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Not having much luck making Workstation 6 function, and two conversations and numerous emails with VMWare’s tech support people hasn’t helped. I install the product, I enter the serial number as requested, and get this error message. Has anybody else ever seen this? Or can anybody even explain it? I emailed the screenshot to VMWare, and that’s about the time they clammed up.

I hate to abandon Workstation entirely. VMWare’s snapshot system is far superior to that of VirtualBox, and I use it a lot. I’ll miss it. Boy.

And while I’m asking peculiar things, let me ask the multitudes here how you pronounce “iodine.” I have always said eye-oh-dyne, but Bob Thompson, who knows more than a little about chemistry (and certainly more than I) pronounces it eye-oh-deen. This lines up with the rest of the halogens; we don’t, after all, say “broh-myne.” So? Which is it?

I edited another half a chapter of FreePascal From Square One yesterday morning, and in laying out the edited material got up to page 136. The book I’m adapting it from is 800 pages long, but don’t look for anything that size. To be workable on Lulu, the book is going to have to stop at or before page 400. A lot of the material in Borland Pascal 7 From Square One just doesn’t apply anymore…who’s called the Borland Graphics Interface lately, or done text output by poking word values into the video display buffer? The BGI chapter was 100 pages all by itself, and when I slice out that and other things like overlays and DOS/BIOS calls, I’m really pulling 400 pages out of no more than 600 pages of useful material, maybe less. Should be done by June. I hope.

The issue of whether Amazon imposes DRM on Kindle publishers is complicated, and I’ll back away some from my statement to that effect on Monday, and will hold off until I try to get one of my own titles into the system. This article suggests that recent policy changes have made DRM optional. Having to face the DRM issue square-on has kept me putting off publishing on the Kindle for some time. As a very small publisher I’ve made this promise to my readers: No DRM of any kind, on anything, ever. I’m willing to forgo Kindle sales if the DRM decision is not my own, but from what I’m reading now, I think that won’t be the case.

As for Amazon caving, well, that’s more complex too. I see that Nancy Kress’s new book Steal Across the Sky is listed on the Amazon Web store, and her publisher, Tor, is one of Macmillan’s imprints. However, you can’t order it from Amazon at this time. (Third-party affiliates are offering it, but Amazon itself is not. Note the double dashes under “Amazon Price.”) Ditto Nancy’s Beggars and Choosers, another Tor book. Yesterday morning’s Wall Street Journal had a story explicitly stating that Amazon had conceded the price issue to Macmillan. But Amazon isn’t selling the books yet, so clearly the struggle goes on.

Off to church, to install an SX270 in place of a doddering old E-Machines box that is four times the size and probably a third the capability.


  1. Jeff: I end it with “deen”, but I dare say this is one of those different-across-the-pond things, like alumminium, er, aluminum.

    Cheers, Julian

  2. Chuck Harrington says:


    How about another: EYE-o-dən 🙂

  3. Carol Pruitt says:

    When I was in my early teens, our GP sent my whole family to see a thyroid specialist, Goethe Link. It turned out that he was not only “a” thyroid specialist, he had been one of the pioneers in the field. He was about 80 at the time (and still a deft surgeon, by the way), so he must have been born in the late 1870’s. At any rate, he said “eye-oh-deen,” so I take that to be the original, official pronunciation. My dictionary says that pronunciation is still used by chemists (as well as in the UK).

    I say “eye-oh-dyne,” though.

    We lay types tend to pronounce words according to how we think they look like they “should” be pronounced. I believe I read somewhere that the original pronunciation of “protein” was in three syllables: “pro-tee-in,” but all I’ve ever heard is “pro-teen.” The antioxidant lutein is listed in the dictionary as “lu-tee-in,” but the TV ads are already saying “lu-teen.”

    Any language is a work in progress.

    1. Carrington Dixon says:

      I’ve been listening to some old-time radio programs of late, and some radio announcers where pronouncing “protein” with three syllables as recently as the late 1940s.

  4. As you say, most scientists pronounce it eye-oh-deen by analogy with the other halogens, but most non-scientists (along with more than a few scientists) use the “dyne” ending. My grandmother (born 1885), pronounced it eye-oh-dinn. That was common among people her age, although seldom heard nowadays.

    Many chemists are not consistent in their pronunciations. For example, I pronounce phenol as fenn’-all (as in alcohol), but phenolphthalein as feen-all-thay-leen. And many chemists use “fee-nawl”, “fenn-ole”, or “feen-ole”, not to mention “thall-een”, “thay-line”, or other variants. No one thinks twice about it, and many (including me) use different pronunciations at different times. You might even catch me using eye-oh-dyne, because that’s the way I said it before I started in science.

