Archive for the ‘computers’ Category

Computer Paranoia

September 14th, 2013 No comments

From Instapundit:

“HOW DO I SET UP MY WI-FI NETWORK TO EXCLUDE ANDROID DEVICES? If an Android device (phone or tablet) has ever logged on to a particular Wi-Fi network, then Google probably knows the Wi-Fi password. Considering how many Android devices there are, it is likely that Google can access most Wi-Fi passwords worldwide.”

Read more…

Categories: civil rights, computers, Uncategorized Tags:

Computer Icons Are a Stupid Idea

July 19th, 2013 No comments

I hate icons. They are a regression to the era of the cave man.

Suppose we want to have a symbol for “email” on the computer so that you know where to click to look at your email. What would we think, starting from scratch, if our designers pondered whether they should use a picture of a mailbox, or of a letter, or maybe a line with a lightning sign, or a little mailman, and brought all those symbols to the CEO for his choice. Read more…

Categories: computers, inventions Tags:

How to EXTRACT & SAVE PICTURE From an Microsoft Word (MS Word) Document

December 6th, 2009 No comments

All the top googled webpages on this topic do it wrong or require special software, so this is important advice. The hard part is to save the undegraded, full-quality, image file that is entangled in the MS-Word document. I finally found that WebCoolTips does aone of its three methods right, so here it is.

MS Word, typically stupid, provides no obvious way to do this. One’s first thought for a workaround is to Save As the file as an HTML file with embedded images. MS Word does that, and even saves every single one of the images in both a big and a small size. That’s just a devious Microsoft trick. The big-sized image is still much worse than the original– 4 to 10 times as small, by my two trials. You need to do something different. (The HTML approach, by the way is what you get from the official Microsoft support site—idiots! They’d make more profit if they spent a little more and hired talented staff.)

Here is what to do.

  1. Launch Microsoft Office Picture Manager (It was provided with my version of MS Office, in a subfolder named something like “Accessories”)
  2. Open your MS Word Document.
  3. Right click and copy your image.
  4. Go to Picture Manager
  5. Browse to the folder of your choice, and do Edit-paste to save the clipboard content as an image.
  6. Go to that folder to get your image.
Categories: computers, microsoft, writing Tags:

Four Free Computer Applications

July 28th, 2009 No comments

Four programs:

  • Unlocker, at is a very good freeware program for deleting locked files (ones in use by some program) or stubbornly undeletable ones.
  • Detexify, at, is an online program, Java maybe, that lets you use the mouse to write a math or other latex symbol and then tells you what latex code generates it.
  • Super, at, is freeware, eccentrically presented, that you can download to intelligently merge video files and to convert them from one format to another— for example, from DVD format to the smaller *.mpg that works on a computer.
  • Foxit, at, is freeware with fancier for-pay upgrade, that reads pdf files better than Adobe Acrobat does. It is smaller, and works better with Miktex, and had some other advantage I liked.
Categories: computers, software Tags:

The Amazing Waste from Turning Off Computers Each Night

March 30th, 2009 1 comment

I saw an article that illustrates why it’s good for me to teach students about economic cost as opposed to raw accounting cost:

I leave my laptop running overnight because I know it’ll take five minutes or more to get things going in the morning — not just booting up, but launching the various apps I start the day with, downloading my overnight email, filtering out the spam, and otherwise “getting settled.”

But all the power wasted while computers are sitting idle overnight adds up, and one study has finally tried to measure it. The tally: An estimated $2.8 billion wasted on excess energy costs each year in the U.S. alone….

The full report is available for download here (scroll down to “PC Energy Report US 2009″)….

If you run a company with 1,000 PCs left on overnight, you can save about $28,000 a year if they are turned off after hours. That’s not chump change.

One advantage of the economic way of thinking is that it makes one think of a question here. Why are companies so stupid as to not mandate that their employees turn off computers, if companies could save so much money? The economist naturally wonders if there is something that high-paid corporate executives know that the journalist is missing.

Let’s do the full calculation. 1000 PCs * 5 minutes of employee time * 200 days per year * $60/hour or $1/minute = $1 million/year saving from leaving the computer on all night. That compares with $28,000 in energy savings costs.

