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20 April 2010

Little R == r

There's big R, the R that I use to do most my work, the environment that makes pretty graphics, et. al. It's like matlab, only cooler. Or more cool. Or less uncool. You can see my prejudices here.

Today i discovered little R. It's like big R, only little. Holy shit.

Dirk gives a thorough rundown here Suffice to say, for someone who's been using pipes and #!/usr/bin constructs for years (though not quite yet decades), this is cooler than cool. One might say, super-cool.

It's also a nice intro to R for some of the systems geeks out there. Need a million random numbers uniformly distributed between 0 and 1, specified to 7 decimal points? Need it in a file? Need it fast? r can help:
time r -q -e 'for (i in rnorm(1e6)) cat(sprintf("%1.7f\n", i))' >> randomnums  
Or perhaps you have a million numbers in some file that you would like to plot as a histogram, fast, every day, in an automated fashion, from the command line...
cat randomnums | r  -e 'myrandoms <- as.numeric(readLines()); png(filename="myplot.png"); 
plot(histogram(myrandoms));' >/dev/null   
No, it won't mungle strings with the ease of python, but it can chew a spreadsheet and spit it out *fast*. And since it's a stream, you can always pipe it to/from python. If you ask me, pretty fucking cool.

07 April 2010

The new face of CouchSurfing

Really? I've gotten a few borderline disrespectful CS requests lately (my profile is here). Sure, young and inexperienced, have mercy on them, etc. etc. Nonetheless, I think it's time for a bit of gentle schooling... The Request >USERNAME: *** >GENDER: Male >AGE: 23 >LOCATION: United States - New York - *** > >ARRIVAL DATE: 4/9/10 >DEPARTURE DATE: 4/13/10 >NUMBER OF PEOPLE: 1 >ARRIVING VIA: Plane > >Hi, > >My name is *** ***. I'm going to Albuquerque this weekend to attend a seminar at the **** Institute. I know it's short notice, but I was wondering if you would be able to host. It's a lot of last minute planning, I just created this account because my girlfriend suggested I use couchsurfing to try to find a place to stay, so sorry that my profile isn't very extensive. > >Thanks! > >*** My Reply First rule of a successful couchsearch - read the profile of the person that you're addressing. Second rule of a successful couchsearch - tell the person what specifically about them you think would make you a good match. what do you bring to the table? What about them interests you? Third rule of a successful couchsearch - add relevant information and a picture or 2 to your profile. A couchsearch is asking someone to take time out of a busy life to provide you with a place to stay. It makes sense to reciprocate the effort by spending some time to write out a real, decent profile that tells your prospective host something about who you are. Good luck! christian