How?
The publishers of the first edition (UCL Press) were taken over shortly after the first edition was published. In fact my book was the last book they published. All the staff had been issued with redundancy notices and morale was very low. I never saw the page proofs for the book and I am pretty sure this combination of events led to a higher than usual number of typographic errors. Also all the Pagemaker files relating to the book were lost.

For the second edition I was offered the chance by Taylor and Francis to either prepare the book myself as camera-ready copy (for the princely sum of a thousand pounds), or to prepare a text and to have it typeset. After my experience with the first edition I opted to produce the camera-ready copy. Using the thousand pounds to buy a laser printer and to pay the mortgage for a month, I took unpaid leave from work at NPL during June 2001 to finalise as much as I could of the book. Even though I worked all round the clock I didn't quite manage that and needed to take another week from my annual leave at the end of that to prepare something that would convince the publishers to cough up. I managed to do that, but did not revise any of the figures at that stage. The figure revision began after the first stage of proof reading was complete and lasted for another grim month and was completed shortly before Christmas 2001.

I wrote the book on an iMac computer using Microsoft Word 98. Now, Word is a very clever application, but it is not meant to prepare documents this long and complex. Nor is tuned up for the preparation of documents for printing. It all turned out to be much harder than I had anticipated and just took so much time that I was not able to revise as much of the content as I wanted. But then, I needed the money to pay the mortgage for the month I had taken off work! The words 'never ending nightmare' come into my mind when I search for a description of how I felt during this time. The graphs were prepared using the excellent Kaleidagraph, and the figures were drawn using the ancient versions of MacDraw Pro and Claris Draw.

So just about every line, dot, sentence, and symbol has been written by me, and I am responsible for all the errors of which I am already aware of several. It is all mind numbingly tedious.


Michael de Podesta 5/4/2002