You can adjust my numbers if you think they’re wrong. Suppose its only 1 minute of employee time that it takes them to boot up, 100 days per year that they work, and $6/hour that your company pays them. Then the benefit in labor costs from leaving on the computers is only $100,000 per year, a mere four times the extra cost in electricity.

A New Kind of Laptop Mouse

January 11th, 2009 1 comment

What we need is a laptop mouse that can be attached to a laptop. This seems easily achievable. What we need is for it to be cordless and to lock into place in the laptop. The first thing needed is for the laptop to have a built-in infrared (is that what they use?) beamer to remove the need for a cord. That’s easily done. The second thing needed is to have a shape of mouse that can be locked into a laptop easily. Probably the best shape is long and narrow and thin, like a pen but shorter. It should have a wheel in the middle and buttons on each side.

Categories: computers, inventions, technology Tags:

The Asus Eee PC 901

January 10th, 2009 No comments

I’ve bought an Asus EEE Linux netbook. So far, I’m very displeased with it. What I wanted was a stripped down extremely fast laptop with a real keyboard that would do wireless internet, ftp’ing, text editing, powerpoint, and spreadsheets. QUick startup was a key desire.

Some items:

  1. I’ve attached an external hard drive, but it doesn’t show up on the file manager software. A flashdrive does, though. (?)
  2. There is no clear indication of how to install Windwos XP as well (there are instructions, but they are bad).
  3. The operating system sticks in 2 Asus applications that you can’t get rid of in the most prominent position.
  4. There is no simple text editor, just Star Office. (WRONG– there is one, which comes up automaticaly for *.txt and *.tex files. But how do I find it otherwise?)
  5. There is no indication of how to use the Unix features. (There is a unix terminal, but hidden in the menu of the File Manager application.)
  6. THere is no FTP program.

  7. THe online support site has no manual or topics help list. Its FAQ is a joke– all about obscure issues instead of what people must be asking.

  8. The documentation has poor spelling, obviously done by someone unqualified in English.
  9. I hate using the TouchScreen, though that is just a personal dislike.
  10. There isn’t a hardware button for turning off the sound. (Wrong: I found a function-key one, at least.)
  11. Using the internet requires both connecting to the wireless and then starting Firefox separately. (This seems to have fixed itself.)
  12. Startup is disappointingly slow.
  13. There is a general feel that they designed this as a machine for children or the feeble-minded–lots of icons, etc.
  14. It looks like from the online user’s agreement for the help boards that they reserve the right to use your email, etc. for anything they like, including selling it to advertisers. Maybe not, but it looks like it and I don’t trust them.
  15. The online help page wants you to start by going through 3 menus to list your product type, model, and variant, none of which do you know without looking up.
Categories: computers Tags:

A Mistake in Blogger Documentation

January 5th, 2009 No comments

I updated my template (the HTML code specification for things like font size) for Blogger. To apply the new template to the blog, the blog needs to be republished, I think. Even new posts don’t use the new template, though the new template does save and preview successfully. All the documents on Republishing on the web refer to a nonexistent STATUS tab that I think must have existed on BLogger before 2006 but is gone from the new version. So I don’t know how to republish.

Later that day: Now the changes do appear. I guess that Blogger republishes every so many hours automatically.

Categories: blogger, blogging, computers Tags:

Yahoo Cookies Tracking My Every Move

January 4th, 2009 No comments

Uniperson GPN emailed me the info below. I guess I don’t mind Yahoo finding out about me. If someone wants to embarass me by linking me to controversial material, they can do it anyway, and I’ve nothing to hide.

Yahoo is Tracking Group Members

If you belong to ANY Yahoo Groups – be aware that Yahoo is now
using “Web Beacons” to track every Yahoo Group user. It’s similar to
cookies, but allows Yahoo to record every website and every group
you visit, even when you’re not connected to Yahoo. Look at their
updated privacy statement at
http://privacy. privacy

About half-way down the page, in the section on cookies, you will
see a link that says WEB BEACONS. Click on the phrase “Web Beacons.”
On the page that opens, find a paragraph entitled “Outside the Yahoo
Network.” To the left of that section find a little “Click Here to
Opt Out” link (given below) that will let you “opt-out” of their

http://info. privacy/us/ yahoo/opt_ out/targeting/

Note that Yahoo’s invasion of your privacy – and your ability to opt-
out of it is not user-specific. It is MACHINE specific. That means
you will have to opt-out on every computer (and browser) you use.
Please forward this to your other groups. You might complain, too,
but I’m not sure if anyone is listening..

