I have my partially complete PhD thesis in TROFF format (?) - so it would laser print from the unix station back then. It has had a layer of Atari 1stWord encapsulation, which may still be at the header, but is essentially irrelevant as it was just a text editor to work on at home - away from the university's Sun workstations.

Can anyone help me convert this to wysiwyg format of any sort please? pdf? docx?

.\" pic
.\" tbl
.\" eqn
.\" roff -ms
delim $$
.nr PO 1.5i
.nr LL 6.0i
.nr PS 9
.nr VS 18
.fp 1 H
.ps 14
.ps 14
.ps 9
In the previous chapter we outlined a system which may be used to
handle uncertainty in a domain, using probabilities
on a causal network.
In this chapter we will to discuss how the knowledge within
a domain may be acquired and manipulated into the form
of a probabilistic causal network - with specific reference to
the two domains which represent
the process of dating 
timber-framed buildings, using
(i) architectural/historical
(ii) dendrochronological evidence.
Our ultimate goal here is to
ascertain, as best we may, the correct date of construction of
vernacular buildings.
As mentioned in Chapter 2,
one of the main problems we face is the resolution of
the potential conflict between
dendrochronological and archaeological predictions for the date of
a building.
If the two
bodies of knowledge produce results which are totally
in agreement, we are left with no other conclusion than that
the predicted date-range/period is the correct one,
however there is rarely complete agreement and this disagreement
may be very difficult to resolve.
We will derive networks on the two domains and give numerical
 Çexamples of propagation of evidence through these networks,
closing the chapter with a short exposition of
how we may use probabilistic methods in conjunction with
causal networks to resolve this mentioned conflict.
This use of probabilistic methods is contrary
to widely adhered to
notions concerning the unsuitability of this approach - from
the general concerns over the epistemological adequacy of
probabilistic methods in artificial intelligence expressed by
McCarthy and Hayes (1969 p.490), to recent doubts about the implementational
mechanics of probabilistic formalisms to be found in Graham and
Llewelyn-Jones (1988 p.88 et seqq.).
  • 5
    groff can produce PDF these days: groff -pet -ms -Tpdf file.troff >file.pdf – Satō Katsura Aug 1 '16 at 18:33
  • Many Thanks Sato. I should have added I only have OSX (10.11) and win98 via Fusion now. I see posts refering to groff still in the OSX BSD. Does anyone use groff on mac via terminal to confirm the features and syntax etc are as above? – K Robin Junga Aug 4 '16 at 15:47

Most Linuxes nowadays come with the GNU version of Troff.

On my Linux Mint system the groff-base package was already installed, but to generate PDF, via the gropdf output utility, requires you to install the groff package as well. On Solaris, you might need to install this from source, but the manual is rather sparse on this subject. The sources can be downloaded from here

After installation you can run:

groff -pet -ms -Tpdf in.troff > out.pdf

(assuming your input is in in.troff), but you should remove the 1st-word header stuff (before .\" pic), otherwise your output looks like:

enter image description here

  • Many thanks Anthon and for your kind email response. Any experience of groff in terminal on mac OSX? Does it have the pdf facility as above? – K Robin Junga Aug 4 '16 at 15:49
  • Also, explicitly, thanks for letting me see that chapter snippet for the first time in 26 years! Not spent ages on this, but some years ago I sorted the conversion from Atari text files to MS docs. New inspiration came from a recent conversation rgarding postscript formatting, which I had somehow assumed was the coding. This took me back to realise it was actually troff , even though I'd never realised that while slogging out this thesis - with trial and error formatting. wysiwyg is a MASSIVE facilitator for all students subsequent to that time, whatever the inline power of groff. – K Robin Junga Aug 4 '16 at 15:58
  • I have no recent experience with OSX (my Mac Mini doesn't run the newer versions), but googling tells me that it should be possible. Alternative would be to run Linux in a virtualmachine and run groff there. – Anthon Aug 4 '16 at 17:49
  • I had an Atari ST as well, but early on (1985) started using TeX/LaTeX and skipped generating troff files myself. – Anthon Aug 4 '16 at 17:50

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