presque à la fin


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iBook and thesis draft

In a minute, I am heading to Wadham to print of a 110+ page draft version of my entire thesis: from title page to Appendix I (chemicals regulated in the Stockholm Convention). The major purpose of this is to identify any bits that are confusingly worded, incorrectly cited, badly formatted, etc. I am also trying to catch any notes to myself still embedded in the text. It would be embarrassing to discover something like “[EXPLAIN THIS BETTER!]” stuck in the middle of the copy filed for eternity in the Bodleian. This review should ensure that the version printed and bound tomorrow suffers only from any faults in my research and argumentation, not from minor annoyances that may annoy the assessors.

One thing I have discovered recently is that there is a better mechanism for dealing with those times when your brain feels like it has a sea urchin inside, or you are otherwise unable to write. Better than napping or brewing another pot of coffee is cycling ten miles or so: out to Yarnton to the north or through Marston to the east. This is something to bear in mind for when exams draw near.

[Update: 11:00pm] Only Murphy’s Law can explain it: I cycle over to Wadham to print off my draft thesis. It gets to page 56 and the only printer available for student use (HP Laserjet 4200n) suffers some kind of massive failure. All it shows on the screen is a double line of asterixes. The paper tray is somehow physically jammed so that it can only be pulled out about an inch before it encounters an unmovable blockage. Of course, there are no IT people around at this time of night and I don’t want to risk damaging such an expensive piece of equipment. Naturally, it charged me for printing the full 109 pages…

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Anon @ Wadh April 18, 2007 at 11:29 pm

Doh! That is bad luck with the printer.

Milan April 18, 2007 at 11:36 pm

Frustrating machines…

I even tried printing using the manual sheet feeder. That is not allowed, however, because the non-existent paper jam blocks all printing until it is cleared.

Milan April 19, 2007 at 12:34 am

I just discovered that the acknowledgments section at the beginning of my thesis is borderline incoherent. This is not comforting.

Ben April 19, 2007 at 12:35 am

It was a (minor) printing fault that stopped me submitting my confirmation stuff yesterday (=Tuesday) Thankfully I don’t have a set in stone deadline…

A Wadhamite student... April 19, 2007 at 2:34 pm

Next time you have a problem like that, contact the Computing Scholar. He lives at the very top of the staircase in which the computer room is based. The very top.

Milan April 19, 2007 at 2:54 pm

A Wadhamite student,

That is the first place I went. He was not in his room when I looked and didn’t respond to my email until around noon today.

Milan April 19, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Do you know if the printer is still broken?

Anon April 19, 2007 at 7:29 pm

Baird tells senate Kyoto would wreck economy

National Post

OTTAWA – The government would have to drive the country into a recession and Canadians would be faced with unemployment and soaring gas and energy prices in order to meet Kyoto commitments, the environment minister said Thursday.

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