Here are some of the miscellaneous notes I’ve made while using computers as an academic. University of Edinburgh users might find more things on my internal page; Toronto DCS users could check my old internal page.
University of Edinburgh
- Euclid notes, how to fix: course catalogue links, printing, and the browser looping problem.
Unix / command-line
- Setting your login shell.
- Passwordless SSH. Stops you from having to type in your passwords while maintaining reasonable security.
- Other SSH things.
- The start page I have in my browser (old Gatsby and Toronto versions).
- Firefox extensions I like: Adblock Plus, NoScript, It’s all Text!, Neo Diggler, Uppity, Secure Login, Compact Menu 2, New Tab Homepage, Greasemonkey (my user scripts).
- middle_click_url_fix is a firefox extension to make middle-click go to a URL in the clipboard (when using the about:config middlemouse.contentLoadURL flag set to true). This extension fixes a regression in Firefox >=4. See this blog post and its comments for more information.
Documents and graphics
- LaTeX notes.
- Colored word-based diff — great for tracking changes in LaTeX documents held in version control (see below).
- MetaPost is a programming language based on Knuth’s MetaFont for producing beautiful postscript diagrams. TeX can provide typeset text for the diagrams. I’ve noted a couple of things for which I had to search.
- Making presentation slides.
- Making compact image files — lossy and lossless ways of making image files smaller.
Programming and scientific computing
- Notes on linking to libraries in non-standard locations with gcc/g++.
- Matlab/Octave efficiency notes.
- Some inconsistencies in Matlab/Octave.
- Tiny Octave/Matlab tricks page.
- Very small number of R and Octave translation notes.
- Getting OpenBUGS to work under linux.
- Version control is useful for projects with text source files (LaTeX, C++, Matlab or whatever). I have notes on subversion (svn), cvs and Bazaar (bzr). I tend to use svn with collaborators as it’s widely installed and often familiar. I use bzr for things that only I am working on: it’s faster to get going ("bzr init" and I’m away) and works better with an unholy hack I use when synchronizing my laptop. Git is popular, but it’s more complicated than I need, and I only use it when I have to.
- It’s good to have a decent monospace font for use in terminals and programming. (Although some people argue for using proportional fonts everywhere.) I use Inconsolata, which is free and decent. On recent linux distributions, copy Inconsolata.otf to your ~/.fonts and run fc-cache or maybe fc-cache -f -v so that applications can see it.
- Lagging, slow or stuttering Dell trackpad problems when on AC power.
- Notes on compiling GTK+ 2.x (circa 2006).
- A performance bug pasting between vim in a terminal and GTK apps.
- A new mail reporting problem in mutt and how to make it a bit better.