OT Language (was Re: lost Desktop)

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Mon Jul 18 07:42:09 BST 2011

Anne Wilson posted on Sat, 16 Jul 2011 07:06:04 +0100 as excerpted:

> An amazing number of solutions to a single problem :-)

Indeed. Altho they're variants on a theme that each have particular 
strengths and weaknesses.  A pipe wrench, for instance, grips amazingly 
well on a rounded pipe, but can damage the corners on a hex head and is 
extremely heavy and cumbersome for the task of turning one, so is seldom 
used for that, except where the corners are already so rounded that a 
normal wrench or crescent can't get a proper grip (in which case it's 
working at its strength again, gripping a mostly rounded object).

> Your Crescent Wrench is the one that I have - a slightly smaller and
> lighter version of David's.

> None of the other pictures look like the other one he uses.
> Imagine a single piece of iron, like a flattened umbrella handle. 
> Underneath the curve is serrated to be one half of the jaw, and down the
> straight are a number of holes.  A second, entirely separate piece of
> iron fits around the handle, with the curved upper surface being
> serrated.  There is a single hole, where a pin locates it into the
> adjustable part.  It's a very primitive tool, to my eye. Maybe I can get
> a photo of it.

This remains quite interesting to me.  I have the general idea, now, I 
think (thanks for the second attempt at a description), but such things 
as the curve and attack angle are critical to getting a proper conception 
of how well the tool works in practice and what its strengths might be, 
and while you might be very good at describing embroidery patterns (I 
remembered that from when I followed kde-planet), those sorts of details 
are difficult to convey or even notice without a draftsman's eye and 
likely a reasonable understanding of the physical forces and interactions 

>From what I've read of Gene's posts, if he saw one he might be able to 
describe it well in words, but I'm definitely /not/ making a similar 
claim for myself, tho I could probably grok the functionality reasonably 
well, to intuit the type of strengths and weaknesses it might have (as I 
described for the pipe wrench above, for instance), at least to myself, 
for the purposes of evaluating the right tool for the job at hand.

In short, it's the picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words problem. =:^D

I did stay a year with my grandparents as I entered my teens, and while 
by that time they had sold the farm and bought a house in town, so 
grandpa had no doubt left a lot of tools behind (and part of the reason I 
was there was because he was gradually losing it by that time, and 
grandma felt better with someone else around, to run to the neighbor next 
door and call the police, if it came to it, so it wasn't as if I could 
really ask grandpa), I do remember playing around with a number of tools 
I hadn't seen before and may well never see again.  I'm just wondering if 
I saw a picture, if I might immediately recognize something I didn't know 
the function of back then, perhaps because I only saw the separate 
halves.  The the word description alone doesn't trigger the association 
or memory, but a picture would very likely do so if it was something I 
had come across either then or at some estate sale or the like.

So if you happen to have a cell phone with a camera or some such, or 
happen to come across a picture on the net, I'd be much obliged.  But if 
not, don't sweat it, I don't either (the closest I have is the webcam on 
the netbook, but it's facing the user so is hard to use to take photos of 
anything but myself, with... and BTW, I don't know of any kde software 
that works with it either, except perhaps kopete for visual chat, but I 
don't use it as I'm too deliberative a thinker/typer to be effective at 
IM/IRC, something simple to do stills and movies with would be nice).  
It's not as if anything important depends on my seeing a picture.

But I can't shake the feeling that something like a year from now, I'll 
chance across a photo or something, and it'll be "Oh, so THAT was what 
Anne was talking about!  DUH!  I should have thought of that!"

Meanwhile, that's enough of a description that I'm at least somewhat 
likely to recognize one if I see it, perhaps at a yard sale, or come 
across a photo of it myself, so that year-from-now or whatever scenario 
isn't unlikely.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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