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MTR Torah Freeware

Getting MTR Torah Freeware

MTR is our freeware for the PC running directly under either DOS (version 3.3 or later) or Windows (Win3x or later, including XP); in all these cases, it needs to be run in full screen mode, not in a graphical window where the mouse shows. It may also be possible to run it under other systems or in a window on some systems, but we no longer support that. When used properly in a full screen, MTR has its own built-in Hebrew keyboard and font support and it runs on systems using any language (no Windows Hebrew support for keyboard or fonts needed! If you have a non-QWERTY keyboard, the Hebrew letters may not be where you expect them, though).

The current version of MTR is mtrM, dated Elul 5764 (official release date 14 September 2004). There is no planned date for the next version (we have discontinued official updates for this DOS version, but the current version has unofficial updates to refine the texts through 27 December 2010).

The best place to download MTR is right here. And despite that MTR is freeware, we do hope you will make a donation, if you can.

If you want to know details about MTR's use before downloading, you can read the full 40 page manual in English here.

To install, unzip the zip file, and run the m batch file (more details below).

Older versions dating back even several years are still available on the Net, so do check before downloading elsewhere to see that you are getting the latest mtrM version. Each update includes hundreds (sometimes thousands) of refinements to the texts, including corrections to all errors reported by users. This time there are many more changes than in the previous update, including maqqafim (hyphens) in all Biblical texts, not just in the three poetical books of (Psalms, Job, and Proverbs) as previously.

Quotations from Reviews of MTR:

From Michael Shoshani's JUDAICA PAGE:

Shoshani's Pick!
MTR Hebrew Legal Classics from Mechon Mamre is simply amazing. It contains the full text of Mishneh Torah of RaMBaM, TaNaKh, Targum Onkelos on the Chumash, Mishnah, Tosefta, Yerushalmi, and Bavli. It is now freeware as well. ... The project is well worth supporting. They are using Yemenite manuscripts of RaMBaM, and are doing their best to correct errors that have crept into the texts of Mishne Torah and Shas...so much that there are far fewer errors in this program than there are on the expensive CD-ROM packages commercially available. I am not connected with this program, but I use it and recommend it strongly. It's compact, fast, searchable, configurable, and a way to support a worthwhile endeavor of a very nice, religious family.

From Ronnie Figdor's J.O.I.N. Reviews of a number of programs of Jewish interest:

WHEN DOS IS GOOD ENOUGH--MTR

In recent months I have reviewed a number of computer-based Judaic texts, all of them supplied on CD-ROM and requiring Windows 3.x or 95. But what would you say if you could download a full-blown version of such a program from the internet and run it on a DOS machine with little system requirements? The sceptical reader will mutter something about the program containing not much by way of texts and something about lack of features. Well neither need be the case.

... As one would expect MTR lacks the finesse of Windows-based products but it makes up for it in speed of loading and searching. In my experience most searches seemed to be instantaneous.

Because of the simplicity of the interface, commencing a search was simple. Just type in the Hebrew word you are searching for in quotations marks and press Enter and the result came up.

Why Use MTR?

Since there are so many programs on the market for searching and learning in the Torah classics in Hebrew and Aramaic, ranging in price from about $40 to $2500, it may be asked, why on earth should anyone use MTR, which is simply free? For those who can afford them, we actually do recommend using one of the usual CD-ROM programs for their very broad scope and MTR for much greater accuracy within its much more limited scope (and note MTR runs fine on the same system as other programs, even at the same time, without requiring another of those pesky plugs, or occupying your CD-ROM drive when you want to use it for some other purpose).

MTR now has the most accurate version of Mishneh Torah currently available anywhere, whether in print or for computer (better than QaafiH, Frankel, and Rabinovitch, even!), which is also available in HTML here at our site (which looks amazingly good on screen in MS Internet Explorer 5, and even prints out nicely on paper from within that browser, by the way). MTR's full punctuation (not voweling) is also much more helpful than the scant punctuation found in other editions.

MTR has the most accurate letter version of the Tanach according to the masorah (based on the Keter and its close relatives), with helpful punctuation according to the trope marks, and with signs of paragraphing that conforms exactly to the requirements of RaMBaM's Laws of Torah Scrolls Chapter 8 (one could use MTR's Torah version as a tiqqun, more accurate than the usual ones used by scribes). The Tanach is also available here at our site, with the addition of vowels; again, it is the Keter version, not the oddball Leningrad voweling used by other programs for computer. MTR also has a copy of the Tanach with full spelling (for people who do not remember the inconsistent spellings of the masorah, which is most of us). Contrast most (if not all) other Torah programs, which have Leningrad's text (along with lots of gratuitous errors; we found 84 spelling errors in the Humash alone in one of the competing programs we checked).

MTR has the Aramaic Targum Onqelos according to the "tijaan" (that is, according to the Yemenite version, which is meaningfully different from the usual Targum; for example, "haasafsuf" in Numbers 11,4 is the leadership, not the rabble). The full punctuation is parallel to the punctuation in the Hebrew and the spelling is fuller than the usual printed Targums used in other programs.

