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geeky stuff

I've needed to write so much but Calculus and Discrete Structures have consumed my time. All my math must be submitted electronically. I started by learning LaTeX for typesetting and quickly realized that while it's fully capable of storing all of the pertinent structure, the amount of work required to get a paper out of it that I can actually, visually enjoy looking at is far too great. I have, instead, decided to use OpenOffice.org's excellent equation manipulation faculties. OO.o is quasi WYSIWYG. The equation editor has a syntax editor similar to LaTeX's syntax. The benefit, of course, is that I get to see what I've done immediately in typeset instead of having to execute a command line and then browser to the relevant page in the DVI viewer. OO.o's file format is XML, too, so I feel less guilty about "selling out" to the WYSIWYG paradigm.

In computer related news items:

  • I'm really pissed at Darl McBride after this masterly crafted piece of FUD that's he's posted.
  • I spent a great deal of energy last week defending my stance on HTML email. One particularly immature person, Jonathan Hutchins, ended his flamage with a private message sent to me off list that humorously began with You are a willing vector of the plague. I kid you not. I just can't make this stuff up.
  • Last Wednesday's KCLUG meeting was particularly fun. I was there until a little after midnight. It was so great to just sit and have some fun with some like-minded people. We laughed quite a bit. I really felt the resultant endorphins carry me through the week.
  • There are some side computer jobs that Brandon has gotten for me/us. It will be hard for me to squeeze them in with all of the school work I have.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 9th, 2003 08:33 pm (UTC)
My .dvi viewer automatically refreshes when you recompile, so I just keep it on the page I'm editing, and just tab over a couple times to see what the changes I've made have done. Perhaps if I had an alternative while I was getting used to it, I would have used something other than LaTeX, but since it's _the_ standard, I figure I should know it and be familiar with it anyway.

Is OpenOffice capable of reading MS Word documents? Or is it a totally separate program, rather than a compatible reverse engineered version that works?
Sep. 9th, 2003 08:53 pm (UTC)

It can often read and write MS Word documents better than MS Word can. I've been able to recover corrupt Word files using OO.o.

You can also import LaTeX equations if you first convert the relevent #...#'s to MathML. I've seen some tools out there than can do this rather well.

Here are two examples of OO.o's syntax editor:

  1. lim csub{x rightarrow 10^"+"} f(x) = 10 which is "the limit of f of x as x approaches 10 from the right is 10"
  2. neg exists x forall y ( P (x,y)) equiv forall x neg forall y (P(x,y)) equiv forall x exists y (neg P (x,y)) which is pretty self-explainatory prepositional logic
Sep. 16th, 2003 07:55 am (UTC)
Re: OpenOffice.org
Thanks for the link! I've downloaded OO.o, which will probably prove quite useful, because I keep getting sent .xls files, which I could never read before.

I'll have to compare the equation editing stuff. I'll probably stick with LaTeX because it's what I know, and probably has been more worked on by mathematicians and similar sorts for complete expressive power in math and related areas. Though I'll check it out.
Sep. 10th, 2003 06:24 am (UTC)
Have you looked at LyX? I used it while in college. And it looks like development is still active so it's probably a lot better now.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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Jason D. Clinton

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