Monday, July 30, 2007

Be kind to nerds: Make your bibtex entry available

A break from babies and children's books for a small nerd plea. When you all become rich and famous (well, at least famous) by publishing a technical book that will be cited by untold millions of computer scientists take a moment before the fame goes to your head and perform this small act of kindness. On your website, or your books website, put the BibTeX entry for your book in an easily spotted location. This will only save every computer scientist two minutes of work and a few choice swear words, but will result in hundreds of scientist hours from being wasted doing what has been done at least a thousand times before.

For my less than nerdy readers, BibTeX is a program for generating bibliographies for publications written using the LaTeX typesetting system. LaTeX is the method of choice for producing technical documents in computer science and several other fields.

This afternoon I'm working on my proposal and wanted to cite two of the most fundamental texts in computer science. After Googling and swearing for a couple of minutes I found an entry for Knuth on a BibTeX tutorial, and nothing for the second text. So I've made the entries myself instead of cutting and pasting as I had hoped. And now, after wasting much more time blogging than I wasted generating the entries, I present for the hordes of hurried computer scientists the BibTeX entries for Knuth volume 1 and Cormen, Leiserson, Rivest, and Stein.

author = {Donald E. Knuth},
title = {Fundamental Algorithms},
volume = {1},
series = {The Art of Computer Programming},
publisher = {Addison-Wesley},
edition = {3rd},
address = {Reading, Massachusetts},
year = {1997}

author = "T.~H. Cormen and C.~E. Leiserson and R.~L. Rivest and C.~Stein",
edition = "2nd",
publisher = "MIT Press and McGraw-Hill Book Company",
title = "Introduction to Algorithms",
year = "2001"

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Who Needs a Patronus?

I don't think I could have had a better reading companion for the final Harry Potter book. Princess Ana read the previous book with me, but she liked to be on the move. I wandered through the house with the book in one hand and her in the other. Certainly not the most comfortable way to read.

Bubba Gene was content to lay on the boppy, prepared to protect me should a Death Eater or Lord Voldemort himself leap from the pages. I'm certainly glad there isn't another Potter book in the works. I'm afraid I'd have to have another kid to be able to sit down and read it.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

The Tiring Work of Being a Baby

I know... that "moment" I promised was four days long. I'll work on it.

Gene has enjoyed the swing much more than Princess Ana did. He spent the better part of the weekend in it soaking up the sunlight to help knock out a little bit of jaundice, and loved every minute of it.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

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1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Hooray! It's a week of new arrivals at the house. I had jokingly told my mother that if her grandson was born on Saturday I was naming him Harry Potter Smith. Mother was not amused, but the baby came early and a family crisis was avoided.

More on the baby momentarily.

When I'll actually have time to read the new Rowling tome I don't know. I read the last book while holding Princess Ana in my arms. The problem now is that Princess Ana still wants the world revolving around her regardless of who's holding her brother.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Rain Needs to Stop

Behind my building on campus there are eight large concrete planters. Half of them have smallish trees that usually struggle to survive through the heat and inundation of cigarette butts -- smokers in the building are too eager to toss them and will put them in the planters instead of the ash tray near the door.

This summer the trees are all very green and don't seem to mind the trash in their bed. I just went out for a break and saw a new addition to about half of the planters.

Cooler temperatures, abundant moisture, and a certain amount of rot have led to a nice growth of mushrooms. If I were adventurous, a druggie, or had a death wish I might try to do something with them. Since I don't meet any of the previous criteria (boring, I know) I'll just keep waiting for the rain to stop.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Rednecks love quality too

CNN is reporting that Larry the Cable Guy has a beer named after him now. The quote from the microbrewery owner about the ingredients used in the beer is great.

Let's drink-r-up!