Argh

Today:

  • Got an SMS this afternoon saying flight to Terminal 5 had been cancelled. A request to call BA at my own expense.

  • Rapid call to BA asking for a rebooking on an earlier Malév flight to Gatwick, followed by a semi-run to the hotel.

  • Panic rush to airport; in the end, got there too early!

  • Checked in; panic over for the moment.

I’ll have ‘fun’ when I get back checking whether I can claim compensation - I think I can. Normally I like flying with BA, but this will make me think twice in future. I’ll certainly be avoiding T5 for a while, if at all possible.

LaTeX Tips

A general grab-bag of tips for using LaTeX, from the days when I still used it a lot:

  • To add nice headers and footers to each page use the fancyhdr package.

  • Use glosstex for most acronym and glossary needs.

  • Use the hyphenat package if you need monospace text (such as that set by the \texttt command) to wrap correctly, with hyphenation marks.

  • The varioref package provides easy-to-use cross referencing with automatic phrases such as ‘on the following page…’ etc.

  • To include EPS easily in both latex and pdflatex documents, use the following magic incantation in the document preamble:

\newif\ifpdf
\ifx\pdfoutput\undefined
    \pdffalse
\else
    \pdfoutput=1
    \pdftrue
\fi

\ifpdf
   \usepackage{hyperref}
   \usepackage[pdftex]{graphicx}
   \DeclareGraphicsExtensions{.pdf,.png,.jpg}
\else
   \usepackage{graphicx}
   \DeclareGraphicsExtensions{.eps}
\fi

Then refer to graphics files, when including them, without an extension. Use epstopdf to convert all EPS files to PDF for inclusion in the pdflatex version of the document.

  • Use the custom-bib package to easily create custom BiBTeX style files.

  • The following command produces a new environment which gives a nice way of having an introductory paragraph for each new chapter:

\newenvironment{intro}{\sffamily}
{\vspace*{2ex minus 1.5ex}}

Buda 5

Should be an interesting travel week coming up - I am going to Budapest on Tuesday. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been so far east in Europe before. Then on Friday I fly back into Terminal 5, the day after it opens. I wonder how smoothly it will be operating?

Council Tax

Good to see Hampshire County Council are spending my taxes wisely. In the propaganda brochure accompanying their latest letter demanding 800 pounds for rubbish collection and clogged roads, I find this item:

These pages have been checked for clarity by Plain Language Commission [sic].

Sometimes I’m ashamed to live in a socialist country.

Fraport Badness

Normally I find Germany to live up to its reputation for competence and organisation. Today’s trip through the bureaucracy of Frankfurt airport, however, has been marred by duplicate security checks, far too many passport and boarding pass checks, annoying queues, and unclear instructions at the gate - and I haven’t even got on the plane yet! I’m not impressed.

Perhaps Frankfurt is suffering from the Heathrow disease of being just too big for its boots.

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