Robin's Blog

Archive for the ‘Computing’ Category

A Python sqlite3 context manager gotcha

I’ve neglected this blog for a while – partly due to the chaos of 2020 (which is not great), and partly due to being busy with work (which is good!). Anyway, I’m starting to pick it up again, and I thought I’d start with something that caught me out the other day. So, let’s start […]

Bid for a day’s work from me

Summary: I will do a day’s work for the highest bidder in this auction. This could mean you get a day’s work from me very cheaply. Please read all of this post carefully, and then submit your bid here before 5th Feb. This experiment is based very heavily on David MacIver’s experiment in auctioning off […]

Automatic PDF calendar generation with pcal

During the Nepal earthquake response project I worked on, we were gradually getting access to historical mobile phone data for use in our analyses. I wanted to keep track of which days of data we had got access to, and which ones we were still waiting for. I wrote a simple script to print out […]


I really enjoy reading blogs. That seems to be a slightly outdated view, as many people have moved over to using Twitter exclusively, but I like being able to follow everything that a specific person writes, and seeing mostly long-form articles rather than off-the-cuff comments. Back in the day, when blogs were really popular, every […]

Reminder about cross-platform case-sensitivity differences

This is just a very brief reminder about something you might run into when you’re trying to get your code to work on multiple platforms – in this case, OS X, Linux and Windows. Basically: file names/paths are case-sensitive on Linux, but not on OS X or Windows. Therefore, you could have some Python code […]