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This page aggregates blog entries by people who are writing about TeX and related topics.

How to use Deliberate Practice to reach your Peak [Book Review]

Posted on November 28, 2021 by LaTeX Ninja'ing and the Digital Humanities Feed

Have you heard of the concept of “deliberate practice”? It’s a method for rapid skill aquisition through practicing in a certain way. The concept is discussed in detail in a highly recommened book: Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by K. Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool (2016). So here it is. At last. The long promised book review and summary of the most important takeaways from Peak. Ever wonder why you’re not improving at skills despite using them every day? You’re not using deliberate practice is why. So what is deliberate practice anyway? […] deliberate practice [is a] a term coined by Ericsson to refer to the specific learning method used by experts to achieve superior performance in their fields, and mental representations. (Wikipedia entry on Peak) The book resulted from the key reserach in the science of expertise, K. Anders Ericsson, cooperating with science communicator Robert Pool to make his research understandable to the masses. The fact thatread more How to use Deliberate Practice to reach your Peak [Book Review]

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The Right Mindset for Learning Challenging New Skills

Posted on November 21, 2021 by LaTeX Ninja'ing and the Digital Humanities Feed

In today’s post, I wanted to pick up again on a topic I had adressed previously in The most important book to read if you want to learn Digital Humanities, Computer Science, Maths, Programming or LaTeX. The general gist was that when you want to learn a new skill which you perceive as challenging or difficult, maybe even anxiety-inducing (up to a degree that you’re seriously doubting your ability to learn it all), the most important thing to work on before doing anything else is changing your mindset. Today I will elaborate what your self-image and/or identity has to do with that and how you can use it to your advantage when learning daunting new skills. Do you enjoy posts on learning and skill building? Let me know! I feel that people are actually enjoying my posts on learning how to learn because they generate likes months after they have been posted. I guess there really isn’t enough material outread more The Right Mindset for Learning Challenging New Skills

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Book Review: The LaTeX Beginner’s Guide (2nd ed)

Posted on November 21, 2021 by Malaysian LaTeX User Group Feed

Stefan has published the 2nd edition of the LaTeX Beginner’s Guide. For this edition, I had the honour of being a technical reviewer while the book contents were being developed; and now that the updated edition is released I had also written a short book review. Read my review here, and get the book here.

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siunitx v3 successes

Posted on November 19, 2021 by Some TeX Developments Feed

The third major release of siunitx was out in May, after the TeX Live 2021 DVD. That means it’s been picked up primarily by more active users: people who install TeX between the ‘fixed’ DVD releases (or who use MiKTeX). It also didn’t initially appear on Overleaf, as they take a while to test TeX Live images before making them public. I’ve been making maintenance releases between May and now, and have reached v3.0.36, picking off small (or less small) issues I’d missed initially. At the same time, Overleaf now have a TeX Live 2021 image (currently featuring siunitx v3.0.23). So I now have an increasing number of ‘normal’ users: people who don’t want to deal with testing, and just want their documents to work. What I notice is that increased usage hasn’t raised any truly major issues. Yes, there have been corrections (see the ChangeLog for the detail), but they were mainly at the level of predictable issues: places that I’d not explored quite enough. I hope Overleaf will consider an in-place update to somewhere around the latest release: whilst the issues have been minor in the grand scheme, it would be good to get a reasonably bug-reduced version ...

