Online home of Jeremy Scheff

Butgers University


I like to read old scientific papers. They give me a broader perspective on how things became as they are today. So when I came across this paper from 1977 in the reference list of a more recent paper, I knew I had to read it. Unfortunately, even with my university-provided access to most journals and most certainly to a journal like Nature, the evil overlords at Nature Publishing Group do not include papers as old as from 1977 in our site license. So I had to send a request to the library and wait a few days for someone to scan in a copy of the paper and email it to me, a relatively minor inconvenience.

In the mean time, I read the abstract, all that was available at the time. I noticed the affiliation of one of the authors: Rutgers, my undergraduate alma mater and current graduate school! Awesome, I’m all for school spirit! Except, the affiliation didn’t actually say “Rutgers”, it said “Butgers”. A humorous typo… or something more sinister?

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Some notes on porting from PyGTK to PyGObject


These are some notes I wrote as porting my on-again off-again hobby project Basketball GM from PyGTK to PyGObject. I did this because PyGTK is dead and stuck on GTK+ 2, and PyGObject is the future and already on GTK+ 3 through the use of GObject introspection. So, others going through the same transition might (or might not) find this useful. You can see the code I’m referring to on the pygobject branch on GitHub.

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A preliminary review of Cinnamon 1.2


I think Ubuntu is a practical joke. After several years of progress, they were finally very very close to the mythical usable Linux desktop. And then they just started fucking with things seemingly at random. At the same time, the GNOME folks started making similarly erratic design decisions.

In response, the Linux Mint folks are making a new UI for GNOME 3 called Cinnamon with the goal of creating a more traditional desktop. They recently released version 1.2. I’ve been using it for a bit now, and some thoughts are below.

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The genius of Hieronymus Bosch

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No, not the painter. The death metal band. You know, the perpetually unappreciated band that toiled away in hidden genius for two decades before they tragically broke up a couple years ago? Yeah, those guys.

Not that a split up band really needs more publicity, and not that my blog has a large number of readers, but I’m going to write a bit about one of my favorite underappreciated bands.

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My previous life as a programmer/entrepreneur – Part 6: The shadier the SEO, the bigger the profit


This is part 6 of a series of articles. If you missed the previous articles, you should start at the beginning.

At this point, I had a pure gold SEO tactic. I used this to make some quick cash and promote various side projects that I eventually sold off. That was all well and good, but I thought it was time to try a slightly more bold moneymaking approach.

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My previous life as a programmer/entrepreneur – Part 5: Getting fucked over, but still making a profit


This is part 5 of a series of articles. If you missed the previous articles, you should start at the beginning.

Previously, I discussed my website iTopsites (a remotely hosted version of my Aardvark Topsites PHP software). The software running iTopsites was quite unique at the time (and possibly still is today), so naturally there were people who wanted to license my software to make clones of iTopsites. My most notable customer was TopSiteLists.com.

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My previous life as a programmer/entrepreneur – Part 4: Avatic


This is part 4 of a series of articles. If you missed the previous articles, you should start at the beginning.

In the last article, I wrote about how I got into search engine optimization (SEO) and then had my first success ($$$) followed by my first failure (getting banned from Google). Subsequently, after recovering from that failure (getting back in Google’s good graces), I began a more cautious SEO strategy. Instead of promoting random spammy websites, I created my own legitimate websites and used SEO to gain footholds in different markets. Imagining myself running an empire of websites, I decided to call my entire web development business Avatic.

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Model predictive control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis

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Very recently, I’ve been intrigued by control theory applied to systems biology. This strategy seems to often produce insightful and unintuitive results. In this blog post, I’m going to take a look at a very cool article by Ben-Zvi and coworkers that applies control theory to a mathematical model of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and hopefully put it in a bit of a broader context.

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QR codes in academic poster presentations: A case study at ICCAI 2011

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I’ve found that most people don’t know what a QR code is, so let me explain. A QR code is a 2d barcode that contains some content (typically a URL) and is intended to be scanned by a smartphone camera. You often see them in ads, linking to a product’s website or something. I recently (very recently… I wrote most of this while I was delayed at the airport on my trip home) presented a poster at ICCAI 2011, and I tried to use all this fancy smartphone scanning technology to enhance my poster.

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Jekyll and other static site generators are, currently, harmful to the free, open source software movement


My blog is powered by WordPress. WordPress remains at its core a monstrous amalgamation of PHP spaghetti code. Thus, despite the fact that WordPress is free (beer+speech), easy to use, well supported, well documented, and all that jazz… it still pains my hacker sensibilities to use it. For similar reasons, a lot of hacker types are moving away from WordPress and similar blog software to static site generators like jekyll.

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