Sunday, 4/22/01

My eyes hurt. They hurt because I've been spending countless hours staring at teeeeeny little letters on my computer screen. The letters are teeeeeny because I have my monitor resolution set higher than usual. I have my resolution set high so I can fit two text editors side by side and copy text from one to the other. I'm doing this because, yesterday, I made a big decision. I decided to do my thesis in TeX instead of Microsoft Word.

I made that decision because... well, all sorts of reasons, really. The Microsoft Equation Editor was causing me much pain and anguish, for one. But the decision came when I was at Equation 82 in the chapter (equations are numbered, so you can refer back to them in the text), and I wanted to insert an equation at the beginning. That would have meant manually incrementing all 82 equation numbers, as well as all of the references to those 82 equations. No way.

So I went TeX. I skimmed over the TeXbook and refreshed myself on how it worked. I stole Brian's template and mangled it to suit my needs. That was the easy part. The hard part was converting forty pages of thesis, including over a hundred equations, to TeX format. (I can mostly cut and paste the text, although it needs a lot of touching up. The equations, I have to completely retype.) I'm almost done. It'll be worth it, because I'll be able to write the rest of the thesis twice as fast, and make global layout changes with ease. But right now... my eyes hurt.

When my eyes hurt, it makes me think of this. So, thinking about that, I realized that although I don't have any eyedrops, I do have a big bottle of saline solution. I looked the package over to see if it would serve as impromptu eyedrops, but it merely said it was for rinsing, storing, and disinfecting contact lenses. Then again, it didn't say NOT to just stick it your eye. That line of reasoning is a little questionable, of course... numerous personal catastrophes throughout history have probably started with the words "It doesn't say NOT to stick it in your eye."

I boldly did it anyway, and found it rather soothing, actually. But still... my eyes hurt.