Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nice wallpaper

Here are some nice wallpapers for Linux.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


According to this, RIM will release a tablet running QNX, cool!

QNX may be even better than WebOS (certainly more mature).

Document Foundation

LibreOffice, a new OpenOffice branch. People have learned their lesson from what happened to OpenSolaris, I guess.

By the way, by carefully reading the "natbib" package manual, I think I figure out how to change the default in-text citation from "...(Caldwell, 1979)" to "..(Caldwell 1979)".

Sunday, September 26, 2010

BibTeX style file

Here is a helpful post about how to tailor .bst file, with links to may more resources.

Free as in Freedom

Here is a good online book. And here are more of them.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Here are some tips to speedup matrix computation in R. The author did not provide any benchmark though.


The new version of this package (0.6) is quite serviceable already. It also comes with a 17-page document and some interesting examples.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Handbook on Impact Evaluation: Quantitative Methods and Practices

Here is a the book, did not receive very positive review from the Stata community though.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

C++ matrix library

This is a help post regarding matrix computation in C++ using the Armadillo library. This library seems to have a more comprehensive collection of numerical routines.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Improving R performance

The combination or Rcpp and Inline packages seems to be really useful to improve the performance of R, as suggested in this post. Inline also works with FORTRAN, which I like better for numerical computations.

Monday, September 13, 2010

LD_LIBRARY_PATH and alternative

I compiled and installed the most recent version of Armadillo library, and tested a sample program here. Both compilation and build went well, but when I tried to run the resulted program, I got an error message saying that the library files were not found. I followed the suggestions found here and created a new file " /etc/" which has only one line of contents:
Which seems to do the trick and,from my understanding, is better than have a line in my .bashrc for "LD_LIBRARY_PATH".

==================== EDITED SEPT. 24, 2010 ==============================

Now I realized that every time a new library is installed, I need to run "sudo sudo ldconfig". 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Autostart R console

An recent patch to the StatET fixed the autostart function. Now the R console starts automatically when I launch Eclipse, which is exactly what I want.

Eclipse 3.6 no longer has the "run last launched tools" shortcut key, but this autostart thing is probably even better.

Oracle vs. Google: FSF's Response

FSF's response to the law suite between Oracle and Google deserves some attention. 

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Revolution R Enterprise, some thoughts

I requested an academic copy of the Revolution R Enterprise today. Since they only have Windows or Redhat version, I installed it on an old spare machine dual-booting Linux and Windows. I like what they did with the IDE (the debugger is nice) and some of their tailored made packages dealing with large data and parallel processing. It should be a good choice to introduce R to students. I guess I am not surprised to see the Windows version is made using MS Visual Studio, but having to install a load of VS-related stuff just to install this relatively simple software (with respect to the GUI, of course) make me feel a little, ...unhappy.

I think this is a serious alternative (for the first time) to the "official" R on Windows platform. And Revolution is generous to let faculty and students to use their software for free. If I decide to teach my students R, this software is absolutely my first choice.

By the way, I was not able to get the package "MCMCglmm" running because the required package "tensorA" is not in their official repository, and the version I pulled off CRAN is no good.

============== UPDATES (SEPT. 11, 2010) ========================

The problem with MCMCglmm seems to be fixed for the W32 system: the package "tensorA" was added to the official repository so I can run my favorite package for mixed effect modeling now. I still cannot use it on Win64 system.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Spell checking with Eclipse

I like Eclipse as a LaTeX and Sweave platform. This web page explains how to do spell checking with Eclipse, which got me confused for quite a while.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Xubuntu 10.04

I finally decided to upgrade my 4-year old Sony SZ laptop from Ubuntu 9.04 to Xubuntu 10.04. The main reason was that it is getting more and more difficult to keep up with some of the software I use on daily basis on a distro that is almost two years old.

The new system is snappy, and this xfce-based distro works really on this old laptop.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The equinox theme is getting better and better

I especially like the new equinox evolution them and the equinox evolution squared window border. I am very pleased about my computer UI now.