[mandelbrot set] MATH DEPT Computer News, Volume 5

How to use the e-Print Archive at http://xxx.lanl.gov/

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I shall explain here how to post a paper to the e-Print Archive at http://xxx.lanl.gov/. First, however, I shall explain the easy part:

How to view papers at the site.

Just point your netscape browser to


and select the links to your favorite subject. If you click on the PDF or ps link of a paper, the paper will come up in a viewer and you can look at it and print it by selecting PRINT on the viewer. If you click on the src link, you will be prompted to save the file to your own account. The file will be a text file (TeX or LaTeX probably) that is "gzipped" and "tarred." For example, if the file is called 9804123, you will have to type

gunzip 9804123

to unzip it. This might create a file like filename.tar

Then you might then need to run

$ tar -xvf filename.tar

to produce a 9804123.tex file (and maybe a few figure files, e.g., figure1.eps, to go with the tex file). You will have to TeX the file yourself to view or print the paper.

Uploading your paper to the archive.

One way to do this is to read all the on-line instructions at http://xxx.lanl.gov/help/ about uploading before you try. This takes a couple of hours and it is not as difficult as the daunting instructions might lead you to believe. I explain here the bare bones for people submitting papers in AMS-TeX or LaTeX without figures from a Math Dept SUN. (See below for special instructions about papers with PostScript figures.)

Step 1

The first step is to send an e-mail to the site to register and to get an access id and password. To do this, simply send an empty e-mail to


with subject line


You will get an e-mail from them very quickly that contains your user name (probably your last name) and your password.

After you get your id and password, go to


and click on REGISTRATION FORM and fill out the form. (You will need to give your user-id and password to access the form.)

Step 2

You will next want to go to the upload page. You can upload a single TeX file quite easily. However, if you have separate figure files, you will need to package your TeX paper in the format required by the e-Print service. They want their papers in TeX with figures to be tarred and gzipped. Let's say your paper is called paper.tex and that you keep it in your directory /homes/your_id/Papers/. Let's also say that you have two figure files called fig1.eps and fig2.eps. To tar and gzip your files, first cd to /homes/your_id/Papers/ and then type

$ tar -cvf mypaper.tar paper.tex fig1.eps fig2.eps

This command will create the file mypaper.tar

Warning: If you forget to type the filename mypaper.tar, tar will over-write the first file name it sees (in this case paper.tex is next in line).

Next, you will want to use gzip to compress the tar file for fastest upload:

$ gzip mypaper.tar

which will create a file named mypaper.tar.gz

NOTE: Certain AMS-TeX commands that we use around here need to be removed from your TeX file before you send it. For example, you will need to comment out (by putting a % in front of the line) the commands \NoBlackBoxes and \nologo.

Step 3

Next, you should type a short abstract of your paper and put it in a file all by itself. (I just copy mine from the paper.) If you know how to left mouse button drag and middle button click to copy and move text, you can drag over this abstract text from the file and then copy it to the proper box in the upload form at upload time.

Step 4

Finally, you are ready to upload. Go to


and select the UPLOADS link. You will be asked for your access-id and your password before the upload form appears. Fill in the form at the uploads page and copy your abstract to the abstract box.

When everything looks perfect, go down to the UPLOAD FILE box and select BROWSE. You will see a listing of your own files. If it is not already selected, scroll to your Papers directory (/u3/your_id/Papers/ in this example) and click on it. A listing of the files in the Papers directory should appear. Click on /u3/your_id/Papers/paper.tar.gz and select OK. This file name should now appear in the UPLOAD FILE box. Select UPLOAD NOW and you will be done. The archive will TeX your paper and create PostScript versions for the web. (Follow the instructions that come up to verify that your paper has been received and TeXed properly.)

Papers with figures

If your paper has PostScript figures in it, you will want to bundle them with your TeX file. Suppose you have encapsulated postscript files figure1.eps and figure2.eps that you want to include with your TeX source file. Simply type

tar cf - paper.tex figure1.eps figure2.eps | gzip > paper.tar.gz

to create one gzipped tarred file that contains all the pieces of your paper. Now follow the instructions above for uploading your paper.

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