Related article http://msmvps. com/blogs/ harrywaldron/
archive/2005/ 03/09/38006. aspx

Yahoo Web Beacons Igniting Controversy Yahoo’s current privacy
policy is causing consternation among some users who object to their
use of so-called ‘web beacons’. Known in most circles as web bugs,
these invisible images are embedded in websites and email and used
to track your surfing – and even tell whether you’ve opened.

Categories: computers Tags:

A Spell Checker Story

December 26th, 2008 No comments

I forget where I saw this, but it’s a good story.

I once worked at a company run by a Canadian guy who would go ballistic every time a document with misspellings or grammatical errors hit his desk. The offending author was subject to excoriating humiliation during international webcasts, conference calls and meetings.

The President’s 2nd-in-command was a man (weasel, actually) best described as “a man Will Rogers never met”. One afternoon The Weasel went on vacation, but left his unguarded laptop logged-in and unsecured on a conference table. I spent over an hour adding all sorts of common spelling mistakes to his computer’s spell-checker dictionary. A cat could have tap danced its way across the keyboard and the spell checker would not have flagged any errors.

I really enjoyed watching The Weasel get berated over the next few months for his error-prone reports. Why he continued to trust the spell checker even after it consistently let him down is beyond me.

Categories: computers, jokes, writing Tags:

New Blog Address

December 16th, 2008 3 comments

I am going to try out the Blogger hosting service, since it allows much faster publshing. The new address of this blog will be:

Categories: computers Tags:

Single-Click Double Click Stuck Problem

December 16th, 2008 1 comment

On my Dell computer, running XP, the mouse single-click was stuck acting like a double click and opening files. Redoing the setting in Control Panel didn’t help. I checked Geeks to Go and it suggested trying a different mouse, which did work. I was using a Dell mouse.

Categories: computers Tags:

Web Rudeness

December 11th, 2008 No comments

A post at Baylyblog inspired me to commment thusly:

‘m glad Baylyblog is doing its bit to try to bring civility to the Web. Anonymity isn’t the only reason the Web has so much rudeness. The other reason is that we tolerate rudeness. We don’t have to. If someone sends me a web comment that would cause me to punch him, admonish him, or walk away from him if it were said to me in person, why should I tolerate it any more just because it is on a computer? The blogger at least has the ability to delete the comment. It is like painting over grafitti. And as with graffiti, it not only reduces the amount of ugliness in the world; it reduces the temptation for the sinner.

Categories: computers, social regulation Tags:

Trackback in Blogger

December 9th, 2008 No comments

Blogger does not support Trackbacks. To fix that,
click on first Greasemonkey and then Stephen Weber.
Andrew Beard pointed me to this, and the Singpolyma site.

Categories: computers Tags:

The Miktex Tex Processing Freeware Program

December 4th, 2008 1 comment

This is a post from 2005 that I’ll copy here, with the old comments as
part of the post.

The free Miktex ( looks to be an
excellent latex and tex Windows processor program. I’ve been
using SWP, and putting figures in looks to work better in Miktex.
Miktex gets PDF’s right, which my
version of SWP does not always do, and it processes straight from
myfile.tex to myfile.pdf. On the other hand, it has some problems,
noted below, which make it unhandier to use.

(1) I have a suggestion for the standard installation
instructions: say more
about the Windows command prompt. I haven’t used it for years,
though I happened
to remember it was in Accessories. Also, the user should know that he
can change
the default directory in teh command prompt to wherever he keeps his
tex input
files– say, d:/smith/latex-input, using the Properties
(reachable by right
clicking the command prompt).

(2) The command prompt requires you to type in all your commands,
which is
burdensome if they are long, e.g.,


You can’t copy and paste in the usual way with CTRL-C and
CTRL-V. What you can
do, though is to copy to the clipboard with CTRL-C and then paste
rightclicking on the Command Prompt program and choosing PASTE.