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A new theme

Posted on November 19, 2021 by Some TeX Developments Feed

I’ve been meaning for a little while to look properly at my Jeykll theme for the site and tidy it up: it was a bit basic. Prompted in part by Will Robertson, I decided that now is the moment. I consulted with my favourite —duck— internet buddy, Paulo Cereda, and he pointed my to the rather flexible Hamilton theme. You’ll see I’m tweaking it a bit, so there will be minor changes over time, but I think it looks good: balances off between not being totally plain with the fact I have zero design ability! Paulo himself doesn’t have a blog, but he’s part of the excellent Island of TeX, most famous for arara. Paulo tells me they don’t use Jekyll, but rather Zola, but that didn’t stop him helping me :)

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How to maintain Twitter with little effort as an academic: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 5

Posted on November 16, 2021 by LaTeX Ninja'ing and the Digital Humanities Feed

Academic Twitter can be an important tool for networking, we get it. But I’ve talked to more and more colleagues who have given up on Twitter because they felt that they couldn’t make it work and also didn’t want to spend unreasonable amounts of time on it. I get that too. Apart from the Twitter experiment I did in November 2020 and times where there’s relevant stuff going on, I also want to minimize time spent on social media/Twitter as much as possible. But, to my great surprise, I realized my accounts are still growing even though I’m not doing much. That’s when I thought “Wait, this could be relevant for my readers” and decided to explain to you what I did. The goal: Setting your Twitter account up right for a relatively low-maintenance Twitter presence with some growth In my experience, many academics sign up for Twitter and then never get on Twitter again because they don’t know howread more How to maintain Twitter with little effort as an academic: The Ninja’s “How to better promote your content on Twitter” Guide. Part 5

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TUGboat 42:3 published

Posted on November 14, 2021 by TeX Users Group Feed

TUGboat volume 42, number 3, has been mailed to TUG members. It is also available online and from the TUG store. In addition, prior TUGboat issue 42:2 is now publicly available. Submissions for the next issue are welcome; the deadline is March 31, 2022 (early submissions are especially appreciated). Please consider joining or renewing your TUG membership if you haven't already (we'll send this year's issues immediately), and thanks.

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Why is it so normalized to make snarky side comments about LaTeX?

Posted on November 7, 2021 by LaTeX Ninja'ing and the Digital Humanities Feed

Actually I wanted to write about something different today and had a post already prepared. But then I came across yet another instance of people making negative comments about LaTeX (for apparently no reason and without explaining why they think so) and I guess that made me angry, so here’s today’s post about today’s topic: Why is it so normalized to make snarky side comments about LaTeX? Both in the DH community and otherwise. What is people’s problem with LaTeX? So the offending post, in this case, was this – but I really don’t mean to shit on it because it’s a great post otherwise (I have actually written something similar in Where can I *actually learn* programming? (as DH and otherwise). I guess that’s part of the reason why it makes me so angry. It’s an overall great post by people who are influential in the DH, with a considerable audience and otherwise doing great work. And then aread more Why is it so normalized to make snarky side comments about LaTeX?

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Preparing your literature review and excerpting: My workflow in LaTeX

Posted on October 31, 2021 by LaTeX Ninja'ing and the Digital Humanities Feed

It’s Halloween and while for me, this is a holiday which usually pretty much passed me by unnoticed, I know that many of you probably care and celebrate. So I thought: What topics in Academia or academic writing especially are spooky? The honest anwer is probably: Way too many. But one stood out in particular and that’s the dreaded part of the writing process which lends itself to procrastination like no other: The literature review and excerpting process. Without it, not a lot of writing can happen (except maybe if you start working on a case study or use our Article Outline Template to sharpen your argument). So anyway, I thought this counts as a sufficiently scary activity for Halloween 😉 Info: I think I might end up not having proper code formatting in this post. Sorry for the inconvenience but it seems that the backtick on my keyboard is broken and WordPress has long since removed the keyboard shortcutread more Preparing your literature review and excerpting: My workflow in LaTeX

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How to get started using LaTeX for academic writing? A book review of “S. Kottwitz, LaTeX Beginner’s Guide (2nd ed., Packt 2021)