    I’m getting a lot of view feedback about pronunciations on my new YouTube channel, TheHomeScientist. Just wait until they hear me pronounce strontium. Most people say strawn-tee-um; I usually say strawn-chum”.

  5. Oh, yeah. I’d forgotten until just now, but back in my grad school days there was a visiting chemistry professor who indeed used the yne ending for all of the halogens. I was working on color couplers and color developers, and never had a class with him. But he stopped by my bench one day and we started talking about what I was working on and a problem I was having at the moment. He asked if I had any brom-myne water. Without hesitation, I told him I didn’t, only chlor-yne water. (Grad students learn to suck up to professors, even visiting ones…)

  6. Paul says:

    Jeff – Are you going to publish to multiple venues, i.e. the Kindle, Lulu, iPad? Is that possible due to contract/licensing? I’m asking as I don’t see myself buying a specific ereader anytime soon, but will have a laptop/smart phone with me.

    1. As best I know, none of the stores demand any kind of exclusive contract, which is good. I’m the publisher; they’re just retailers. (We need to remind all of them–especially Apple–of this truth.) So no, I do not do exclusives. How many different stores I sell through depends entirely on how difficult it is to prepare the files–and whether DRM is required. DRM, no deal.

      This will not always be the case, but the real hangup in ebook publishing right now is a welter of different formats, requiring different tools to generate them. The tools are still immature (compared to things like InDesign) and new ones are popping up all the time. Having one source file for all the different ebook formats is difficult, especially if the cornerstone is an InDesign file for printed books.

      It’s going to be a few years until any of this sorts out, and until then, creating ebook files is going to be a pretty random and perhaps occasionally nasty business.

  7. Rich, N8UX says:

    I’ve always said it the way Lucy does, as in “Dog Germs! Get some Iodine!”, with the long “I”.

    My pronunciation issues are more Cardinal than chemical. My youngest goes to Bellarmine University. She cringes when I refer to it as anything other than “Bellarmin”, with the short “i”.

  8. Carol Pruitt says:

    OK, chemists, if it’s “eye-oh-deen,” then how do you say “iodide” — “eye-oh-deed”? (I assume I’m joking, but one never knows.) In high-school chemistry class, we pronounced it “eye-oh-dyed,” and my best friend got a kick out of saying, “Iodide — let’s barium!”

    Hey, if you think chemical pronunciation is somewhat lacking in accord, you ought to try botanical Latin. Near as I can tell, there really isn’t any “correct” pronunciation of many terms, even within this country, and I can only imagine what it’s like at an international botanical conference. But at least they all (usually) agree in print.

    1. I’ve never heard any scientist pronounce any halide with other than a long eye sound, although analogous constructs (e.g., amide) are sometimes pronounced with a long eye, short eye, or long ee.

      As to Latin, I started with classical Latin in junior high school, so that has a great deal of effect on how I pronounce scientific terms. There actually is a scientific Latin variant, whose pronunciations differ somewhat from classical Latin, and differ greatly from church Latin. And then there’s “American Latin”, which has also had an effect. I admit that I get strange looks when instead of saying jule-ee-us see-sur I pronounce it yule-ee-us kye-sarr.

      1. I came in toward the end of the Latin Mass era, and as you may know from your experience, Latin was taught to us more or less phonetically, as an American would speak it–so I guess that would very much qualify as “American Latin.” I’ve heard liturgical Latin spoken (and sung) by people of other birth languages, and it’s very hard to follow, because the pronunciation is phonetic along the lines of German or Spanish or whatever. That was part of the genius of the Tridentine Church culture: Have a standard format, but allow it to be expressed in ways the locals won’t have trouble with. I never took Classical Latin so I have no clue how it’s pronounced in that field, but I had heard that “ceasar” and “kaiser” are pronounced more or less the same way, and that the latter is the German form of the same word.

        My high school education was superb. My college education was mostly a waste. If I could go back I would take Latin and German, damn the additional course load.

  9. Oh, yeah. I just realized that we’re all taking for granted that the first letters of iodine are pronounced eye-oh. Dare I point out that the Greek letter iota is properly pronounced yott-uh, so iodine might reasonably be pronounced yaw-deen?

    And I still drive Barbara nuts with my pronunciation of quinine, as in quinine water. Apparently, most people pronounce it kwye’-nyne, rather than the proper kwih-neen’. 😉

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