Which meta data should be included in ArXiv postings?

by saurav October 8, 2012

Browsing the most recent postings on ArXiv, the most common information included in the “Comments” field includes the number of pages, number of figures and tables, and the status (submitted/accepted) of the paper. Many people do not include the any of the meta data. K.M. wrote to AstroBetter wondering what could be done to encourage people [...]


Read more →

Is emulateapj worth the trouble?

by saurav September 19, 2012

Do you use the emulateapj style file when submitting to astro-ph or circulating drafts to your co-authors? Or do you find it to be a nuisance? I have been informally asking this question at conferences (and otherwise) for a few months now and have encountered a mixed response.  A plurality seems to prefer papers in [...]


Read more →

OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: What Has Changed?

by saurav August 13, 2012

We are almost three weeks into the era of Mountain Lion, so it is a good time to talk about the new cat and what changes it has brought about for us. Which of the 200+ features that Apple talked about are actually useful? What has been made easier? Or which software no longer works? [...]


Read more →

iObserve: An Observer’s Perspective

by saurav May 23, 2012

It is time to look at iObserve again; since Cédric told us about it in September, I have used the App for three separate observing runs. So here is what I found out about iObserve as an end-user. In a few words, iObserve is a must-have for any observational astronomer. I would even recommend it for people who have [...]


Read more →

ArXivSorter: A Sorting Algorithm for Astro-ph

by saurav April 18, 2012

Overwhelmed by the large number of papers on astro-ph? Only have time to look at the relevant papers?  Or back from an internet-free vacation (what is that?) and want to find out what you missed?  Try ArXivSorter, which uses a friends-of-friends algorithm to sort the papers on astro-ph for you. Using an initial list of [...]


Read more →

What postscript-viewers are available for iPad? [Ask AstroBetter]

by saurav November 9, 2011

Cameron M. recently got an iPad and is frustrated by the lack of a postscript (PS) viewer: I recently got an iPad that I’m trying to use for research (e.g., paper reading / annotations, outlining, etc).  It looks like it can be useful, but a major annoyance is no PS viewer.  I’ve even jailbroken my iPad. If anyone [...]


Read more →

Custom Search Engine for ADS BibTeX

by saurav June 7, 2011

We have previously talked about how to use Quicksilver to do custom ADS searches on Macs, and the Alfred version is pretty slick as well. However, such custom searches can also be done from straight from the web browser, independent of the OS you are using. Benoit Thiell, a developer at ADS, has sent along [...]

{ 1 comment }

Read more →

LaTeX/BibTeX Tools Worth Knowing

by saurav May 23, 2011

A couple weeks ago, I was looking around the web for a script that would create a small bib file for just the references cited in a certain TeX manuscript. It took me a while to find the right one (aux2bib), which prompted me to write this post on LaTeX/BibTeX tools that are available but not [...]


Read more →

Privacy Issues with the iPhone/iPad and DropBox

by saurav April 20, 2011

There have been two recent developments exposing how false our sense of privacy is in this technological world. As all of us use the iPhone/iPad and/or the DropBox fairly regularly, this merits some discussion. 1) iPhone/iPad: Alasdair Allan & Pete Warden found that their iPhone has been tracking their location and the associated timestamp ever since [...]


Read more →

What Vector Drawing Packages Are Available? [Ask AstroBetter]

by saurav March 28, 2011

Matthew K. sent in a question for our Ask AstroBetter series: What vector graphics drawing package do you use for your figures? I’ve been using xfig for all my “hand drawn” plots, but I wonder if anyone has successfully moved on to more recent drawing packages … [a package] to draw simple figures like optical [...]


Read more →