, and the culture into which it’s being read, than the Saint himself, much less the writing. The work is not only squarely within our tradition, but prototypical. Taken in that context, just for a moment and hypothetically, looking at St. Augustine’s work on those subjects, could it not be understood in a fully Orthodox manner, as St. Photius and others (I believe St. John Maximovitch) recommend? It tend to think they see something we do not when they tell us this. Elsewhere the fathers have written that we always attempt to understand everything our Brethren say in an Orthodox manner, agreeing with it if at all possible. Not to correct you, but I think we’re talking about two modes of viewing St. Augstine’s writing, but that’s all we’re doing is interpreting writing. Yes?

  61. Andrew says:

    Alright boys, problem solved. Asher Black, the man of the hour, is currently building a PDF file of Farrell’s work — viewable on Macs — just for me. Is that service, or what? That can’t be a walk in the park. Asher’s going to bat for me, the sometimes absent minded honorary mac guy.

    Thank you all for your input, especially Daniel D.

  62. [],

    I’m sure I know who you are. 😉

    Well yes and no on Saint Augustine. Surely, the De Trinitate as a piece of speculation.

    But…If you take a book like Rebuke and Grace, I think Augustine is quite dogmatic in a personal way about his views on predestination, original sin, and grace. A whole bunch of THAT is built on the back of his confusion between person and nature and soul = person understanding he got from NeoPlatonism. That “thinking process” there is congruent with the filioque. And you can garner THAT from reading no less a great Augustinian scholar like Ronald Teske and not from necessarily a great patristic scholar like Farrell.

    Photios

  63. [] says:

    Agreed. I’d not even go that far w. St. Augustine. Rather than saying he didn’t understand, I’d take Dr. Farrell’s understanding that he’s speculating, in a brief moment in time and part of the world – a historical realm – in which speculation is considered just that, and is not meant to be taken as doctrine or gospel – and he’s as Orthodox as anyone – but the West began to turn speculation into the science of theology as a philosophical science, and the Orthodox world in general began to respond to heresy with increasing use of statements. Those statements are infallible, but they are not the fullness of the truth, or useful apart from real theologia. Remember, our true theology is apophatic. God is unknowable, and we even reject that unknowability as a category of knowledge. Again, the fathers say the true theologian is shaped by prayer – theology is direct experience of God’s uncreated Energies, and a removing from the mind of all false images. The Desert not the Academy is the way of theologia.

  64. I’d like to make one further note to what the poster said above. This in no way implies that Saint Augustine was the direct and willful promoter of esotericism or of the occultic secret societies. Quite the contrary. It just means that he and even Plotinus are confused about the context of Platonic philosophy, which has no context in theology or economy of Christ.

    Though I do think there is a connection between esotericism, the filioque, later Neoplatonic magic, alchemy, and the mystery schools.

    Photios

  65. [] says:

    Well said, Mr. Jones. The filioque and its surrounding culture is actually an occult template – a mystery religion made apparently reasonable as a philosophy.

    People just don’t think that way anymore – they are heirs of everything from Egypt to Bacon and they like to think everything was born in the lie of the Enlightenment. Mostly, they just let the experts do their thinking, and assume those are reliable. 🙂

  66. Andrew,

    The “paleophysics” of the Ancient High Civilization, not the ancient egyptians which are a “doaner” civilization like the ancient greeks and summerians, that Farrel speculates about in his Giza trilogy is all about analogs and dialectic. Where do you think the doaner civilizations learned those things from, they made them up? 😉 So that means that all the “religious” and metaphysical symbols and tropes that classical philosophy is talking about is NOT about metaphysics and a pathway to some God called the Good or the One. For whatever merit these speculations of Dr. Farrell that could be true regarding Who or When or What about the objects on Giza plateau, the context of the work with God, History, and Dialectic reveals the rank idolatry of the filioque god. There is a huge spritual impact of the work beyond the speculative that should not sit well for anyone committed to the “orthdoxy” of western scholastic and historical methods.

    Photios

  67. Asher Black says:

    I can help him.

