Full On LaTex Typesetting Confusion

I don’t know how it happened, but I got totally obsessed with fonts and typesetting this weekend. There I was, writing some documentation, when I remembered the LaTex system of formatting text. Back in college, I was completely confused by LaTex because the whole idea seemed more like a concept than anything.


So I installed the whole package on my Ubuntu machine like so. Just to see what would happen:

sudo apt-get install texlive-metapost

Yep, after letting that command rip, 209M of vague and obscure packages are now installed on my system, and you know what? It made absolutely no difference in my life, or yours. I will still be writing the same documents, without the benefit of TeX or Metafont(s)??. Yep. With TeX installed, preparing documents has never been more like it ever was. At least for me.

But man, there were a lot of packages. The Metapost and Metafont drawing packages in particular, are extensive.

For example, there’s:

metauml, which is a MetaPost typesetting library for UML diagrams.
mp3d, for 3D animations.
piechartmp, which uses MetaPost to draw pie-charts. And everybody likes pie.
garrigues: These are MetaPost macros to reproduce Garrigues’ Easter nomogram. I was actually really happy about this one, cause like, you know, Garrigues!
bbcard: Bullshit bingo, calendar and baseball-score cards.

I kid you not. That was a direct quote from the package listing. Does anyone remember Bullshit Bingo? This isn’t like your traditional bingo. Bullshit Bingo is also referred to as Buzzword Bingo, which is a game that fellow colleagues used to (maybe still do) play at insufferable meetings. This is how you play: You make up a bingo style card. Populate it with buzzwords and catchphrases. Then, you check them off as the words are spoken by the buzzword spewing buffoon, aka, the meeting presenter/your boss/a colleague/Al Gore.

So now that I’ve gone through the exercise of installing TeXlive, here’s how to remove it:

sudo apt-get remove texlive-metapost –purge

And that’s how you use LaTex.


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