Public Rant – STOP Creating PDF Documents With Empty Metadata Fields

Creating PDF documents with empty metadata fields is bad form… if you are one one of those perpetuating this vile practice, PLEASE STOP IT!. First off, there is a very good reason why those PDF document metadata fields are there—for the most part, it helps search engines like ‘The Google’ to appropriately index and structure your document [1, 2]; in addition though, that meta information provides potential users of your documents the chance to quickly get a sense of what the document is about. (more…)

LaTeX Font-consistent EPS R Plots Using tikzexternalize

We are about to submit a final camera-ready version of a manuscript and they sent us this email the other day reminding us, among other things, to “adhere to the prescribed [ACM] format as set out in paragraph 2.3.10 [1]“… In a nutshell, they want all figures in EPS format. Now I am very particular about font-consistency when integrating plots within TeX documents, and so I spent most of last night trying to figure this out. I eventually decided to leverage a somewhat widely used technique–‘tikzexternalize’. I found this [2] thread on StackExchange really helpful. (more…)

Quantifying My Phone Usage – Android Applications Usage Statistics

I came across an interesting article [1] not too long ago… they did this study where they found–in a survey of 2,000 people–that most under 25s check their mobile devices an average of 32 times a day. Now I am NO under 25, but I’ve been obsessing a lot about how often I do this myself. So I have been playing around with Android’s dumpsys, and with these daily statistics, I kind of have an idea of how frequently I use my device. (more…)

LaTeX Font-consistent Diagrams Using Dia

Ensuring that manuscripts I produce using LaTeX have a consistent font throughout the document has been a long-held obsession of mine. The majority of documents I produce typically contain block diagrams which I almost always generate using third-party tools. One of the problems, however, with integrating LaTeX documents with input files (typically JPG, PNG, EPS et al.) from these external tools is that of ending up with a final output that has inconsistent fonts. (more…)

Another Productivity Drought – Fixing Productivity Leaks

The last four weeks probably constitute the most UNPRODUCTIVE period this year thus far. It is in fact safe, at this point, to proclaim that the period makes up the longest productivity drought I have experienced in the last few years. I am not quite sure what triggered this, however, I somewhat have a sense of WHEN the problem started and most importantly, I spent the last few days thinking about potential solutions. (more…)