Archive for February, 2009

The basics of…IDL

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Photo by Omakakii"][/caption] IDL is the Interactive Data Language (not to be confused with another computing IDL, Interface Description Language ), which as the name suggests is very useful for the analysis and processing of data.  It's very popular in particular areas of science, because it's quick to ...

The basics of… Emacs

Monday, February 16th, 2009

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Photo by snogglethorpe"][/caption] All programmers need some way of getting the code from their head into the computer.  Nowadays, this means a development environment or text editor of some sort.  There are a range of these available for different platforms and languages and many of these are ...

Brute Force and Excellence: Using the simple solution to a coding problem

Monday, February 9th, 2009

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="Photo by El Garza"][/caption] Sometimes, a problem in coding has a simplistic solution. It might be ugly. It's probably way slower than the smarter ways you can think of to solve the problem. It may even offend your sensibilities as clunky and unpleasant. We think ...

Things to make you go hmmm …. (laugh then think!)

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

"Many a true word is spoken in jest" is a phrase that has echoed down the centuries from Chaucer, through Jonathan Swift and George Bernard Shaw and into the modern word. While Chaucer would have claimed that programming was witchcraft his immortal words are certainly as true today as they ...