I will put a comment line like this at the start of my tex

% pdflatex chap07_MoralHazard.tex

then I can copy all but the % part and paste it into the command
prompt, and it

will process chap07_MoralHazard.tex and write to

(3) Something better would be a graphic interface to replace the
prompt. I don’t know how to write such an interface, but here is
what it would
be: It would be simple: just a window in which the user could do two

1. Browse and choose a tex file to process, e.g.,
instead of having to type in the full name in the command prompt, and
instead of
having to have it in the command prompt’s directory.

2. Issue the processing command— most simply “latex

or “pdflatex”, or others that might be useful. There
should be two to five
choices, and the user would check the box of the command he wants to

The command would take the file from (1) and put the output in the
directory as the input.

The interface could be fancier, but that covers what the user
needs every
single time he uses Miktex, and it would save a lot of tricky

(4) Miktex is fouled up by carriage returns, even ones that are not
hard breaks.

Thus, before I tex my files using it I need to strip off all the
returns, thus making all my equations, nicely separated into separate
lines for
visibility, into unreadable paragraphs. The solution, from Alan, the
commentor below, is to make sure my input file is in UTF-8 Ascii,
not ANSI. What I do in Textpad is (a) make sure it is set to UTF-8
as the standard encoding, (b) copy the entire file, and then close the
file, (c) open a new file and paste what I copied, (d) save the new
file with the old file’s name, on top of it. That converts from
the ANSI coding I initially had to the UTF-8.

(5) The command which takes us straight from myfile.tex to the
output myfile.pdf
produces pdf files which are not crystal clear on the screen. The

latex -job-name=chap07_MoralHazard temp.tex
dvips -Ppdf chap07_MoralHazard.dvi

do better, but then I can’t use JPG files in my input.

(7) Will I switch from SWP to Miktex? Money is not really a
concern for me, but
usability is. I’ll try it for a while and see.

on Saturday, August
20th, 2005 at 7:26 am and is
filed under Writing, Uncategorized.
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13 Responses to “The Miktex Tex
Processing Freeware Program”

  1. Alan Says:


    I am not a user of SWP myself, but I do believe there are a number
    of ways in which SWP deviates from “standard” LaTeX
    (I’ve had these cause problems when sharing files with SWP
    users). MiKTeX, along with TeXLive, teTeX, and most other TeX
    distributions will have the same issues you describe here with respect
    to SWP. That said, allow me to attempt to address a few of your

    (2) and (3): I have rarely invoked LaTeX from the command line,
    whether using MiKTeX or another LaTeX distribution. Many, if not most,
    LaTeX users use an editor that handles the direct interaction with the
    LaTeX executable and friends. SWP is really nothing more than a very
    fancy LaTeX front-end. While the editors that most folks use are not
    as fancy, they do handle all of the command line work and make
    invoking LaTeX transparent to the user. Some popular Windows-friendly
    text editors than can be configured in this way are WinEdt
    (shareware), TeXnicCenter (freeware), and Emacs with appropriate plug-
    ins (open source), though there are a number of others.

    (4): Not sure why you’re experiencing problems with hard
    carriage returns. My files are chock full of them and MiKTeX handles
    them without complaint, so I suspect SWP is to blame here. Perhaps it
    is using an odd end-of-line character? Open one of your SWP files in a
    plain text editor (Notepad — but not Wordpad — will do)
    and see if it is read correctly, or if garbage appears at the end of
    the line. Alternatively, write a dummy LaTeX file with hard carriage
    returns using Notepad and see how it goes. Finally, I understand
    there’s a way to export files from SWP in a way that is supposed
    to make them more compatible with “standard” LaTeX systems
    — if true, you might try exporting your files in this manner
    before running them through MiKTeX.

    (5): The problem here is that pdfLaTeX is using Type 3 Postscript
    fonts instead of the more desirable Type 1 fonts. Since I don’t
    use pdfLaTeX myself, I can’t tell you for sure how to change it
    (though installing the cm-super package via the MiKTeX package manager
    might do the trick). A search of the usenet newsgroup comp.text.tex
    (via should get you an answer pretty quickly,

    (6): MiKTeX does not recognize \tag because it is not part of
    standard LaTeX. To use it, you must call \usepackage{amsmath} in your
    preamble. Apparently, SWP does this for you whether you like it or
    not. Fortunately, amsmath is distributed with MiKTeX and virtually
    every other LaTeX distribution, so it should already be installed.

