Robin's Blog

Archive for the ‘Computing’ Category

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 That seems to be a slightly outdated view, as many people have moved over to using Twitter exclusively, but I like being able to follow everything that a specific person writes, and seeing mostly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 […]

Programming link clearance 2015: Python edition

I have a Coding bookmarks folder which is stuffed full of loads of interesting articles that I’ve never shared with anyone because they don’t really fit into any of my posts. So, taking an idea from The Old New Thing, I’m going to run a few ‘Link Clearance’ posts. This is the Python-focused one (there will be […]

Hacking the Worcester Wave thermostat in Python – Part 2

In the previous part we had established that the Worcester Wave thermostat app communicates with a remote server (run by Worcester Bosch) using the XMPP protocol, with TLS encryption. However, because of the encryption we haven’t yet managed to see the actual content of any of these messages! To decrypt the messages we need to do […]

Previously Unpublicised Code: RTWIDL

When looking through my profile on Github recently, I realised that I had over fifty repositories – and a number of these weren’t really used much by me anymore, but probably contained useful code that no-one really knows about! So, I’m going to write a series of posts giving brief descriptions of the code and […]

Two great IPython extensions

I bought a new laptop recently, and just realised that I hadn’t installed two great IPython extensions that I always try to install whenever I set up a new IPython environment – so I thought I’d blog about them to let the world (well, my half-a-dozen readers) know. They’re both written by MinRK – one […]

How to: get nice vector graphics in your exported PDF ipython notebooks

(This is really Part 2 of IPython tips, tricks & notes – Part 1, but I thought I’d give it a more self-explanatory title) IPython (sorry, Jupyter!) notebooks are really great for interactively exploring data, and then turning your analyses into something which can easily be sent to a non-technical colleague (by adding some Markdown and […]