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Here are some links and resources I have found useful for doing science.

Get a Mac. Stop complaining about how much they cost. Or how Steve Jobs (RIP) has you by the nadgers once you get an apple product. They are awesome products: incredibly well built, marketed and thought through. If you like Unix/Linux, you'll love Mac. It's not up for debate.

LaTeX Stuff: Install info for Mac and Windows. Here is a very useful LaTeX tutorial and syntax file. JHEP, ReVTeX4 and IoP styles. Stop whinging about how "hard" LaTeX is to use. It's better than Word. Real men use Beamer to write presentations. I use Keynote because it makes things look pretty.

Visualisation tools
Here is a list of some useful (free) software for visualising data. Most download links are for Mac.

  • Jaxodraw to make schematics.
  • GnuPlot is great plotting software - useful for 1D and 2D plotting (using pm3d map).
  • Paraview is a very useful tool for 3D visualisation. It needs a header file which your code can construct.
  • OpenDX is another popular 3D visualisation tool, but isnt as user friendly as Paraview.
  • Time lapse assembler is a useful tool for stitching sequentially named image files into movies.

Mathematica is a very useful computer package. I've used it a lot for computing the components of tensors in GR and other gravity theories. For example, this computes the components of the perturbed Einstein tensor in a general gauge. It works by writing the total metric as the sum of a background (conformally flat FRW) and a inhomogeneous anisotropic metric which is multiplied by a small parameter. Everything is expanded to linear order in the small parameter (by using the Series command). It takes about 10 seconds to run.

How to give a talk that dosnt suck: Slides from David Tong at Cambridge: slides

CosmoCoffee

Cadabra is a great tensor algebra package, using LaTeX syntax for input. Bit of a pain in the butt to install, but well worth it.

People's sites: Rick Newton, Dave Brett, Kurt Hinterbichler. (want a link here? email me: jon@jpoffline.com)

Preprints: SPIRES, arXiv, hep-th and astro-ph.CO. Mendeley is useful for keeping an ordered library of papers (also has free "cloud" storage).

BiBTeX from SPIRES: This is a useful script to grab the BiBTeX entry from SPIRES after specifying the arXiv reference.

More nerdy computer stuff: gedit is a good text editor (download for mac). Chicken of the VNC is a good VNC client for mac. Fink is a good distributer thingy for mac. Use it to install, e.g., meld to compare versions of a document. FileZilla is a good FTP clience for mac. Can you tell I like mac? Do you have a mac yet? Why not?

Lecture notes/papers/reviews:

Crocs  Pit