    If one of the methods above (e.g. the emulator) cannot be done (that’d be ideal), then I’ll create this one mac user a custom solution in exchange for surrendering his original license key (don’t post it here!) After all, he’s the first mac user to buy it, so I’ll dub him our one, honorary mac guy, and take care of it. There’s no refunds on these keys, so I encourage people to read the system requirements first. The product really does work very well, but each system is unique so, just in case, almost anything can be fixed by that safe mode with networking method. Except for our honorary Mac person. A Mac person can’t be cured, only coaxed into conversion. Meantime, Mac, lemme know: your registration email – the one w. the code – has my email address at the bottom.

  68. Ignoramus says:

    I don’t. Someone above paid for it and realized it didn’t work on his Mac. I’m just trying to help him extract the file he already paid for. If he then redistributes that file, then that’s piracy.

  69. [] says:

    Why would you want to pirate the thing in the first place?

  70. Ignoramus says:

    For some reason, I just couldn’t give this up. This may/may not work for the real document, but it worked for me on the sample.

    Step 1: Go here http://www.cutepdf.com/ and install the PDF Writer. It will ask you if you want to install ps2pdf. Say yes.
    Step 2: Open the file in the executable.
    Step 3: Click the “Print” button and then print it to the “CutePDF Writer” printer. Make sure that “Print to File” is not checked. Enter your filepath and hit save.

    If that doesn’t work, I think I have a more involved way of going about it using GhostScript and “Print to File” using your normal printer.

  71. Daniel D. says:

    Yup – that’s safemode with networking trick is the single best fix for most such things these days. I worked in tech support at a software company. The thing is, we’ve gotten so paranoid about hacking and identity theft in the support of the security state that we usually have 2-3 popup blockers installed (one with every toolbar, and some built in to browsers, firewalls, anti-spyware etc.), plus if we’ve got a firewall installed, we’ve probably got windows firewall working too, doubling up there.

    In short, the safe mode w. networking thing gets past whatever you’ve got running in the background that’s interfering. Since most computers have a few dozen things running that the owner doesn’t know about, and the particular combination of them is unique to that machine, it makes the safe mode with networking solution a popular and simple fix. It’s good for all kinds of things. In case anyone wants it, to jot it down for use when something doesn’t work, here it is:

    * If the computer is running, shut down Windows, and then turn off the power
    * Wait 30 seconds, and then turn the computer on.
    * Start tapping the F8 key. The Windows Advanced Options Menu appears. If you begin tapping the F8 key too soon, some computers display a “keyboard error” message. To resolve this, restart the computer and try again.
    Ensure that the Safe mode with Networking option is selected.
    * Press Enter. The computer then begins to start in Safe mode with Networking.
    * Do what you’re trying to do.
    * When you are finished, close all programs and restart the computer as you normally would.

  72. Martin says:

    Good news — thanks to the “What if I absolutely cannot connect when I try to register the book?” advice, I can now read my ebook. 🙂

    So, in summary this is what I did to make it work (not all of these steps may have been required but it’s pretty difficult to isolate which, or which combination thereof, are to thank):

    1) Uninstall Adobe Acrobat.
    2) Reinstall the latest Adobe Acrobat.
    3) Activate the eBook (successful).
    4) Restart into safemode with networking.
    5) Open the eBook (successful).
    6) Restart back into normal mode and the eBook now works.

    Maybe this will help someone else who has similar difficulties.

    Thanks again for the assistance and advice.

  73. Daniel D. says:

    Martin, check your e-mail/gmail.

  74. Martin says:

    Thanks for the advice. The activation key was accepted and the book was activated with no problems. Unfortunately, I can’t read my activated book. 😛

    The “official answer” to the first three questions which pertain to an inability to read the book is: reinstall Adobe Reader. I’ve done that twice… I’ve also Googled the problem without a whole lot of success thus far. My Adobe Reader works fine, it can open PDFs both within and without the browser.

