Horrible things done horribly expensively:
- original manuscript was done by me on an ancient Underwood upright with a cloth ribbon,
- second and third drafts were on an IBM Selectric by a paid typist,
- mathematical formulae were entered by hand,
- drawings were done by me by hand with pen and ink,
- font? What’s a font?
- computer printouts include output from an ASR TeleType and a CalComp ball-point plotter, and
- typos were somewhat tolerated because the whole page had to be retyped or erased piece-wise. Same for full-justification. That would have been another pass through the typist…
So, indeed, I did IT in the Dark Ages and do appreciate what we now do routinely with PCs and the web. This thesis was written in 1976 when PCs were still a glint in the eyes of imaginative people. This thesis would have been written in 1/10th the time and for much less cost these days. I spent 4 years on my Master’s programme. These days, students do that in six months, partly due to advances in personal computing, the web, search engines and peripheral devices.
If I had it to do all over again, I could do it all with Debian GNU/Linux and it would be a beautiful sight.
To make you smile or frown, read “A Drift Chamber for Use at Low Energies” by Robert Pogson (7MB – md5=2f77f2afc1ad8e851123513cdd50d32b. You don’t need Acrobat Reader to read it although that will work… GNU/Linux ships with many FLOSS readers. I like xpdf but then I do everything on Debian GNU/Linux.
UPDATE Google has read the PDF and OCRed it. It’s pretty ugly, the quality of the work, photocopied and scanned is just too poor. It does allow the thesis to be searched by keyword, however, which is a good thing. I guess I will rescan at higher resolution or create a second edition…