So Labguru recently had a blog post entitled 5 Best Mobile Apps for Research Scientists. It’s a decent list, though it’s actually the four best, since your brand new iPad app isn’t something I’m sure you can actually count in an impartial list, though it does look cool.

It’s actually a better list than most. I find myself getting irked when “Science” is taken to invariably mean either “Physics” or more commonly in life science blogs and the like I read, wet-lab biology/biochemistry. What about us poor theorists? Or population-level empiricists? Do we really need a list dominated by timers to make sure you take your samples out of the water bath in time?

After the jump are my Top 5 apps, hopefully not terribly biased toward my own research. And absolutely not featuring my own (nonexistent) app.

Continue reading ‘My Top 5 Mobile Apps for Scientists’

A previous post of mine had suggested that, despite them being extremely similar operating systems, and really there being no clear reason why, Revolution R 5.0, which does support Red Hat Enterprise Linux, refused to work on Fedora 16. The installation failed, dependencies could not be installed, tech support was singularly unhelpful because I wasn’t using RHEL 5.0, and I essentially said “nuts to this” and went back to my trusty, working, free installation of R sitting in my beloved native OS X. But today, the plot thickened…

Continue reading ‘Revolution R and Fedora: Revisited’


I ran across this post at The Tree of Life¬†entitled ‘Interesting new metagenomics paper w/ one big big big caveat – critical software not available”.

The long and short of it? Paper appears in Science, has fancy new methodology, lacks the software for someone else to use their methodology. Blog author understandably annoyed. But I have some sympathy with the authors of the paper itself, as much as I prefer the code for an analysis to be available for publication. My thoughts after the jump.

Continue reading ‘On Unpublished Software’

Speaking of R…

On the 16th, TIOBE Software released the Tiobe Index of the most popular programming languages. For the first time ever, R is in the Top 20. The top spots are, no surprise, occupied by Java and C respectively. More after the jump.

Continue reading ‘R Appears Among Top 20 Programming Languages’

Update!: The latest version of Revolution R, which added support for RHEL 6, appears to work (it appears to at least install, run, and perform basic tasks). See this post for more details.

I’ve come to enjoy using R. I had dabbled with it in the past, but found it painfully opaque, and the Effort:Reward ratio when I already used SAS just enough to keep me interested. But then a couple things happened – I went off and learned Python, and all of a sudden about half the things I found “quirky” about R made sense, and I found myself needing packages in R to do things SAS is pretty bad at – meta-analysis, and one particular researcher’s code that comes in an R package, complete with a handy tutorial.

So now I use R maybe…35% of the time?

But this is something of a side note. This review is on Revolution R, a commercial version of R that has some promising stuff in it. Or this review would have been on it, but for some…problems. More after the jump.

Continue reading ‘CBC Reviews: Revolution R (in which this doesn’t go well)’

New Blog!


Because the solution to not updating one blog enough is to start two, right?

Weirdly, for some other parts of my life, that’s actually true. I’ve found I keep up better with things when they’re busy enough to always occupy a little bit of my attention. One thing, and I can always say “Meh, I can put it off until tomorrow”. But many things? They demand attention.

So lets see if that works. I’m moving most of my Apple/OS X centric musings, along with some projects and the like, over to The Academic Mac. See you there, if you’re interested. Keep reading here if you’re not, I’ll have some new posts coming in the next few days.

In the past two months, I’ve had a dissertation proposal, a grant submission, a half-day workshop I ran, two paper reviews, a manuscript submission, an apartment overrun with the mess from the previous bits, 1600 miles of highway driving and…oh yeah, Christmas in two different places.

Hence the blog suddenly going dark, as it seems to do when the leaves start to fall from the trees and the temperature drops. Hopefully it’ll pick up shortly.