[texhax] Distress call

Dr. Friedrich Katscher dr.katscher.vienna at chello.at
Sun Aug 12 13:53:58 CEST 2007

I am in despair. 

I am writing a book in LaTex, and have already 239 pages, and, unfortunately, today - I do not know what happened and what I did wrong - suddenly I cannot transform my LaTex text into DVI, and the PDF file disappeared completely. 

I have the LaTex text, the DVI and the PDF stored on two USB sticks but unfortunately I did not update it every day but for the last time about four weeks ago (in the future I will be more prudent), and all my work I did in the meantime seems to be lost!!!

I had the information: This is a bad DVi file. The DVI file cannot be processed because it is not valid. 

I write a book on the history of mathematics and the Italian mathematician Rafael Bombelli (1526-1572) used his own symbol for the powers of the unknown. He used an arc, a semi-circle, above open, and there he wrote the power, 1, 2, 3 etc.

Some expert told me how to represent Bombelli's arc in LaTex: For example for 7x² I wrote 7\underarc2, and in DVI and PDF the arc with the 2 inside appeared. I used this symbol quite often. I do not know what I did in the preamble to make this command work. 

Now when I click on the icon LaTex I read in the black box:

!Undefined control sequence.
1.1427. \begin<quote|> 1\underarc3 be equal 6\underarc3... (That is, I have to arcs in line 1427.)

Am I right that if I delete all \underarcs in my text my file would be in order again? But I have so many that it is hopeless. 

Has something happened to my preamble that \underarc is not accepted any more? 

Have you any idea how I could restore my DVI and PDF?

I would be very very grateful for a solution of my problem!

Dr. Friedrich Katscher, Vienna, Austria, an expert in Italian mathematics of the 16th century but unfortunately not in LaText

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