Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tick label formatting in matplotlib

Use the Format** functions as illustrated in the major-minor demo. e.g.

major_formatter = pylab.FormatStrFormatter('%2.1f')

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Installing Ruby on Mac OS X

tar -xvf ruby-1.9.1-p129.tar.gz
cd ruby-1.9.1-p129
./configure --enable-shared --enable-pthread CFLAGS=-D_XOPEN_SOURCE=1
make -j4
sudo make install

Installs in /usr/local/bin, make sure to point path there

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

HP battery recall

Finally, some useful information on Slashdot. I knew all those hours invested in reading inane comments riveting articles would pay off. HP is recalling batteries. The list is here

Those geneticists and their Excel

Mistaken Identifiers: Gene name errors can be introduced inadvertently when using Excel in bioinformatics

If you are too lazy to get to the punchline:

"MatchMiner [1] and GoMiner [2] are two bioinformatics program packages we
published recently in another Biomed Central Journal, Genome Biology. When we
were beta-testing those programs on microarray data, a frustrating problem
occurred repeatedly: Some gene names kept bouncing back as "unknown." A little
detective work revealed the reason: Use of one of the research community's most
valuable and extensively applied tools for manipulation of genomic data can
introduce erroneous names. A default date conversion feature in Excel (Microsoft
Corp., Redmond, WA) was altering gene names that it considered to look like
dates. For example, the tumor suppressor DEC1 [Deleted in Esophageal Cancer 1]
[3] was being converted to '1-DEC.' Figure 1 lists 30 gene names that suffer an
analogous fate."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


A search on google for
pylab append to array
brings up a page full of Matlab hits. Why, I wonder?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Function definitions in scripts

My MATLAB origins betrayed me. I kept thinking - you can't put function definitions in a script in Python. Man, I gotta write a module and THEN a script that calls the module? But, in Python, you can include function defs in a 'script'. So the following works perfectly well:

def func1():
print '1'

def func2():
print '2'


Take that MATLAB.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Excel tips

  • window->freeze panes : keep cells to the left and top (inclusive) of selected cell frozen as you scroll

Friday, May 1, 2009


Todays xkcd made me laugh. A small pause in the downhill journey of that site.