Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sylpheed Configuration

Just in case this is useful to anyone from Oxford or elsewhere using Sylpheed for emails and having trouble configuring it - I found that I had to choose the "LOGIN" method for authenticating IMAP and SMTP, as "Automatic" wasn't working for me.

Sylpheed is looking like a nice, snappy email program so far, and it runs fast and light on computing resources.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Physics Pieces

Quite a few remarkable talks recently that I thought I'd write briefly about, especially the last one.

Jim Peebles gave a lecture last week about "finding" the big bang (cosmic microwave background and that kind of thing). An interesting account of the historical developments. As physics improves by successive approximations, it always leaves something unknown for the next generation to find out.

Rodney Baxter gave a talk on his work on hard hexagons, and had lessons about publishing conjectures even if you don't fully understand them, so others can work on them too.

Slava Rychkov gave a talk about ideas that might be pretty exciting for future work. Essentially, they use conformal field theory techniques ("conformal bootstrap") with some success in greater than two space dimensions (e.g. on the 3D Ising model), complementing the use of renormalisation group techniques.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lubuntu 12.04

Did a reinstall of Lubuntu on my laptop as something went wrong during the upgrade to 12.04 (codenamed Precise Pangolin). Just as well, since I have /home on a separate partition so didn't lose any of my data, just the tons of programs that I haven't used for ages. I'm sticking with Lubuntu because Ubuntu (at least version 11.10 of it) was too resource-hungry for my machine.

Instead of the GNOME Do launcher, I now use Kupfer. Very snappy.

Followed these instructions to install Dropbox. Had to install gcc to get it working. Then followed the instructions here to get Dropbox running automatically each time.