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Books about printing written for printers or would-be printers go back over 300 years. The earliest of them were almost exclusively concerned with books; this century, however, there has been more emphasis on other kinds of documents, and particularly their design. But no shift in document production has been more sudden than the one that has happened most recently. ConSequently, the last five years have witnessed a substantial movement away from books written for professionals to ones whose aim is to help would-be authors produce their own documents. The opportunities for authors to do this have been opened up by the advent of desktop publishing (a term coined as recently as 1984). As most exponents of desktop publishing have come to realise, the term is something of a misnomer because the provision of facilities that allow authors to produce their own material for publishing is not quite the same thing as publishÂ ing. Nevertheless, it has been useful in focussing attention on author-produced documents, and what might be described as the democratisation of document production. This book is different from others in the field. Its target audience is the busy scientist engaged in teaching or research who uses computers in the ordinary course of work. The world of scientific publishing is rapidly moving towards the day when journals will expect contributions from authors on disc, or even by direct transfer of data from the author's computer to the output device of an editor via telephone and satellite.
Elgin Alexander opens a window on a time that, for many, particularly those who lived it, was a most exciting time to be a teenager. It was the 1950's, dance bands were still in vogue, and boys and girls still danced together - especially to the slow dances. Here we meet a cocky young musician whose relationships with the girls that surrounded him were, at best, "casual" and, at worst, "self serving." These were the years - and a chance encounter with one particular teenage girl - that laid the foundation of his life - one both lost and found. His own background as a musician, poet, and Latinist all contribute to the captivating force of his flowing prose and poetry that breathes life into the main characters and immediately envelops the reader in this poignant, romantic tale.
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