Intro to R by Google on YouTube

August 16, 2013

This is truly interesting for those who want to learn a bit about R.


July 11, 2013

I’m now using this product to some significant writing projects. SO much better than Word for this sort of thing.

Check it out:

Google Reader is Dead. Long Live Google Reader

June 16, 2013

I was horrified to a few months ago that Google Reader was to be killed by Google on 1 July. Horrified. Google Reader was in the centre of my reading world, for many years.

After some looking around I found Feedly ( and I’ve never looked back. It’s terrific. Today they told me via a message that all my feeds from Google are now in Feedly and I’m no longer dependant on Google Reader.

I like Feedly better than Google Reader. Good move.

Been a While

May 27, 2013

It’s been a while since I posted. In recent months I’ve found myself in a consulting gig which at times seems more than full time and in fact it does cause me to be away from home for the majority of the work week; however, I’m blessed with the opportunity to do some of the work from my Global HQ at home.

I am feeling the creative urge to re-start working on this blog by posting more on topics that interest me. Now that I have a new Logitech wireless keyboard for my iPad, it just might happen.

Writing with Scrivener on Mac and iPad

September 3, 2012

I am using and impressed with Scrivener as a tool to help me with my writing. While I’ve been using Word since Word 3.0 in the days of DOS, Scrivener has pretty much replaced Word except for when I have to use it when collaborating with colleagues where they are using Word. At some point I’ll write more about makes Scrivener so useful to me. Recommended. Only US$45.

Something which has eluded me, until now–which also hindered my writing projects using Word–was how to make it easier to write on both the Mac and the iPad and let the machines handle the synchronisation. Further, I wanted to write in the iPad without losing any formatting in the text. Everything that I read was about using SimpleNote, Elements, or other text editors. I wanted RTF capability and I wanted it to work well with DropBox.

I’ve cracked it.

  • Dropbox is the tool to move the files. It’s an elegant and simple tool.
  • Set Scrivener to sync (Menu: File/Sync/With External Folder …) with a folder in the Dropbox folder tree. I use ~/Dropbox/Apps/Scrivener/Sync/ but you can also use a symbolic link pointing to some other location.
  • on the iPad, use the app “Notability” which has RTF capability. Unusually for iPad apps, it also can navigate the Dropbox folder structure on the iPad. Import the RTF files in the Scrivener folder file into Notability app and do you work with it. You can create new RTF files in Notability and export them back to the Scrivener sync folder in Dropbox.
  • In Scrivener, open the writing project and the first thing to do is sync with the Dropbox Folder (Menu: File/Sync/With External Folder Now)

Someday there will be an iPad version of Scrivener. With the above, I’m not sure I really need or want Scrivener on the iPad but if there I’m sure the syncing will be even more automated. But until that day comes I have what I need.

Is this great or Terrible Writing?

July 29, 2012

So begins the New York Times cover story on 27 July on the opening ceremonies in London

With its hilariously quirky Olympic opening ceremony, a wild jumble of the celebratory and the fanciful; the conventional and the eccentric; and the frankly off-the-wall, Britain presented itself to the world Friday night as something it has often struggled to express even to itself: a nation secure in its own post-empire identity, whatever that actually is.

I cannot decide if this is great or terrible writing.

Required Reading on “Attitude to Folks who want to remake the Global Economy”

June 22, 2012

I urge you to read “Response to Paul Bain” at

This article was catalysed by Bain’s paper in Nature about “climate change deniers” which has caused disquiet in many quarters.

The article is comprehensive and easy to read and comprehend. Outstanding writing quality.

I like how he sums up:

So, in summary: Social POV, meet Engineering Mindset and Reality Constraints. Want to convince me? Then show an Engineering solution that makes business sense. Until then, the Fluffy Bunnies live in the back yard