    (7): SWP insulates you from some of the low-level LaTeX drudgery at
    the cost of making your .tex files a little less portable. Another
    side-effect of this insulation is that you don’t always know
    what’s going on “behind the scenes,” as you saw when
    you tried to use the \tag command without \usepackage{amsmath}.


  2. Administrator Says:


    Adding \usepackage{amsmath} makes the tag command work again for
    equation special labelling.

    I still have the problem with line returns. It isn’t
    SWP– I actually write my latex files in Textpad, a text editor,
    and then used SWP only as a front-end— hence its inferiority to
    Miktex for me, since I don’t use most of SWP’s special
    features anyway. Also, the line return problem occurs when there are
    line returns in equations.

  3. Administrator Says:

    I updated the original post in light of
    Alan’s comments, so his comments won’t apply well any

  4. Stefan Moebius Says:

    On (3): Maybe a tool modelled after OggDrop
    ( would be what you need? You
    just grab the .tex or .mp or .dvi file and drag it to a floating icon.
    Dropping it would invoke the correct program based on file type and
    configuration (e.g., pdflatex or latex).

  5. Administrator Says:

    Yes, Stefan. Oggdrop is just for sound
    files, it seems. What would be a nice utility is a program that lets
    you say that any file dropped into an icon gets sent to the command
    line and processed using a particular command, with the output
    returned to the directory of the original file. I tries looking in the
    freeware site but
    couldn’t find such a thing.

  6. Harald Oehlmann Says:

    I use Textpad too (but pdftex to generate
    postscript directly).
    You can invoke the pdftex processor from the editor by assigning for
    example Cntrl-1 to invoke latex. I use:
    Menue: Config->Settings:Extras -> Add Program and edit
    properties: Parameter: $File

  7. Stefan Grosse Says:

    I also must say that using command prompt
    is a very unusual way for working with miktex. The perfect editor for
    me is winedt
    where you just have to push a button for texifying and pdf-texifying.

    With the carriage return- I noticed that there is a problem by
    opening a book chapter from your page. Winedt corrected it but I did
    not try to compile since there was a lot of scientific word stuff

    If you like to use scientific workplace with miktex as LaTeX distro
    see the notes of Prof. Söderlind:

    By the way the game trees do not look that great there is a package
    of Martin Osborn using pstricks to improve that:

  8. Misha Says:

    Actually, I have another suggestion on how
    to improve MiKTeX. It takes relatively long to load all the
    definitions and packages every time TeX starts. Wouldn’t it be
    nice if there were a running instance of TeX, that would remember all
    those .sty files. In this case, LaTeX would just invoke that process
    rather than loading the definitions again.

  9. Administrator Says:

    Thanks, everyone, for these very useful
    comments. Harald Oehlmann’s suggestion seems to work perfectly,
    though I had to set it up a bit differently than he suggested,
    perhaps because of my version of Textpad. Here is what I’ve just
    added to my latex notes in


    Harald Oehlmann told me how to do this. Here are precise
    instructions for
    running miktex from Textpad 4.7.3. Maybe other text editors have

    1. Click on Configure, then Preferences, then Tools.

    2. In Tools, click ADD, then choose DOS Command. A box will
    appear, and write
    “pdflatex a file” as a title for the tool. Then click

    3. Click on the + sign next to Tools. Several tool titles will
    including your new “pdflatex a file”. Click on it, and a
    Properties box will
    appear with various things for you to type in.

    4. Under Parameters, type in “pdflatex $File”. Make
    sure that under Initial
    Folder,there is $FileDir. Make sure none of the options boxes are
    including CAPTURE OUTPUT. Click OK when you’re done.

    5. Load a tex file into Textpad. To process it, click on Tools from
    the front
    set of headings (File, Edit, Search, View, Tools, … ) Then click
    on “pdflatex
    a file”, which you will have added.

    6. The Command Prompt window will appear, and the tex file in
    textpad will be
    processed. The PDF file will be generated as output.