MTR has Mishnah according to the manuscript attributed to RaMBaM, fully punctuated, not just the usual Vilna.

MTR's Tosefta and Yerushalmi are not much better than in other programs, unfortunately (lots of work needs to be done here).

MTR has clearly the most accurate text of the Bavli (one famous program selling for hundreds of dollars has an estimated 10,000 more errors according to a sample we compared, which is rather disappointing!) according to Vilna.

MTR's texts are also unique in that they are constantly being reedited and updated, and every error reported by users is fixed in the next update version. Users report that with other programs their suggestions for corrections are simply ignored for years, if corrected at all. We care enough about God and His Torah to take our work in MTR's texts seriously.

It is also worth pointing out that all of MTR's texts are simply text files in normal Hebrew for DOS (alef = 0x80, not Windows' 0xE0) encoding, not the usual files that are inaccessible by the user in other Torah programs. Moreover, MTR will send up to 64K chunks of text to the Windows ClipBoard for pasting at a time (watch out Dagesh2 users, as Dagesh2 can only handle up to 32K chunks) as many times as you need, which is in stark contrast to the stingy handling of text copying in most other programs in the Torah field (one doles out as little as 5 paragraphs in each entry to the program: to get more, you have to exit and rerun the program). This is particularly important for teachers preparing handouts for classes, for whom the first MTR version was prepared back in 1992.

MTR for Windows

The current version of MTR still is a Windows-aware DOS-based program. We have been working on a Windows-based version for several years, but have never managed to make a version we are proud enough of to publish; we have not, however, given up trying (you do have to be patient, when you work with only volunteer staff).

Meanwhile, our current version for DOS runs just fine under the older standard Windows systems (Win3x, Win9x, ME, NT, Win2000, or XP), whether Windows for Hebrew or Hebrew Enabled, or for any other language we know of, because it has its own built-in Hebrew keyboard and font support. It does not normally run under Windows Vista, however, which does not support all full-screen programs, unless certain significant new features of the system are disabled.

Setting up MTR on Windows systems other than NT, Win2000, and XP (special instructions below for NT, Win2000, and XP):

You can use MTR's built-in functions to send blocks of text to the Windows ClipBoard up to 64K in size, and then paste them normally as from any Windows program (note: some old Windows programs cannot handle more than 32K of text from the ClipBoard at one time; that is not MTR's problem, but those old programs' problem). The instructions for doing this are on page 17 of the built in Manual (press <Ctrl-V> three times to get there quickly from the main search screen!).

If you prefer an English interface and online help, right click on M(.BAT) in your main MTR folder, choose edit, add e to the second line so that it reads "mtre" instead of just "mtr", and then save and exit. The next time you run MTR, it will use its English interface (but the texts will still be Hebrew, of course).

NT (and Windows 2000 and XP, which are just updated NT under a new name) has the very poorest DOS support of any Windows system, but it does still work; the newer Vista system simply does not support full-screen programs, unless some singificant new features are disabled.

Check Full Screen in Display Options of Options TabSetting up MTR on the "advanced" Windows NT, Win2000, and XP systems:

Now that this has been done, MTR should run in full screen (no mouse and no windows) when you click on your new shortcut. After you exit MTR, you might need to type exit and then <Enter> to close (systems vary in this, too).

If MTR does not run and instead you get an odd notice, such as "The system file is not suitable for running MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows", you need to fix your XP system to support DOS and old Windows programs; Microsoft explains how in its Knowledge Base.

Unfortunately, you cannot use the NT ClipBoard, unlike the "less-advanced" Windows systems, though otherwise MTR runs fine under Windows XP (just as under the older NT and Windows 2000 versions), as long as you start it in a full screen. On the other hand, we have added to this version the ability to copy blocks of text from inside MTR to an MTR.TXT file, which can be loaded in programs such as Notepad (add a shortcut to DOTXT in the MTR folder on your Desktop for this) and Word (add a shortcut to DODOC in the MTR folder on your Desktop for this) for copying and pasting as usual in Windows programs; when you are through with the saved text, just delete all or part of it in Notepad and save (or delete the MTR.TXT file). When copying a large number small blocks of text (such as several Bible verses), this can be faster and easier than using the ClipBoard, and you can use these XP and XPE programs under DOS and older Windows' systems if you prefer them to running M.

MTR runs without these limitations on NT Server Networks at schools and other institutions here in Israel, when the individual user's machine runs DOS, Win3.x, Win9x, or ME.

MTR for Palm Pilot

The freeware MTR Palm is a full version of Mishneh Torah for the iSilo Palm Pilot reader (also requires Hebrew support), now based on our current Web HTML version, so that it is kept even more up-to-date than the current PC version.

The freeware MTR Palm Bible is our version of the Bible for the iSilo Palm Pilot reader (also requires Hebrew support).

The freeware MTR Palm JPS Bible is our version of the JPS 1917 Hebrew Bible in English translation for the iSilo Palm Pilot reader.

Penticon's Moadon has free copies of the weekly Torah readings for Palm Pilot (in Hebrew in masoretic spelling, without vowels), which are based on our MTR Bible texts.


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last updated: 27 December 2010

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