## hiccups or death throes for pangolin?

Posted in Linux, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , on October 25, 2013 by xi'an

Today my Ubuntu system had a strange pathology, almost freezing in any Internet connection, whether using a cable connection or wireless, even ping did not answer and nothing wrong on the process table… I checked the hardware by dual-booting on windows (for the first time since I installed Linux on this laptop) and seeing no such feature on Explorer. After a few reboots, it came back to normal. I wonder if this is an incomplete safety upgrade or a signal that my cheap laptop is coming close to the end of its life cycle. A life started right after Kyoto. Since I am leaving for Pittsburgh and Toronto next week, I should try to re-install a Linux version on another machine this weekend….

## kernel panic: iGoogle will be retired on November 1!!!

Posted in Kids, Linux with tags , on October 6, 2013 by xi'an

On every day, I now get a reminder that iGoogle will be retired in nn days… Terrible deadline looming closer and closer, less than a month now, and I still do not know how to compensate for this retirement! I started using iGoogle quite a while ago for following various RSS threads on newspapers and active blogs like Andrew’s, Rbloggers, and the like. Plus the weather in various parts of the World. In the past few days, I started experimenting with igHome, but it is awfully slow (on my slow machine) and does not reproduce all the apps I used on iGoogle. Nicolas had suggested another substitute I have now forgotten that merged all RSS flows into a single one, which made it unappealing to me… Any suggestion?  Like netvibes? (Maybe this is a good thing in the end, reducing the flow of information and thus temptations to check too many items on the Internet!)

## five years ‘Oggin’…!

Posted in Books, Kids, Linux, Mountains, pictures, Running, Statistics, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , on October 2, 2013 by xi'an

I have just been reminded by wordpress that it has been five years since I started this blog,.. With about 2500 posts, more than 800,000 views and 4,500 comments (thanks to Deborah, Dan, Julien, and Arnaud!). Thanks to all readers for being supportive and to the hardcore readers for being always there, despite the lack of constancy, the unreasonable amount of silly posts, and the abuse of saturated pictures. I cannot predict if the ‘Og will last much longer, for the times they are a-changin’, but those have been fun five years!

Come writers and critics
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

## spot the LaTeX mistake

Posted in Books, Linux with tags , on April 22, 2013 by xi'an

It took me forever to spot the (obvious) mistake in the following LaTeX formula


\int \exp$-\{ (n+\sigma^{-2})\mu^2 -2n\mu{\bar x_n} + n ({\bar x_n})^2 \}/2$



Can you find it?!

## R midterms

Posted in Kids, Linux, R, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2012 by xi'an

Here are my R midterm exams, version A and version B in English (as students are sitting next to one another in the computer rooms), on simulation methods for my undergrad exploratory statistics course. Nothing particularly exciting or innovative! Dedicated ‘Og‘s readers may spot a few Le Monde puzzles in the lot…

Two rather entertaining if mundane occurences related to this R exam: one hour prior to the exam, a student came to my office to beg for being allowed to take the solution manual with her (as those midterm exercises are actually picked from an exercise booklet, some students cooperated towards producing a complete solution manual and this within a week!), kind of missing the main point of having an exam. (I have not seen yet this manual but I’d be quite interested in checking the code they produced on that occasion…) During the exam, another student asked me what was the R command to turn any density into a random generator: he had written a density function called mydens and could not fathom why rmydens(n) was not working. The same student later called me as his computer was “stuck”: he was not aware that a “+” prompt on the command line meant R was waiting for him to complete the command… A less comical event that ended well is that a student failed to save her R code (periodically and) at the end of the exam and we had to dig very deep into the machine to salvage her R commands from \tmp as rkward safeguards, as only the .RData file was available at first. I am glad we found this before turning the machine off, otherwise it would have been lost.