    I hope I didn’t miss any steps.

  10. Bob Says:

    First, hello Eric, from the distant past.
    We knew each other at MIT.

    Here’s another simple way to compile a .tex file using the
    MikTeX texify command. (I have to admit I live at the command prompt.
    Just a matter of preference. I also live in Emacs!) I turn .tex into
    .pdf using this batch file:

    texify %1.tex
    dvips -tletter -Ppdf -G0 %1
    call ps2pdf13 %1.pdf

    You put these commands in a file called “makepdf.bat”,
    and place the file somewhere in your path. Then if you have a .tex
    file called “foo.tex”, at the command prompt you type

    makepdf foo

    and you will end up with a pdf version of your document.

  11. bob wolfe Says:


    I used to be an avid fan of SWP. I now use Miktex.

    1) I used to run into problems with carriage returns. They all
    arose when I shared files with colleagues who used UNIX. They have
    now all switched away from UNIX (despite them calling me all kinds of
    nasty names a decade ago for using Windows) so the problem is now

    2) SWP is not standard. I use a lot of math. \mbox does not work
    right in SWP. That prevented me from sharing with lots of colleagues
    who use standard latex. I think there are other things that are not
    standard in SWP. That makes it a pain to collaborate.

    3) SWP consultants used to have an attitude. Maybe the attitude
    is now fixed, so I apologize for any aspersions suggested by these
    comments. When I asked for work arounds on how to solve the problem
    of working with colleagues who use standard latex, the SWP consultants
    were extremely defensive in their responses. Not vulgar, but close to
    it. Almost as bad as the Apple community used to be towards Windows

    4) The real raison d’etre for SWP is its integration with
    Maple. Beautiful. Wonderful. I love the concept. Maple does simple
    math very well, up to algebra and closed form calculus. It does not
    do hard problems well at all, such as infinite sums. So, you have to
    do the math to see if it is right anyway, and then it is about as easy
    to type it in yourself in latex as to use the simplify verbs available
    in maple. If you are teaching calc 101 or high school algebra, then
    SWP is great. If you are teaching quantitative graduate courses, then
    be careful with SWP.

  12. Maciej Radziejewski Says:

    Your idea of having a simple IDE (point (3)
    of your original post) is already implemented in Windows! Well,

    You can browse your files using Windows Explorer. Then you can
    compile (texify) by right-clicking a TeX file and selecting an
    appropriate command from the context menu. You just have to define a
    context menu action for .tex files. I usually define
    “Latex”, but you may prefer to use pdfLatex or to call
    some batch file for more complex processing.

    Defining actions takes some knwoledge and it may be a good idea to
    suggest it to Christian Schenk to do it in the installer as an option
    (if it is not already there). You can define actions using the
    “file types” tab (in WinXP accessible from the explorer
    window – Tools – Options) or using regedit (dangerous if you misuse

  13. Eric Wilson Says:

    Maybe I’m missing something here.
    Why not use WinEdt? It’s a great editor, designed particularly
    for LaTeX. TexShop is ok for macs.

Categories: computers, writing Tags:

Card Party Nameplates

November 15th, 2008 No comments

Here is an MS-WORD document that makes card party nameplates that one can cut out and fold over.

Categories: computers Tags:

Removing Duplicate Email Addresses in an Address Book

August 20th, 2008 No comments

[cross posted from the IU Computers Blog]

After searching for a free easy program to do this for me, a Mozilla Thunderbird user, I decided the best way is to use Excel, like this:

First, export the address book to *.csv comma-separated format.


Open the file in Excel. Select all of it. Do DATA then FILTER, then ADVANCED FILTER, then check off UNIQUE RECORDS ONLY. That will show only the unique records. Then COPY what is showing to the clipboard. Go back to DATA then FILTER then ADVANCED FILTER then Do NOT check off UNIQUE RECORDS ONLY. Then the whole file will show. Press the DELETE key to delete all the rows. Then do CTRL-V to paste in the uniquely filtered rows. Then SAVE the file, and all the duplicates will be gone. Then import the *.cxv file back into the email address book.

There isn’t a way I know of to filter on just duplicates in one column and deleting all rows that have duplicates in that column even if they are different in other columns.

