Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reason for NOT creating a Maths magazine:


Hopefully that hurt your eyes as much as it has been hurting my head (in the nicest way possible of course)!

Times like these I wish I had Scientific Writer/Author* (a WYSIWYG LaTeX editor), which Dr. C uses and that I desperately am in need of myself, or something similar. *(I can't remember which of the two he has!)

The only thing that has been causing me to "not work" on Infinite blimmin' Descent is LaTeX. If I was using Microsoft Absurd I would probably still be cursing, but at least I could then see what I was unleashing my anger at and I could also "move objects" with my mouse. Yes - it seems like one can't do such a thing in TeXnic blimmin' Centre.

Oh why do I get myself into things like this! (Rhetorical question alert...)

A review of what I've received so far (before I continue my rant!):
- an article
-another article
-two book reviews

The problems I'm having are to do with "an article" (not the 'another' one). If I was to receive another book review then that would be spiffing (!) for I have now created a template for them. However if your review was less than one page in length, then that would be another drama altogether. (But I suppose I could resolve such issues by being cheeky after paragraphs and writing: \bigskip or \medskip!)

This 'an article' is quite a nice read but I need it in two columns. I managed to successfully do that (by using \documentclass[twocolumn]{article} as opposed to \usepackage{multicols}) but then another silly problem appears from somewhere. (Note: If I was to say "from nowhere" then that would imply I am making all of this up and need to be locked away... again!)

The cycle of problems is partly down to me - I wanted to "humourise*" the magazine. That is, add a joke or xkcd image here or there, but namely after where 'an article' finishes and there's some white space left. I also wouldn't mind utilising such space for an advert or two asking for more submissions... *(new word alert)

"But then I wonder - to heck with this humour. This is a Maths magazine - it's not being read for fun or jokes.
But... jokes do tend to lighten the darkest of days, and well maths does have a certain dark side to it.
The debate continues.
Perhaps I could just put jokes on a certain page, for example the one with the questions on them? Ah - but what if nothing else is read?
That's absurd! No ones to know that you're only going to have the humour on one page...
But I want them at the end of every article if there's space. "

There's no colour to this magazine as well, in case you were wondering. (The above debate is still going strong!) That might add a certain dullness to it, but I have limited resources so I have to make do. Colour would have been nice but the content should be what I am more concerned about. Actually I have to be concerned about the content, the colour, the jokes, the layout, the front cover, the back cover, the publishing and well everything.

Gosh - I hate it when other people are right about me not being able to do something, which is why I'm even more determined to get this one copy out!

An email will be sent to the department (including to those who gets offended) on Tuesday, reminding them about submitting something. In the mean time though, I'm waiting for:

- my editorial and the contents page
- the questions page which I'm again waiting for from myself
- hopefully Dr. C's article if he manages to complete it
- hopefully an article from a postgrad student on Alan Turing (I'm desperate for this)!
-an article perhaps from P of the IMA
- have I missed anything?

Ach - I have just remembered that I was thinking of interviewing a lecturer for the magazine. What say you - should I go ahead with this? I have Prof. Dold down for the interview and he agreed last year, but I haven't done anything apart from that. Maybe I should wait for all the other content to come in and be "processed" before doing this.

Initially the magazine was only going to be eight pages long (such a silly thing that seems now), but now the length is uncapped. That's a good job too, for according to my calculations we already have eight pages (woohoo, let's all go home now and get this thing printed! Meh.)

I'm thinking (as one sometimes tends to do), it would make my life much easier if the University gave me a budget of £200 (for example) which Dr. C as the staff coordinator monitored. This would then mean that I would not have to worry about petty things like how much it might cost to get this magazine published now. I mean life's okay at the moment and the Univeristy have said that they'll pay for the magazine, but sometimes figures that I requested in emails change etc. And this way I won't have to go back and forth between things and people. This is not really a very important issue, but one that I feel like bringing to the table in my very sour mood.

We should consider making another advert for LaTeX: "Feeling unnaturally happy and you don't know why? Looking for a cure? Well why not try LaTeX... it'll never fail you!" \lame

Yes - this is a one man rant from a very tired and frustrated beans. But before I do shut up, I would just like to thank Steve for his patience and immense help. :) [Help which has kept me sane for the past few days!] Today though is an exception: I need to stop fidgeting with these articles and accept that I can't be too fancy with them, and should be happy with what I have. Can't I just employ a magazine company to do this for me?

When I grow up I'm going to invent the following: you type your articles using LaTeX and then build them as a pdf document. However the pdf document will be an interactive haven, where you can select things and drag them about everywhere. If I'm even clever I'll make it so you can have a magazine template where you can import LaTeX text for the articles, and then images can be placed anywhere.

I do think up of some weird ideas at times (which of course I'll never grow up to do), but they make me feel better so I'm not complaining! (I can't even use WordArt by the way - the pain!).

This is not the last you will be hearing about this unfortunately, for I foresee a great many more battles between LaTeX and myself.


Beans said...

Note: you are not allowed to tell me that someone has already accomplished my "clever ideas for the future". That would be too unkind. :(

All your tiger are belong to us. said...