Frequently Asked Questions

* So you're retired?

* When is Volume 4 coming out?

* When did you stop using email?

* What have you been doing lately?

* What's your favorite programming language?

* How do I order copies of your wife's books?

* How do I order copies of your books?

* How do I collect for finding errors in your books?

* Why do you pay $2.56 for every error found in your books?

256 pennies is one hexadecimal dollar. The payments go into an account at the Bank of San Serriffe. I can no longer write personal checks to the awardees, for reasons discussed here.

* Who will answer my questions about TeX?

* What do you like to do in your spare time?

* How do you pronounce your last name?


* How do I download .gz files to a Macintosh?

With recent versions of Mac OS X, everything works automatically, so you won't be asking that question.
Well, I take that back: macOS Ventura discontinued support for PostScript (shame, shame). But you can install, which works beautifully.
On older Mac platforms, use a program like Stuffit; and PostScript files can be viewed with MacGS (GhostScript).

* How do I download .gz files to a PC?

Often your browser will already uncompress them, but it might not be smart enough to change the file name. For example, if you download the file lpg.tex.gz, which is 7558 bytes long, you might get a file called LPGTEX.GZ, which is 18,793 bytes long. If so, just rename that file as lpg.tex. But if your browser has downloaded a gzipped binary file without uncompressing it, you can uncompress it yourself as follows: With Vista, a .gz file can be opened with Winzip. If that fails, people have succeeded by downloading gzip.exe, then renaming your file from complexname.gz to SIMPLENAME.Z where SIMPLENAME has no periods, then saying "gzip -d SIMPLENAME", and finally renaming the resulting file from SIMPLENAME to complexname. Isn't Windows wonderful?
And PostScript files can be viewed with GSView (GhostScript).

* Explain those Chinese characters on your home page.

is my Chinese name, given to me in 1977 by Frances Yao. Many browsers are now able to display these characters in their typeset form (高德纳); hopefully this will be routinely possible as computers and Unicode help the world to get smaller.

* What's the exact citation of your oft-cited comment about bugs?

On March 22, 1977, as I was drafting Section 7.1 of The Art of Computer Programming, I read four papers by Peter van Emde Boas that turned out to be more appropriate for Chapter 8 than Chapter 7. I wrote a five-page memo entitled ``Notes on the van Emde Boas construction of priority deques: An instructive use of recursion,'' and sent it to Peter on March 29 (with copies also to Bob Tarjan and John Hopcroft). The final sentence was this: ``Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.'' (Here's the full story.)

Don Knuth's home page

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