2010 July

Craig Venter: ‘We Have Learned Nothing from the Genome’

The german magazine “Der Spiegel” has an interesting Interview with Craig Venter.

Money quote:

SPIEGEL: So the Human Genome Project has had very little medical benefits so far?

Venter: Close to zero to put it precisely.

By mnott on 2010/07/30 | Politics | A comment?

A Case for an SSD

I’ve just had another occasion to compare directly two pretty similar machines: A recent off-the-shelf MacBook Pro (I5, 4 GB RAM, 500 GB SATA) with my normal working MacBook Pro (I7, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB SSD). Falling back to the slower machine, and not using all the RAM and no processing intensive applications, I can only suggest that should you want to really speed up your machine, go for an SSD. It is not just about starting programs faster. The whole machine behaves completely differently. It just feels as if there were years of difference in the performance of both machines.

Bottom line: ceteris paribus, go for an SSD.

By mnott on 2010/07/22 | Computer | A comment?

New OCR Wrapper published on Sourceforge

I’ve shared a small project I’ve recently written on sourceforge: pdfocrwrapper.sourceforge.net This tool serves as a wrapper around the excellent ABBYY OCR engine which also exists as a Linux variant. The wrapper recursively iterates a directory structure and submits all PDF that it finds (and that it has not yet worked on) to ABBYY. The wrapper is of course flexible enough to work with other engines.

With this wrapper, you can keep scanning all your documents into PDFs. The wrapper will run, asynchronously, over those PDFs and apply the OCR engine to them. As a result, you’ll be able to index and search the content of these files.

By mnott on 2010/07/01 | Code, Research | A comment?