Researching

I am quite pissed off about researching.

First you basically either have to access IEEE or ACM. Some sections of IEEE are restricted for the Finnish Consortium which paid for access. I don’t know which, and I absolutely HATE being greeted with a user login when I am browsing their pages.

Ok, so I use ACM which works for the most part. Forget citeseer. Citeseer is a joke.

The ACM “Digital Library” search is quite clear. Useful downloads at the bottom are a tad annoying.

Ok now once you’ve found an article, here is where the fun starts. PDF seems to be format of choice. Completely breaking the web experience.

Ok there is an abstract, but usually I want to glance over the whole paper as terminology used in papers can mean anything. For example context aware could mean the characteristics of the device or the environment it’s in or something about you or any combination. WAP nowadays could mean XHTML, and the list goes on.

Now what a miserable experience PDF reading is in my setup. I am using Mozplugger and gv to read the pdfs. Sometime I can read them on screen, but often the fonts are absolutely unreadable!

Ok, I can print for free. So lets do that then. I am browsing about on interesting articles and sending them to my nearest printer, which I had to figure out was “ps8”. After sending several papers to the queue and of course closing the heavy article summary and numerous gv mozplugger sessions, I go to the printer. Printer has a paper jam.

Please open top tray.

Please open tray 2. And on and on. OH FFS.

All my papers! My research! Can I switch the queued print jobs to another printer? No…

So right now I am praying that staff have fixed the printer and it processed my print jobs. Update: They did btw, and when I went to collect the papers, I accidently took someone else’s paper and had to go back and return it (waste more time).

Ok, for the meantime I’ll use another printer on the opposite side of the building. This time after sending a print job, I walk all the way over there to check it has come out.

Another problem, journal papers often have strange layout formats that don’t quite fit on A4. So my print out has a third of the bottom of each page missing. OH FFS.

Ok, if everything does go well and I am not interrupted by some collegue while travelling up and down the corridor, I now try find a stapler. I need quite a big industrial one as the small staplers are generally pathetic. So I enter one of the work rooms in the department, find a stapler and press down on the wad of A4 papers I have. No staples. Great.

I’ll look back on these days and laugh.

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