This and other Mozilla tips are at:

Categories: computers Tags:

New Latex Commands

August 11th, 2008 No comments

I’ve gotten a couple of new Latex books (the typesetting language) and found a bunch of commands I didn’t know about. I’ve written them up at and and An example is doing footnotes inside tables and math:

Use the \footnotemark command to insert the footnote number. To
insert the footnote itself, use

\addtocounter{footnote}{-1}\footnotetext{Here is my footnote}

outside the table or math but trying to be on the same page.

x = y\footnotemark

\addtocounter{footnote}{-1}\footnotetext{Except when $ x= 8$. }

lattice & $d$ & $q$ & last column\footnotemark \\
square & 2 & 4 & 1.763 \\

\addtocounter{footnote}{-1}\footnotetext{ That’s two words in that
entry. }

Categories: computers Tags:


June 19th, 2008 No comments

From my latex notes at

This is tricky in Latex, because while you can define new counters, I
can’t see how you would attach their values to labels. The \label
command can only be used in environments that have their own counters
(such as \begin{equation}), and you can’t fool those environments into
adding to a counter without having them print the value on the printed
page somewhere. So I used Tex programming, like this. I create a new
counter named \fignum and then attach it to a label called \1f, \2f, and
so forth, advancing the counter in between. I used \edef rather than
\def because \edef inserts the value at the particular time, while \def
would repeat the command \number\fignum each time \1f was written.



\advance\fignum by 1


Example: Figure \1f says this. The second part of it, Figure \1fa,
says something different. Figures \2f and \2f-a say something still

This is plain Tex, not Latex.

You need to write backslash-1-f rather than backslash-f-1. I’m not
sure why– it must be that the number gets interpreted as doing
something special to the definition rather than being part of the name.

You have to remember to put your definitions earlier in the document
than when you use the term defined. You could put them all the start,
actually, but then you might forget to re-order them when you change the
order of the diagrams.

I think you can advance the fignum variable by a negative number if you
want to.

Categories: computers, writing Tags:

Bibtex and Miktex: A bibliography program

June 10th, 2008 No comments

I’m not sure if this is worth using or not. Here’s how it works with

1. For your file myfile.tex, construct a bibliography database file
myfile.bib with a bunch of entries like this, which do not not have to
be in alphabetical order:

  author = {Hotelling, Harold},
  journal = {Economic Journal},
  month = {mar},
  number = {153},
  pages = {41--57},
  publisher = {Royal Economic Society},
  title = {Stability in Competition},
  volume = {39},
  year = {1929}

You can do this from Google Scholar by going to Scholar Preferences and
checking off towards the bottom that you want a Bibtex-format link.
After you set your prferences,  Import into BibTeX will be a link  fror
each item a   Google Scholar search turns up.

2. Pick a style file such as econometrica.bst.  Put that file and the
myfile.bib file into the same directory as myfile.tex.

3. Wherever you want the references in myfile.tex, insert the commands

\bibliographystyle{econometrica} %needs  econometrica.bst file in folder
 \bibliography{myfile} %needs myfile.bib file in folder


 The nocite command makes sure that all the entries in the myfile.bib
file get put into the references. Otherwise, only the ones cited using
bibtex commands get put in. The bibtex citing commands are just extra
commands to remember and make reading latex input files harder, so I
don't think I'll use them.

4. Change the name of myfile.tex to plain myfile.

5. Run myfile  through pdflatex.  That will create myfile.aux.

6. Run myfile through bibtex. That will use myfile.aux and
econometrica.bst and myfile.bib to create myfile.blg, a log file, and
also myfile.bbl, the bibliography formatted nicely.

7. Run myfile through pdflatex again.

My files of latex tips, including this one, is at

Categories: computers Tags:

Shrinkwrap Contracts

May 12th, 2008 No comments

Mark Lemley has a 2006 Minnesota Law Review paper,
on shrinkwrap contracts that gives updates on what courts have been doing since Easterbrook’s opinion.

Categories: computers, law Tags:

Word Counts in PDF

April 21st, 2008 No comments

Translator’s Abacus is a free program, downloadable from, that does word counts for pdf and html documents. It is 640K, one file, easy to use, andwell designed.

Categories: computers Tags: