Place an image into an R plot

There a basically two options on how to place arbitrary images as a point symbol into a plot in R. If you want to use a raster images such as GIF, JPG or BMP, opt for the “pixmap” package.  You will have to convert your image into the PPM format and then use the “add_logo” [...]

Best Free Offline Maps Application for Android

I wanted to use my Android device for GPS offline mapping to avoid paying excessive roaming fees abroad. It turned out that is not only difficult to filter the appropriate maps app out of dozens which are available on the Android Market (an overview is given here), but also that there are only few usable [...]

The Latticist Package for R

One of my dear readers, C S,  has pointed out to me the R package latticist. In the beginning I was sceptical, since the package is merely more than an interface to existing visualization routines. However, I now consider it astonishingly useful and use it almost every day. The reason is simple: Getting an intial [...]

Project Organization Advice

Have you ever had the problem of re-finding how you created this particular image or that specific result of your recent bioinformatics project? I did, and not only once.  In his article “A quick guide to organizing computational biology projects“, the distinguished scientist William S. Noble gives great advice on how to organize a research [...]

Python Recipe: Read CSV/TSV Textfiles and Ignore Comment-lines

Scientific data commonly comes in tab-separated textfile format containing comment lines. What is the best way to read this data? Analogous to the recipe given by skip.montanaro, use a commented file decorator as follows:
import sys, re
import csv
class CommentedFile:
def __init__(self, f, commentstring=”#”):
self.f = f

A Reload-Button in Adobe Acrobat

Read this post about how to reload your pdf document. This is particularly useful when you are creating a new document with LaTeX. Sweet, I was waiting for that functionality.

Use the new Emacs Daemon!

Emacs usually takes quite some time to fully start up. However, as described in the great blog Emacs-Fu, Emacs 23 can now be started in the background as a daemon. This allows to fire up a new Emacs instance really fast. Thanks djcb!

Print Particular Lines of a File Using SED

Say you want to print the lines 3 and 7, and all lines from 11 to 15 of a text-file. The following SED one-liner will do for you
sed -n -e ‘3p’ -e ‘7p’ -e ‘11,15p’ textfile.txt

Anycom Bluetooth USB Adapter on Windows 7

For the first time I could personally sense the effects of the economic crisis. The manufacturer of my Bluetooth device ANYCOM USB-200, the Germany-based ITM Technology AG is insolvent. Immediate effect for customers like me: No more driver updates and their general unavailability on the homepage.
Here is the good news for everybody who wants to [...]

Working with a List of Tuples in Shell Scripting

Several people have recently asked me whether or not it is possible to use tuples in their shell script. One example is running a program with a varying set of parameters. Since they often did not find a good solution, they began to formulate their problem in a higher-level scripting language like Ruby. Surprisingly, you [...]