Posted on October 27, 2021 by LaTeX Ninja'ing and the Digital Humanities Feed

Many prospective LaTeX users wonder: How do I get started? How to find my way in the jungle that learning LaTeX often seems to be to a first time user? Today I wanted to share my review of Stefan Kottwitz, LaTeX. A Beginner’s Guide (Packt 2021) with you. This book can help you find your way and get started using LaTeX after just the first chapter. Disclaimer: My book review policy Probably related to my upbringing in Germany, I don’t think a review can call itself a proper/serious review if it doesn’t contain criticism. I’m aware this is relatively different from reviews in the American style (especially on the covers of books) to just praise the book and not mention any criticism – but sadly, this also is becoming the norm in many an academic book review. Such reviews make me incredibly angry. First of all, nothing is perfect so if you can’t find a problem with it, odds areread more How to get started using LaTeX for academic writing? A book review of “S. Kottwitz, LaTeX Beginner’s Guide (2nd ed., Packt 2021)

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Top 5 magic LaTeX packages you didn’t know about

Posted on October 17, 2021 by LaTeX Ninja'ing and the Digital Humanities Feed

In the process of coming up with the archaeological catalogue from CSV solution which you all seem to have loved, I had a realization: There are some packages which are just ‘magic’ in that they can make your life so much easier in just an instant. That is, if you know about them. So I decided to come up with a top 5 which reflect my own preferences because, ultimately, this choice is pretty personal. I researched some blogposts and online resources as well as checking in with the Twitter #TeXLaTeX community. I summarized the results of this extensive search in the following post 😉 So why did I choose the topic of today’s post? I think the answer is very close to the overall purpose of this blog: There are lots of great resources on LaTeX on the internet, almost unlimited amounts of documentation – but how is a newbie supposed to know which information to read first orread more Top 5 magic LaTeX packages you didn’t know about

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Applying deliberate practice to online learning using a learning diary?

Posted on October 10, 2021 by LaTeX Ninja'ing and the Digital Humanities Feed

Today’s post is about using a learning diary to promote something like deliberate practice for (online) learning. Probably the biggest problem of my online teaching last year was not getting (soliciting?) enough feedback from my students. The only students who ended up ever really communicating with me were the few overachievers who had already had previous experience with the main learning goal of the class, i.e. SQL databases. At the very end of term, ergo after the semester and after I could make any changes, I received feedback from some students new to Digital Humanities that I had been going at a pace which was too fast for them. They were lacking certain information they needed from me to fully engage with the material. However, nobody told me as the class went along (and as you might imagine from knowing some of my teaching materials, I tend to provide very detailed info – so I assumed we were good inread more Applying deliberate practice to online learning using a learning diary?

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TeX Live contrib archive available via CTAN mirrors

Posted on October 10, 2021 by There and back again Feed

The TeX Live contrib repository has been for many years now a valuable source of packages that cannot enter proper TeX Live due to license restrictions etc. I took over maintenance of it in...

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The Adventures of the Ninja

Posted on October 3, 2021 by LaTeX Ninja'ing and the Digital Humanities Feed

Today’s post is called “The Adventures of the Ninja” which really means sorry for the radio silence and here’s what happend in the meantime. And I think I’m not exaggerating when I say “It has been quite a ride!”. Let’s start at the beginning. The story of me not really being able to blog regularly due to third-year PhD sprint stress has been slowly starting back in Mainz in 2020 (where I was a DH fellow at IEG). However, the general PhD-related stress level only got worse on my subsequent Innsbruck fellowship (Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Neo-Latin Studies) and the weeks leading up to both the submission of my PhD thesis in late May 2021 and me leaving for my fellowhip at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia in early June (the visa process was quite something, to say the least…). Anyway, I ultimately arrived in Philadelphia and was feeling pretty burnt out to be honest. (I have written down some ofread more The Adventures of the Ninja

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A new version of the Colourful Cheatsheet Template

Posted on October 1, 2021 by LaTeX Ninja'ing and the Digital Humanities Feed

It has been a while since my last cheatsheet template. In the meantime, I have gotten a bit tired ofread more A new version of the Colourful Cheatsheet Template

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Earlier posts