    It could be security settings… Which ones? Go figure. I guess I can try shutting them down one by one and see what happens…

    I’m a bit concerned about the fact that this book could easily fail to be readable in the future. It sounds like at some point you might want to upgrade windows, or hardware, etc, and you could get a message about an invalid key. What they suggest is:

    “The activation key you try to use has already been used to maximum number of times. If you have upgraded or reinstalled your computer, it is possible that Secure-eBook does not recognize the computer…you should contact the publisher of the eBook to request your activation key to be reseted.”
    http://www.secure-ebook.com/help/ebook_activation_assistance

    Well, I wonder what the odds are that the publisher they tell me to contact is around in the coming years when my book no longer is readable. Probably best to print it, if you plan on reading it in the future.

    I’m pretty close to asking for a refund at this point… But I’m going to wrestle with this a bit more.

  75. Daniel D. says:

    Martin – sounds like your firewall. I just popped open my book, and when it said it was detecting adobe, the firewall sent up a balloon asking if it was all right.

    The FAQ says:
    Also, if your firewall has popped up a little window, it may be asking you to permit the interface to run. (i.e. the window might be hiding behind the one you’re looking at)

    I told my firewall to disallow it. How can I change that?
    It depends on whether you told it to block it just this once or permanently. If just this once, you should be able to either close and restart the book, or else restart the computer (depending on your firewall). If you told it to block the book permanently, the way to change that setting will vary based on your firewall, since every firewall is different. You can either go into the firewall to permit the connection, or else temporarily disable your firewall, then close and run the ebook interface again.

    I’m fairly technical or I want to just go ahead and add a rule to my firewall it to allow GHD. What do I need?
    Most firewalls will popup and ask if it’s ok to connect, though, so for most people this should be automatic. But, if you prefer to get down to nuts and bolts, the eBook requires the firewall to allow it to access http://www.secure-ebook.com on ports 80 and 443

    What if I absolutely cannot connect when I try to register the book?
    Firewall. Even if you completely shut down your firewall, modern firewalls have some degree of ‘passive blocking’. If they’ve blocked something when running, they’ll continue to block it even if shut down. Some anti-spyware, and other security software toolbars, etc. do the same thing. Register in Safe Mode with Networking: http://dialectic.wordpress.com/ghd/ghd-faq/registering-in-safe-mode/

  76. Daniel D. says:

    The official answer, of course, is here:
    http://www.secure-ebook.com/help/ebook_activation_assistance
    But it could be security software, anything from the flaky yahoo or google toolbar to an overactive anti-spyware or firewall widget down by the clock on bottom of your screen. Hmm. Mine loads every time. Were you able to see the sample chapter? Have you been able to register it yet? or not even that far?

  77. Martin says:

    Ok, two reinstalls and two reboots of Adobe Reader later, and I still can’t read the e-Book. It keeps popping a “Waiting for Adobe Reader” dialog complaining “Adobe Reader plugin not detected.” I’ve tried the instructions on the help page to no avail.

    Has anyone else encountered / solved this issue?

    Seems like software-based copy protection can often be a huge pain.

  78. Daniel D. says:

    Fortunately, while paper print is enabled on it, with a caution against illegal distribution, printing to a PDF printer/driver doesn’t work – I already tried. That’s to keep it from being pirated into unprotected pdfs.

    But the PC emulator for MAC idea is dandy, if it works. Let us know.

    Since it’s a standalone exe file, he could probably run it on one of Kinkos’ computers and input his registration code – it probably saves it in the registry, but if they’ve got security measures in place to prevent that, it probably won’t work. On the other hand, some internet cafe’s are setup to do a system wipe every night and are one heck of a lot cheaper than Kinkos to use their computers. They might be $5/hr, but Kinkos is some ridiculous fee like $5 for 15 minutes. I’ve never thought their model was very bright.

    Cheapest route would be to install it on any friend’s PC, print out each thing (you’ll need about 1500 sheets of paper and probably have to buy a black ink cartridge). Then you could either staple it, put it in a 3-hole binder, or carry it to kinkos and they’ll tape bind it for about $2.50 for each volume.

    Kinkos probably won’t print it for you, even if they can, since it involves an .exe file, and since they have a policy against printing copyrighted material w/o a letter of authorization from the copyright holder.

    My advice? Having done a certain amount of tech support over the years: either try the emulators, because they’re fun anyway, and look at them like an adventure. Or install it on the nearest pc, leave it installed, and register/unregister it whenever you want to use it (using your registration key as a password).

