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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Why My Hair is Thinning

This is Steven Petrick posting.

I need to start making notes to myself. Sometimes between episodes of having to post, I come up with an idea for something to say, but when I am actually here, I cannot recall what they were and wind up staring at the computer screen with my usual blank expression (of course, everyone here would tell you my expression is usually blank even when I am not staring at a computer screen).

Jean is slowly reaching the end of proofing the Romulan Master Starship Book. I managed to transfer the text files to a different computer, so while I am concerned with the formatting (word never seems to be the same length on different computers) the biggest problem seem like it will be getting the files to PDF at all (this computer does not seem to want to PDF any word files . . . it will read PDFs, but will not convert word to PDF). I might have to move to another computer for the PDFs, and that may require reformatting everything (yet again) to accomplish that.

The thing about PDFs is that it creates another "error path." Things "jump." By that I mean something that fits a column suddenly moves one line (the last one of course) to the next column, which cascades all through the section (and sometimes all through the book). So the graphic that fit on the bottom right column of Page #9 is forced to the top of the left column of Page #10, leaving a large white space, which has to be filled by moving text that was below the Ship graphic to above the ship graphic. And I wind up fighting that all through the book before a final PDF can be done.

So it is finish the book with everything formatted and do a PDF.

Check PDF for jumps.

Go back to the book and manually move things around to fix the jumps, and do a new PDF.

Check the new PDF for jumps, and repeat until you finally have a PDF with no cases of large white spaces (caused by jumping graphics caused by jumping text) and no cases where two ship descriptions (or a title bar and ship description) have run together with no separating line and so.

Only then can you verify all of the page numbers (did all this checking result in a section formerly ending on Page #21 now ending on Page #22, requiring that the next section start on Page #23 instead of Page #22) and verify the table of contents.

It is no wonder my hair is thinning.