Git for Mathematics

Monday, May 04th, 2015 | Author:

git logo

Here are slides containing more content than a blackboard talk I gave in May 2015 in Freiburg:

Git versioning (why and how) for Mathematicians

Git Logo by Jason Long is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Category: English, Not Mathematics | One Comment

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.

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Category: English, Not Mathematics | Comments off

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]

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Category: English, Mathematics, Not Mathematics | 2 Comments

Export purchased books list from Amazon

Sunday, September 18th, 2011 | Author:

If you happened to buy books from (or, in my case, and maybe used the recommendation engine and the wishlist (and and and ...) then there will be lots of data about your books on the Amazon website. Have you ever thought about organizing your library with a different tool? May it be Google Books or LibraryThing or Shelfari, you will have to export this precious big amount of data from Amazon to the other service. Luckily, some intelligent people invented ISBN, so you basically need to extract a list of ISBNs to identify the books (neglecting your reviews and tags for now). Not that luckily, Amazon doesn't offer such export functionality to the layman. Searching the internet yields a Greasemonkey script that enables you to export wishlist content - but no ISBNs, so import into other services is not so easy.

The solution is to save each website of "your purchases" (or other such lists of books) as HTML file and let a smart script do the extraction work. This way, you're not violating Amazon's terms of service (which most likely don't allow any robots scraping the website) and on the positive side, it works.

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Category: English | 4 Comments

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.
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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.

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Category: English | 3 Comments