Robin's Blog

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 That seems to be a slightly outdated view, as many people have moved over to using Twitter exclusively, but I like being able to follow everything that a specific person writes, and seeing mostly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

How to: Log electricity usage from a CurrentCost EnviR – Part 1

After borrowing a CurrentCost electricity usage meter from my local library (if you’re in the area, then Eastleigh library will loan you one for free!), I decided to buy one, as I’d found it very useful in trying to reduce my electricity usage. The benefit of buying one as opposed to borrowing one was that […]

Essential OS X software #1 – Mail Attachment Reminder Plugin

The first piece of software in my series of essential OS X software is a very handy tool which reminds you when you haven’t attached a file in an email when you intended to. How does it do this? Well, it searches for key words in the email and reminds you if, for example, you […]

Using PyDev with with the Enthought Python Distribution

I have recently discovered PyDev – a Python IDE which runs within Eclipse. Although I’d given up on big all-singing, all-dancing IDEs a few years ago I’m really liking it. The Ctrl-Space completion is very handy, as are the number of refactorings that are available from the menus. Anyway, I use the Enthought Python Distribution […]

Alfred – the new Quicksilver?

For a while I used Quicksilver, but it seemed to be rather unstable on my machine. Then I used Quick Search Box, but it got terribly slow. Then, somehow, I found out about Alfred – and it’s replaced them both. Alfred, like the other applications mentioned above, is a launcher, but it does far more […]

An ode to PDFs (and PDFs as a first class filetype)

Ahhh PDFs…., or more formally, Portable Document Format files. I remember the days when I thought that PDFs were only for instruction manuals downloaded from the internet, or electronic copies of things that you don’t want people to be able to alter. Not so – I have recently discovered the joys of PDFs, particularly through […]