Writing a Thesis Is Only Half the Fun

Printing and Copying

It's 4 a.m., and you've just finished typing the last page of your senior thesis. You're done, right? Wrong. The work is only partially finished. Now it's time to print.

Where do you go? Is it walk-in or appointment only? What type of paper do you need? And how much is all this going to cost? These are just a few of the questions that thesis-fatigued seniors must deal with before handing in that final copy.

The expenses begin with thesis binders. Every honors-seeking senior needs two, costing $8.50 each at The Coop, and another $8.75 for 100 sheets of the special acid-free paper most departments require-for thesis submissions.

After purchasing the necessary supplies, the next step is to find a place that will print your thesis without taking too much of your time or money.

The Office for Information Technology (OIT) at 1730 Cambridge St. will print a thesis on one of its three laser printers, and you can make reservations for one of the six Macintosh printing stations up to three days in advance. Reservations for up to two hours of printing time can be made for any hour, day or night.

OIT charges 25 cents per page, and assistants are on duty Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to midnight, Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. to help with any printing problems. OIT is able to print from most Macintosh and IBM software.

A spokesperson for the office said that less than half of the time slots for the next few weeks have been reserved.

Gnomon Copy of 99 Mt. Auburn St. does not require reservations for laser printing, but owner Norman Shapiro says prospective customers should to call ahead and check on possible problems with software. "If a thesis is not set up right on the program, there may be difficulties printing it," Shapiro said.

Gnomon Copy charges 50 cents to $1.00 a page, depending on the amount of work needed to prepare the software for printing. They are open Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At Laser Design Corp. of 1430 Mass. Ave., the self-service laser printing is done on a walk-in basis, with no reservations required. They can handle all available software for Apple and IBM, and prices start at $6 per hour and 50 cents per page for the first 50 pages. After 50 pages, there is a 25-cent charge for each additional page.

Their laser printer is "usually pretty busy but not extremely busy at any particular time," said employee Michael S. Kapner. Laser Design is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Kinko's of 13 Dunster St. offers walk-in self-service 24 hours a day, and a full-service plan which guarantees your thesis will be finished within two days. Self-service prices are $8 per hour and 95 cents for the first three pages. There is a 50-cent charge for each additional page. "Since mid-February people have been doing drafts, but I myself have seen no major increase in the number of theses being printed," said employee Eric E. Wilinski. Kinko's has three Macintosh stations and one laser printer.

If that's not enough, you still have to get your thesis copied, and the lines at the copy machines will get longer and longer as the big thesis deadlines approach. At Kinko's, which has one self-service machine to make thesis-quality copies, a store employee described the situation as "generally pretty crowded--after all, it's thesis time."

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