Plot Window Freezes in Octave

Yesterday, I installed Octave 3.2.4 configured for i686-pc-mingw32 with all the packages checked for installation. But it seems that it was a very bad thing to do. When I tried to execute a plot(x,y) command in Octave the plot window froze with “Not Responding” in its Title bar. It tried to close and try several time but nothing changed.

Then I found that there is a known issue with the “oct2mat octave-forge package”, which seems to affect plot related commands. The purpose of the package is to convert m-file into matlab-compatible coding style.

So the best solution would be to not install the oct2mat package when you install octave with octave-forge packages,if you do not use this package. But if it is already installed then execute:

octave-3.2.4.exe:1>pkg rebuild -noauto oct2mat

and then restart Octave. It will work just fine. Worked for me. :)

The Placebo Effect

Recently, I read a blog titled “The Placebo Defect“. I found it quite inspiring. If you don’t know what a Placebo Effect is. Let me provide you with that first.

We often hear about different Medical trials going on where a new drug or medical procedure is tested. In order to better analyze the effects the subjects are generally divided into two groups. One of the groups is provided with the actual drug and the other with neutral one. This neutral substance is called the Placebo. And any effect that seems to be a consequence of administering a placebo; which is usually beneficial and is assumed result from the person’s faith in the treatment or preconceptions about what the experimental drug was supposed to do is known as the Placebo Effect.

Now, getting back to the blog, the line that impressed me most was

“To determine whether there is a placebo effect you would need compare the outcomes of patients who received placebo with the outcomes of patients who received no treatment”

Rather than looking this from the medical study perspective, I realized that it had implications in all kinds of study. This clearly shows how we tend to overlook many key aspects while conducting our study. We are so focused on what we want to show, i.e. the hypothesis, that we are not able to analyze our data from a different perspective.  What we compare our data against has a great impact on our inference. So it would not be a bad idea to invest more time finding the right pair for comparison.

Yes, it is not possible to find and explore the data from all the angles possible. But this article made me realize that it is worth exploring at least a few others.

 

Why start R programming?

Even after having completed my studies in Information Management and having a great interest for Data Analytics, I was not aware about the “R Programming Language”  just a few months back. Thankfully, I was following http://www.kdnuggets.com” where I came across a Poll -“Top Languages for Data Mining/Analytics”.(For complete list visit : http://www.kdnuggets.com/2011/08/poll-languages-for-data-mining-analytics.html)

Initially, I thought SQL should be at the top as this is what I have been using. But I was very surprised when I saw that 45% of the votes were in favor of R. I had never heard of it before. Now I just had to see what this language was all about.

Some of the features that has been attracting large number of user are:

  • R is free and Open Source (Proprietary extensions are also available )
  • Huge following – Over two million users are taking advantage of R.
  • Large number of packages available.
  • Applications of R include linear and nonlinear modeling, time series analysis, classifications, clustering, etc.
  • It can be run on  UNIX, MacOS, and Windows.
  • Its ability to produce top quality graphical representations is probably one of its main attraction.

Whatever may be the reasons. I strongly recommend R to anyone who is interested in Data Analytics, Statistics.

For knowing more about R please visit : http://cran.r-project.org/.

Enable the Toolbar in Tinn-R : Unable to send execute commands from Tinn-R

When I installed Tinn-R for the first time, I was not able to run the commands from the Tinn-R. The menu was grayed out and there was no way I could execute commands from the open R files.
Grayed out Toolbar

 But then I  realized that 3 of the menu buttons on the right were not grayed out. I clicked in one of them and Voila. It worked.
The first button opens the RGUI stacked below the Tinn-R.Now one can send the commands from Tinn-R to RGUI.

RGui alongside Tinn-R
The second button enables a IO terminal window called RTerm within the Tinn-R. This shows the commands that are executed and their output. You  can find that to the right in the snapshot below.
RTerm wihin Tinn-R

Unable To Start Windows After Installing Earlier Versions of Win OS as Dual Boot

If you have tried to install any earlier versions of Win OS in Windows 7 or Windows Vista you should have come across this problem. Your Windows 7 wont boot and you dont receive any menu to select the OS you want to boot from as you should have expected.

What you can do is:
From Windows 7, create a separate partition for Server 2003 or XP & run setup. Once that is done, you need to repair Windows 7 bootloader so that you can boot into either of the two OSes.

For detailed information you can visit the following link:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/919529

Problem during Installation of Forefront Client Security in Windows Server 2008

This is the problem that I came across during installation of Forefront Client Security. Even though the prerequisite check completes without any error, the installation generally pops up error and the installation is cancelled.

Why is it that leads to such a problem when every thing seemed to be fine?

The problem lies in the fact that the installation required Dot Net Framework 1.1 which is not present in Win Server 2008. May people seem to ignore Dot Net 1.1 saying that 3.5 is already installed but many components of Forefront like the MOM still requires 1.1 for its functionality.

During prerequisite check it does not throughly check for this particular requirement but later when this is needed installation fails.

Another thing that you need to remember is that you should not forget to register Dot Net 1.1 in IIS. To do this simply Run the following command :

%SystemRoot%\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322\aspnet_regiis.exe -i -enable