  79. Andrew says:

    And hey, if it doesn’t work out, I could just read Farrell’s Giza Death Star trilogy instead. Forget the dialectic; I’ll take ancient Egyptians totally owning the rest of the world with their bad a** weapon of mass destruction any day of the week.

  80. Ignoramus says:

    So I just downloaded the sample chapter. You can skip the bit about the virtual printer. Apparently, you can just save the pdf file once you get it open.

  81. Andrew says:

    You guys are rad. Thanks for all the tech support. I’m sure one of these ideas will work. I rather like the idea of going to Kinkos and having it printed and bound. I much prefer printed books anyway.

  82. Ignoramus says:

    Regarding the Mac issue, I’ve got 2 ideas.

    1.) You could go to Kinkos and have it printed and bound. They have PCs and lots of paper/ink. I don’t know if they’d let you run the software though. I like printed books anyway.

    2.) You could install a virtual “PDF Printer” on a Windows machine and print the document to the virtual printer. The software can be found for free or for really cheap. When you print, it should ask you to select a printer and you will need to pick the virtual printer. This will save it to your disk in PDF format and you can take that back to your Mac. Of course, it still requires admin priveledges on a Windows machine (just opening the program will).

  83. sevpr says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only tech-challenged person using the internet.

  84. Martin says:

    You could try a Windows emulator, or running Windows on your Mac:

    http://www.macwindows.com/emulator.html

  85. Daniel D. says:

    Andrew – the downloaded, unregistered file, technically, hasn’t much value, since anyone can download it at any time from http://www.driveway.com/caufa95287

    It’s the registration key that’s valuable – that string of 20 or so letters/numbers they send you. You could indeed either gift or sell that to anyone, give them your name and email address for the initial registration, and they’re good to go – same as if they’d bought it online. It’s good for only one computer at a time anyway.

    Alternately, you could install it on a friend’s computer, school computer (if they ok it), or family member’s computer, etc. You could even register it when you want to use it, unregister it when you’re done, and leave it installed so you can just come back to it next time and input your registration code like a password.

    Hope this helps.

  86. Andrew,

    I’d email them and explain the situation and try to get a refund.

  87. Andrew says:

    [*&^%$@!!!]

    So in other words, I’m an idiot for buying this thing immediately without bothering to check whether it would run on my computer. That’s what I get for being incredibly STOKED that Farrell’s work was finally available. $85 is a lot of money for a poor college student.

    Any chance I could give it to a friend who does have Microsoft Windows? How would I go about doing that?

    Thanks for your help, Daniel.

  88. Daniel D. says:

    A forum I checked says it

    “does not work on MAC …. Executables (.exe files) will not run on older MAC OS (operating system). But the new Intel MACs will solve this issue.”

    and

    “MAC compatibility is not such an easy solution, which is why no PDF protection system offers it really except Adobe. And it’s too expensive even consider using . . . . Luckily thanks to the new INTEL MACs the days of needing a separate version for MAC users is nearing an end.”

  89. Daniel D. says:

    Forgot the link to the FAQ. It’s here:
    http://dialectic.wordpress.com/ghd/ghd-faq/

  90. Daniel D. says:

    Hi Andrew. It needs either to run in Microsoft Windows mode, if your Mac supports that, or else on a Microsoft Windows computer, if you have access to one. The FAQ on it shows:

    Is the Ebook file installable on non-MICROSOFT-based systems?
    The file works on MICROSOFT-based systems and may work on some similar systems that can run an .exe file. If you’re unsure whether your system can run this type of file, download the book [ http://www.driveway.com/caufa95287 ] with sample chapter and try it BEFORE purchasing a registration key. Note: there are no refunds on registration keys.

  91. Andrew says:

    I need the help of a computer geek, fast!

    I forked out the $85 to buy this thing. I have a MacBook. I downloaded the thing onto my desktop, it created a folder, I opened the folder, and tried to open the ‘God-History-And-Dialectic.exe’ icon and it told me there is no default application to open it.

    What do I do?

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