On the drive home, I thought of other things. Such as how much I missed writing up neat little documents in LaTeX. They turn out so sharp and professional-looking, much better than I’d generally ever get out of Microsoft Word. I did my thesis in LaTeX, which still left me quite far from expert status, although I like to think I know a bit more about this typesetting language than the average person on the street (by a tiny margin).
As I drove down the free-way, exhausted from a long day on the water, I actually contemplated writing up some of my longer test procedures in a LaTeX document. It’s really so much cleaner-looking. Creating tables, references, embedding scripts, and showing equations would be easy, and look great. When I got home, I dug out my old “LaTeX Companion” book – a 1090 page, dog-eared, coffee covered, cross-referenced LaTex reference bible. I can’t quite see a truly good reason to actually write anything in LaTex. No one else at work uses it, so if I wrote a test document, no one but me could edit it. Which is really quite short-sighted. Still, I can’t help but want to do it.
The LaTex website recommends using Tex Live for Linux operating systems. I can’t remember what I used for my thesis, it was a full GUI program in Windows (TeXnicCenter, maybe?). I kind of remember one of my profs doing all of his LaTex stuff on the command line – that seems much more difficult. But I think it’s always cooler to be able to lightning-type in the terminal to make things happen. It makes it seem like magic (Arthur C. Clarke did say that “Any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic).