All posts by Werner

Long time, no see!

This was a rather long break from posting something to this blog, I wanted to write often, but never did actually. But let’s resume with something which is related to my first blog entries. For my thesis I was looking for a book about thermionic emission of ions, called “The Emission Of Electricity From Hot Bodies”, and since it was published 1916 or so, I thought maybe I find something in the net – and guess what? The Internet Archive was providing a scanned copy. Such a cool service!

So I remembered, that I had already used it before to download a live concert of Fugazi, and there is another concert, one of their last, which you should download. It’s a 400MB download and the files are shn audio, but here is a tutorial how to convert shn files to mp3 files.

Access to ext2 or ext3 partitions in Windows XP

By accident I found a nice website which offers a program which allows access to ext2 or ext3 partitions in Windows: Ext2 Installable File System for Windows (which also is capable of reading ext3 file systems). This project provides a nice installer package, which installs an ext2 device driver in Windows – and it also has write support which others (Expore2fs, LTOOLS – though I just found out, that it also provides write access, but not as convenient as Ext2IFS) don’t provide. I use it for some time now it seams to be very useful though there are some minor drawbacks (no user access rights management).

This comes very handy if you use Linux and Windows on the same computer.

Desktop Search, OpenOffice and Thunderbird (IMAP)

Assume you have a lot of documents and data. Further you use OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Work and Thunderbird instead of Outlook. And you use an IMAP Email Account instead of a POP3 one.

Since you have so much documents you decide to use one of these fancy Desktop Searches to find things you need faster (and they are definitely very helpful). Then you stumble into problems, since only one of these various Desktop Searches is up to the task. I tried them all – here are my considerations: Continue reading Desktop Search, OpenOffice and Thunderbird (IMAP)

Disable autorun for CD/DVD drives to prevent root-kits to install themselves automatically

If you enter an audio CD or DVD into the CD/DVD drive of your Windows computer, you might install in that moment a root-kit of a copy control program, which prevents you to copy the audio content, or even worse, makes your system unstable and unsecure.

There are two possibilities to prevent Windows from autoplaying the CD/DVD: Continue reading Disable autorun for CD/DVD drives to prevent root-kits to install themselves automatically

The perfect plot program

Hmm, there is obviously not any out there. I tried many of them. I actually battled all of them. All suck. Big times. But there is gnuplot. It’s cross plattform, which is not a bad thing if you are working at a research facility. It’s not as easy as other programs, because you need to input commands in shell to get a plot. But this is also the biggest advantage of gnuplot.

So gnuplot is perfect if you make a lot of calculations or experiments and have a lot of data to process – you just write a script and load it into gnuplot and you get all plots. Save them in many different file formats (png, gif, ps, latex, …). No hundreds of clicks every time for one plot. You can even have publication quality plots if you invest more time though origin might be a better choice here.

Actually, did I mention that it’s free?

There is also a nice website out there, which has a lot of tips and tricks, the not so Frequently Asked Questions about Gnuplot Website.

Digitize Plots

If you want to digitize a plot in an article or report to e.g. do some calculations with them, there is a good program, which is free and cross platform: Plot Digitizer. You scan a plot to png or gif, or cut out a plot from a pdf file and save it as png and gif. Load it into Plot Digitizer, tell it where the minimal and maximal x- and y-values are – voila: you “cracked” the plot.