Scientific Linux: A distribution you use because you have to.

Screenshot from 2017-06-08 11-18-11
The default desktop on Scientific Linux 7.3

I’ve sat down to write this post several times, and started over each time. Initially, it was going to be to express my frustrations with Scientific Linux and generally just put it down. I stopped, because I continued to play with it, and fixed some of those frustrations, but was still going to make the overall point that the distribution is pointless. Today, after having stepped away for a few days, I’ve softened my position a bit more after thinking about the reasons someone may use the distribution. So, I’m going to start with the punch line, and then present my case below: While there are possible reasons to use Scientific Linux, I would firmly recommend not using it on a personal computer, or for day-to-day use.

Continue reading “Scientific Linux: A distribution you use because you have to.”

How Rust Can be A Good Thing

20160820_135602_richtonehdrLast September I saw this article about a programming language I hadn’t heard about before. That language was Rust. At the time, I played around with it a tiny bit but saw no real compelling reason for me to invest the time into learning another language. Then, earlier this week I saw this article on arXiv, and decided to give Rust another look. Continue reading “How Rust Can be A Good Thing”

It’s Wonderful When Things are Going Right

Today, I’m in the process of starting a new research project, and so far things are going very well. I’m hopeful that this trend will continue, and that the project can be completed, written up and submitted to a journal in just a few weeks. Now, the point of this post is not to simply boast about how well things are going (though I don’t think it’s important to celebrate life’s little victories). The point I would like to make is about why things are going well, kind of building on yesterday’s post about things I’ve learned about programming.

Continue reading “It’s Wonderful When Things are Going Right”

Microsoft Windows 10 is Malware

MicrosoftErasesLinux

Many of you may be aware that Microsoft came under fire not too long ago for violating its own guidelines for what the little x in the top right hand corner of a dialog box or window should do, close the window and cancel any process associated with that window. Instead, they decided that in a last ditch effort to force people to upgrade to Windows 10, clicking the x on the notification that your Windows 10 update was ready (after it had downloaded itself onto your computer without your permission or by disguising itself as a different update) would essentially be you consenting to the update. I could link a bunch of articles about this, but it would probably be easier for you to just google “Is Windows 10 malware?” and you can see for yourself. After the outcry, Microsoft said they would adjust their update policy, but that’s not what this post is about. This is about Windows 10 intentionally harming peoples computers who dual boot with a Linux distribution. Continue reading “Microsoft Windows 10 is Malware”

Dear Hillary: An Open Letter as the Convention Begins

Dear Hillary,

As you are aware, we must do everything possible to defeat Donald Trump in the fall. He is a dangerous man who’s rhetoric evokes images of Nazi Germany. Independent analyses have said that his economic plan would cause another recession, undoing all the progress that has been made over the last 7 years. To put it simply (and to use a cliche), the stakes have never been higher. Continue reading “Dear Hillary: An Open Letter as the Convention Begins”

The Perils and Pitfalls of Scientific Programming

As I sit here writing this, I’m waiting on some custom software to finish running on my other computer. That custom software is still in a testing phase and the current run will tell me if I have finally figured out the source of a persistent positive bias that I am getting from the output of the code. While waiting, I began to think about adding a graphic user interface to handle the input of various parameters in the code instead of having a parameter file. This then got me thinking about how the current state of scientific software is likely a barrier to many who may otherwise enter a specific field of research. Continue reading “The Perils and Pitfalls of Scientific Programming”

Ways I wish my education had been different: Part 1 – Programming

From time to time, I look back on my years of education and note that many things could have been done to better prepare me for where I am today. I could reflect on things that could have been done better in elementary, middle and high school, but at this point that was so far in the past that things have probably changed substantially. Instead, I would like to comment a bit about my college education, both undergraduate and graduate, particularly the lack luster way I was taught programming. Continue reading “Ways I wish my education had been different: Part 1 – Programming”