Code and text editors on MacOS X

by Tom June 21, 2010

One of the things we spend the most time doing as astronomers is writing text and/or code, whether to develop a pipeline to reduce/plot data, write papers/proposals, or write simulation codes. Choosing a good text editor is just as important as having a good chair to sit on, and can have a big impact on […]


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MarcoPolo – Context-aware computing for Mac

by Tom January 11, 2010

MarcoPolo is a very cool (free) application for MacOS X that uses information about the current state of your computer, or evidence, to automatically perform actions. For example, one can use MarcoPolo to automatically change the Network Location if an ethernet cable is plugged in or a specific Wi-Fi network is present (useful if you […]


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Snow Leopard and Cisco VPNs

by Tom November 30, 2009

One of the subtle but very useful additions to MacOS 10.6 (a.k.a. Snow Leopard) is the built-in ability to connect to Cisco Virtual Private Networks (VPN), which many organizations have adopted. In MacOS 10.5 and earlier, one had to download the Cisco VPN client, which doesn’t quite fit in to the ‘sleek mac app’ category […]


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Read IDL ‘save’ files into Python

by Tom November 24, 2009

One of the most popular posts on this blog is Kelle’s reposting of Greenfield and Jedrzejewski’s IDL vs Python earlier this year. I am an avid Python user and have never installed IDL on my computer. Recently, I developed IDLSave, a package to read IDL ‘save’ files into Python, after being sent a few such […]


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Joining the AstroBetter team

by Tom November 23, 2009

I’m very happy to be joining the AstroBetter contributor team! I have been a postdoctoral fellow at the CfA for a little over a year, and I work on studying Galactic star formation, mostly through mid-infrared to mm wavelengths. I work both on modeling multi-wavelength observations of young stars, and on studying the global properties […]


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