Monthly Archives: October 2007

PLoS Computational Biology : ‘Getting started in’

I notice that PLoS Computational Biology is publishing a series of ‘Getting Started in‘ articles for bioinformatics/computational biology.

“The aim of each article in the “Getting Started in…” series is to introduce the essentials: define the area and what it is about, highlight the debates and issues of relevance, and provide directions to the most relevant books, articles, or Web sites to find out more. The series will not include review articles or detailed tutorials; these are available in the Education section of the Journal. Rather, each “Getting Started in…” article will aim to be a cache of “go to” information for someone for whom the field is completely new.”

The first one is a neat little excursion into tiling array analysis for platforms such as Nimblegen et al., it is relatively brief, but supported by excellent references which people new to the field will find extremely useful.


I’m starting to wonder if I’m going to keep the Scrabulous application in Facebook.  Whilst a couple of weeks ago this was running fine in Firefox under Feisty it is definitely no longer the case for me.  I would like to say it was fine under Windows and OS X where at least it has been playable, but tonight I can’t even get my games to view no matter what I’m using (whilst I’m carefully avoiding the unnecessarily contrived Long Way Down on the BBC).  I would upgrade to Gutsy except for the fact my replacement machine is currently en route from Dell, and I can’t be bothered to reconfigure things which are probably going to end up cannibalised on behalf of Microbase in a weeks time ;)  I just want it fixed though!  I’ve never been a big Scrabble player and being schooled by colleagues and friends in actually playing the game (rather than my naive approach of just getting rid of the letters) is rather enjoyable.  Maybe a couple of physical boards would be a good addition to the offices ;)

Blogroll addition

So I’ve added a new blog from Hugo Hiden to the blogroll links. Hugo is the technical director of the North Eastern Regional e-Science centre (, which is based in Newcastle University. We interact quite a bit whether it’s due to the CARMEN project or our Campus Grid or because of the fact we’re both sort of (but not quite) in the Computer Science department, but spend lots of our time there.

Hugo is one of the people (and there are many) who don’t subscribe to the philosophy that Open Source is necessarily best. Filling the shoes of the previous technical director (Savas Parastatidis, now at Microsoft) maybe this is unsurprising, but I think the blog will be extremely interesting if you’re wondering how things might be done in a parallel universe outside your OSS microcosm :)

The original ‘heads up’ on this exciting development came of course from Frank who is always there at the bleeding edge of anything ending in 2.0.

RIP tvlinks

RIP Another site gone, doing nothing that could be construed to be illegal – just a thorn in the side of the ‘recording industry’.

I suspect that the only time that this will really hit home is when the general population decides that TV’s are to be ditched for monitors – and the TV licence fee collapses as no-one has the hardware to ‘receive’ television pictures any longer… Wave goodbye to the BBC, and stop phoning ITV’s fixed competition lines, so we can all sit back and torrent American imports with impunity.



Excellent, so my new downstairs neighbour, the enigmatically named ‘Rolo’ was surprised to learn that I was 34 and thought I was ‘much younger’.  And today whilst wandering around South Gosforth station I was approached by a chap with a camera who asked me if I was a student at Newcastle.  After informing him that I was not, but was an employee of the aforementioned institution he asked if he could take photos of me (for what – the Union rag?) looking folorn by a ticket machine with a ticket and a handful of change to highlight the plight of students living in the area who are going to suffer when it moves out of its current fare zone and into a more expensive one.

So there you go, 34, and apparently still an archetypal ‘student type’.  I’m so happy!