Monday, January 2, 2012


I decided to try and do something useful with my computer, and set up BOINC so I could choose from a list of projects to use my computing cycles.

Ok, so I just pulled in the debian package with aptitude but after installation then it didn't run as a daemon as the document describes so I decided to run it from the command line. That's where my troubles began.

I understood from the documentation that you could run boinc from the command line and choose some projects to support and voila, everything would be up and running.

What happened to me was that I choose some projects but I didn't get any work to do, my client was querying the projects for work but none was given (sometimes I got a message saying that the project needed x amount of disk space but I had 0 Mb available when in fact I had more then 9 Gb available). I was getting a bit frustrated but decided to try and run the program as a daemon instead.

That on the other hand did work! Now I am happily doing my work and my computer is doing someone else's work for me ;-)

So if you try to run the boinc client from command line as a normal user then it wont work, you have to be logged in as user boinc or run the client as a daemon. At least that's how it works here in debian land.

Ohh yeh, I decided to go with Rosetta@home and

Friday, June 3, 2011

Something going on in the world of high energy particle physics

Two months ago there was an article put on arxiv about an experiment performed at Fermilab which showed some strange results. The experiment involved smashing protons and antiprotons together and see what happens. What happened was that they saw a signal that they didn't expect and which supposedly goes beyond standard models of particle physics. This is quite exciting since we are always trying to figure out new ways to learn about nature and the world around us.

I am no expert in particle physics but it seems that this blog post explains what is going on in good detail and hopefully in a manner that most people can understand.

The reason I bring this up now is because back then this signal was not taken really seriously, it was called a 3-sigma event which means basically that it didn't have statistical significance to it, it might just be a fluke. But recently this signal got a 5-sigma significance which is really exciting.

Too bad the Tevatron (which is the accelerator that performed this experiment) is supposed to be shut down soon.

I'm back

Well, all of a sudden got an urge to start blogging again, don't know why. I will try again now and hope to keep this a bit more updated then for the last three years or so.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

High temperature superconductors

This says it all.

It would be excellent to get easy to produce hight temperature superconductors. High speed railways for everyone!!! :-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Debian release

Like Rafael I am becoming a bit frustraded in the release of Debian Lenny. But not because of how long it takes (well, partly of course) but more because of my lack of ability to help :-)

I like to help out in Debian, I have used this system for a looong time now and like to give back some of my time to make it a good distribution. So far I have been focusing on scientific packages like Octave through the Debian Octave Group but I also subscribe to the Debian Scientific Computing Project and Debian Science mailing list allthough I am not an active participant there.

Unfortunately since I began working here in Iceland I havn't given myself time to help out in the Octave group and I was hoping to be able to do some good over the hollidays but due to the Lenny freeze then not much is going on in Debian except bug squeezing and I don't have enough programming experience to do that. So I guess I will have to focus on something else (or perhaps I will begin to make some packages of debian science, lintian clean, that is allways usefull).

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Extracting images from pdf

During my studies I sometimes had to hold a lecture on a certain topic that was presented in a few published papers. When holding such lectures then you really should show some graphs and figures from those papers (don't worry, this falls under fair use of the copyrighted material ... I believe ;) ). An incredibly convenient tool to extract images from pdf files is the pdfimages tool that comes with poppler. All you have to do is issue the command

pdfimages paper.pdf some-prefix

where some-prefix is a name chosen by you and will be added in front of all the image names the command produces. After this your current directory will have all the images in the paper and theyr names will be some-prefix-000.ppm (or .pbm or .jpg but to get .jpg you have to give it the -j option and it won't work for all the images probably, pdfimages -j paper.pdf some-prefix). Then you can import the images into your Impress presentation (I use Impress to make my presentations and then export them to pdf) or use convert to switch between image formats if you are using a presentation software that doesn't support those formats pdfimages produces.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Christian tolerance

This just hurts my eyes, I just can't stop wetting them out of frustration of the stupidity behind this, whats more if you express your feeling of intolerance towards this then you better prepare for something like P.Z. Myers got in his mailbox, which he shows a few snippets of here, for posting his oppinion of the episode here.

I really do not have anything to add to this, just wanted to point this out to people.

N.B. All the christians that I know are tolerant and intelligent people, but of course its like the saying is, "the empty barrel makes the loudest noise" (which is perhaps why no one hears me ;-) ).