[texhax] MS Word & Mathtype to TeX
cornwall_5 at comcast.net
cornwall_5 at comcast.net
Sat Dec 17 04:00:27 CET 2011
Again, thank you all for your help.
The more I try to do things for myself, the more I have to ask other people for help.
I think I've figured out why: in general, there's a correlation (not a causation) between
doing things for oneself and doing things "piecemeal / a'la carte / on the cheap".
Real-world example I encountered today: my bicycle had a flat tire.
I was trying to get from point A to point B under my own power - bicycle - rather than by oil in a car.
In the end, I had to call a friend to tow me to a bike shop, they had to replace the flat,
I had to buy other parts for the bike.
A car is like Microsoft. All bundled up in one neat little package for the consumer.
Not spread out over a million files with a million bizarre extensions
(at least, that's how I REMEMBER TeX when I last tried to learn it, and one of the many reasons
I gave up on it, because I could never remember WHICH was the main file with my text in it)
You pay a lot more for the car, and its maintenance, than for a bicycle,
just as you pay a lot more for MS than you do for TeX. But, you end up using a lot of your own time
doing TeX than learning MS Word. And, look - look how many separate individuals in the TeX
support group I have distrurbed in just 3 days, whereas for MS, one might get hold of one or two
tech support people.
Now, I am all about being cheap. I don't even remember the last time I bought a piece of commercial
software. I am merely using the Microsoft Windows XP OS that came bundled with my computers,
and I am using MS Word 2000 that I inherited from my (deceased) parents.
I have no intention of upgrading, ever, if I can avoid it.
I do remember buying Maple computer algebra system for $120 in 2007 at the reduced student fee.
And an upgrade of Mathtype for $49 in 2007 or so.
Point is: I never take ANY technology for granted - not even my socks and underwear.
I don't like going without, but if the effort is too much, not just by me (since I do not sew my own socks
and underwear!) by overseas ( I don't want my money going to companies that get rich
while they pay their poor workers in China, Pakistan, Vietnam practically nothing) -
then I WILL go sockless and underwearless if I cannot find a company where my money can go
that does not enslave workers.
At the start of this year, I even tried to grow (a tiny percentage of) my own food.
Just to see if I could do it. Barely got out a few stalks of corn and maybe a dozen tomatoes.
Clearly growing food is best left to large-scale economies of scale and industrialization.
I say this, even though my other reason for attempting to grow food is to prepare for a world
without oil and petrochemicals, when oil runs out. (more accurately: when the EROI gets too low).
But, as fantastically complex it is to get the atoms in a lump of dirt to go
into the right configurations to create food, or the atoms in cotton to form a sock,
those tasks have been perfected over millions of years of evolution and thousands of years
by human ingenuity.
But, computers and software - forget about it. They're still in their infancy.
I'll have to wait another million years for the ideal system.
(Hold on - that HAS been my philosophy to date: unless the TeX group can convince me otherwise.)
Until then, I feel I either have to go without - such as give up publishing papers in peer-reviewed math journals
and the other things I like to do with computers -
or just throw a whole wad of money at Microsoft.
----- Original Message -----
From: "John C Frain" <frainj at gmail.com>
To: "TeXhax" <texhax at tug.org>, "cornwall 5" <cornwall_5 at comcast.net>, "William Adams" <will.adams at frycomm.com>
Sent: Friday, December 16, 2011 7:24:49 PM
Subject: Re: [texhax] MS Word & Mathtype to TeX
The Word to Latex convertor that I mentioned in my third paragraph is
that provided by the Abiword word processor. One can import a
document in Word format into Abiword and then export it in LaTeX
Sorry for the confusion. I must resist drafting such replies late at night.
John C Frain
Trinity College Dublin
mailto:frainj at tcd.ie
mailto:frainj at gmail.com
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