Posted by & filed under Technology.

Here are my notes for installing scipy on a clean Ubuntu 14 image, e.g. on an AWS EC2 instance:

1. Create Ubuntu 14 instance on AWS
2. Login using ssh. Note that username on AWS will be ubuntu.
3. Setup Ubuntu packages by using the following script.

curl | bash

4. Create virtual env environment, e.g. py27:

source ~/.bashrc
mkvirtualenv py27
workon py27

5. Install python packages, e.g.
pip install ipython numpy scipy pandas matplotlib
pip install flask bokeh

6. SciPy is now available for use!
If you have the relevant XServer on your local machine (startx in Cygwin, or Quartz on MacOS) then you should be able to use:
ipython --matplotlib
and have the plots redirected to your local output.

However, I think the IPython notebook is generally a better solution…as described here:

After which you can run your ipython notebook server like this:
ipython notebook --profile=nbserver

Posted by & filed under WebTech.

If you’re new to blogging, I recommend Google Blogger! Even as a blog newbie, I set up a new blog and published a sample post in minutes with Google Blogger and all for free!

Your blog website produced by Blogger will generally perform well out of the box and as you’d expect the search engine optimisation (SEO) is good! There’s a range of template styles built into Blogger itself and there are many sources of templates/gadgets on the web, e.g. at bloggerplugins.
You can even use your own external CSS file hosted on Google drive!

A couple of things to keep in mind with Blogger that I became aware of:

  • you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to the content that you publish on Blogger
  • you can easily enable the Google Adsense gadget for advertising revenue, but adding other types of ads and affiliate offers is not so easy

However, this is a completely free service so if you are not a technical user, but just want to start blogging to get a feel for it then I thoroughly recommend Google Blogger.

The main competitors for Google Blogger are:

  • Tumblr – another free blogging platform, but with more of a social/community feel.
  • WordPress – if you want to do something more than blog, e.g. a website to advertise your business, then checkout my upcoming post on WordPress is not just a blog hosting platform, it is a full content management system!

If you change your mind, you can always export your blog and import it somewhere else, though you’ll need to redirect your old links to your new site so there are admittedly some complications with this.

However, just the act of putting your first blog posts together will help to crystallize your thoughts and help you focus on what you really want to write about – so try Blogger now!

Posted by & filed under WebTech.

Host your own external CSS file for Blogger quickly and for free using Google Drive!

Although you can add your own style to your Blogger blog by adding CSS snippets to your template, I wanted to use an external css file:

  • to improve site performance by not forcing readers to download the CSS with every page
  • to be able to share the CSS with other non-blog pages

Since you need to have a Google account to use Blogger in the first place, the logical place to store these seemed to be Google Drive!

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Posted by & filed under WebTech.

HTML and CSS: read on to learn about these fundamental building blocks of the web!

  • HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the language in which the structure and content of web pages are defined.
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is used on top of HTML to present this content in a more attractive way.

Now HTML and CSS have come a long way from the versions of the early 90′s – modern browsers supporting HTML 5 allow us to do some very slick interactive things and I’ll take you through some of these later. To start with, here are some free online references, tutorials and tools that I find useful and hope you will too!

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