Beautiful New Fonts

Wednesday, March 06th, 2013 | Author:

In this short rant, I want to convince you to try out some new beautiful fonts for your editor, terminal, wiki or website. In particular, I want you to take a look at Adobe's Source Pro Fonts. I'll explain where you can preview fonts online and how to employ them in various settings.

Get your own LaTeX-enabled wiki in the cloud with Instiki on Heroku

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 | Author:

I guess you all know what a WikiWikiWeb (short: wiki) is, it's a website where you can easily add new pages and modify existing ones. MathOverflow is some kind of hybrid between Q&A and a wiki, since users with enough reputation can edit other people's questions and answers. MathOverflow made the Markdown syntax very popular, and people got used to using LaTeX online. Some of my readers surely know the nLab, a collaborative wiki on n-categorical math(ematical physics) and stuff. The nLab runs on a software called Instiki, which is a wiki written in Ruby (an intepreted language similar to Python, and somewhat similar to Lisp, Perl and JavaScript; which is often used for web applications like wikis). The good thing about Instiki is that it supports editing pages in Markdown syntax with embedded LaTeX, so it is able to support your personal knowledge management needs. In addition, Instiki is small (thus not many bugs are to be expected), fast and the code is quite readable; something I wouldn't say about MediaWiki, the software behind Wikipedia.

In this post, I will tell you how to run your own wiki like the nLab. [UPDATED 2013-01-07; easier fix]

Category: English, Mathematics, Not Mathematics | 2 Comments

An arrow notation for annotations

Saturday, October 27th, 2012 | Author:

Nowadays it is common to use $x \mapsto f(x)$ to denote that an element $x \in X$ is mapped to an element $f(x) \in Y$ by the map(ping) $f : X \to Y$. In particular, the arrow $\rightarrow$ (in LaTeX: \rightarrow) denotes a map, or more generally a morphism, while $\mapsto$ (in LaTeX: \mapsto) denotes how particular elements or objects are mapped to other elements or objects.

Have you ever seen an arrow which has a triangle as head? Like those:

Managing Books

Thursday, March 24th, 2011 | Author:

Today in the series "How to do XYZ with software?":

How to manage books?

You read books at work, you read books at home, you lend books, you buy and sell books. If you do at least one of these tasks, you need to think about a metadata management system. For most people, this is just a (wooden, real-life) bookshelf, where all possessed books are displayed, easily to be sorted by author or colour of the cover. Even then, some help with software might be justified, since you need to package the books for every relocation anyway.
Now let's take a look at a quick&easy way to use software for organising a private book collection.

Category: English, Not Mathematics | 4 Comments

Froyo (and root) on Samsung Galaxy I9000 with Linux only

Friday, December 03rd, 2010 | Author:

So I just updated my Samsung Galaxy GT-i9000 Android phone from Android 2.1 to Android 2.2 "Froyo", using a Linux system only (no Samsung Kies or Odin required). Here is my HOWTO:

DISCLAIMER: Everything described here can "brick" your phone, which means UNUSABLE and somewhat DESTROYED FOREVER.
It hasn't done any harm to my phone, but every phone is different (mine is an unbranded european model). For example, the "download mode" you get into when pushing the "volume down"+"home button"+"power on" combo doesn't work on some phones. You absolutely NEED to fix this if you have the so-called "3-button-problem". If you get a yellow sign with "Downloading..." after using the combo on booting, everything should be fine.

Mass renaming papers with BibTex+JabRef export filters

Monday, June 28th, 2010 | Author:

If you manage your (scientific) references, such as journal articles, arXiv papers and textbooks within some reference management system that uses BibTex as storage/export format, and you have local copies of your files, then the following might be of interest:

I wrote a JabRef export filter that takes a BibTex file with file links (so, BibTex fields of the form file={somefile.pdf}) and writes a linux shell script to rename the files systematically according to the scheme [bibtexkey] - [authors] - [title].[extension]. Then JabRef can find the file again via its automatic file association mechanism. I use lower-case bibtexkeys but the export filter is easily adaptable, read about it on the JabRef custom export filter documentation page.

Just create (or download) a file named "renamer.layout" and fill in this line:
\begin{file}mv "\format[FileLink]{\file}" "\format[ToLowerCase,FormatChars]{\bibtexkey} - \format[AuthorNatBib,ToLowerCase,FormatChars,RemoveBrackets]{\author} - \format[FormatChars,RemoveBrackets,ToLowerCase]{\title}.\format[Replace(.*:,),ToLowerCase]{\file}"\end{file}
then open JabRef and go to the menu entry Options->Manage custom exports->Add new where you enter (for example) "renamer" as Export name, the full path to your renamer.layout file in the Main layout file field and "sh" as File extension.

Then open your BibTex file (.bib) with JabRef and then select the menu entry File->Export and select in the drop-down-menu Files of Type your newly created export filter renamer (*.sh). This gives you a shell script which, if executed, renames all files linked from the BibTex document into a standardised format (and moves all into the directory from where you execute the script).