April 16, 2009

Safe Computing 101: Use LaTeX

I'm plunging into that dreaded final stretch of the work term, where everything is due concurrently and you suddenly realize you have approximately numeric_limits<int>::max() things to properly wrap up. Top of the end-of-term priority queue: give two presentations tomorrow morning explaining how exactly I spent the three months prior. Most people would reach for PowerPoint at this, er, juncture. I, however, am a CS student with a Tux-genuflecting, Redmond-execrating reputation to uphold, and therefore by socialization rendered immune to such manifestations of pure evil. I'm with these people on this one, and so I reach for something completely different: LaTeX with Prosper. As a result, I can nimbly sidestep the format-tweaking cruft of PowerPoint and cut to the meat of the matter - the content. Not only that, but my content becomes easily reusable if, say, I want to draft some papers. Even better, I can quickly render PDFs, PostScript, or whatever I want out of the LaTeX files, all the while remaining smugly assured that my presentation will work on pretty much any computer - for free. Try doing that with those arcane and proprietary MS formats.
Long story short: if you have an urge to use MS Office, there's usually a better way.

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