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technology, stats and IT for medics


How to encrypt ZIP files securely using 7Zip

October 18th, 2008 by James · 29 Comments

Windows has had built in zip file support with encryption since Windows XP, unfortunately the quality of this encryption is poor as evidenced by the number of commercial programmes available to crack it. Winzip, WinRAR are trialware commercial programs that offer secure AES encryption to your compressed files but cost between 23 and 30 Euros per user. 7-Zip is an open-source, free utility that offers AES-256bit encryption. In this how-to I will show you how to install and produce 256-bit encryption of your compressed files. [Read more →]

→ 29 CommentsTags: Free · Open Source · Software

Filling in PDF Forms with Foxit PDF Reader

August 16th, 2008 by James · 5 Comments

Foxit PDF Reader is a free closed source alternative to Adobe’s PDF reader. On older machines it feels snappier than using Adobe’s bloated product. In this short how-to I will show you how to fill in forms using Foxit Reader with the 39 US$ Pro-Pack. [Read more →]

→ 5 CommentsTags: Software

Custom LaTeX bibliography style files: Part 2/4

March 22nd, 2008 by Mark · 8 Comments

In this article, I will show the steps involved in creating a bibliography style file for the Journal Brain and include the relevant BST file for LaTeX, a powerful typesetting system available for all common platforms, including Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
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→ 8 CommentsTags: LaTeX

How to make a UK map for TrekBuddy

February 2nd, 2008 by James · 22 Comments

Sometimes you wish to use your GPS and data enabled mobile phone to navigate but either you do not have a data signal, or the map you require is not available through Google or BlackBerry maps. This short article will talk you through how to create a map to be used with TrekBuddy on your mobile, PDA or BlackBerry.

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→ 22 CommentsTags: BlackBerry · Free · Software

How to install offline Maps on your BlackBerry using TrekBuddy 0.973

February 2nd, 2008 by James · 90 Comments

BlackBerry smartphones are handy for GPS navigation helped by the excellent BlackBerry and Google Maps applications. When you are out of range of a data signal both these applications are unable to continue to provide a map. With TrekBuddy you can use offline maps, from Google and elsewhere, record route speed and waypoints, or use your phone as a direction finder. TrekBuddy is a great, freeware application developed by Kruch a Czech developer and is suitable for J2ME devices including a BlackBerry with OS 4.1 or greater.

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→ 90 CommentsTags: BlackBerry · Free · Software

Pitfalls when buying a BlackBerry from Ebay

January 28th, 2008 by James · 20 Comments

BlackBerry produce a range of popular mobile phones that have a instant email function. Purchasing a new or used BlackBerry from a seller using Ebay may seem a low cost way of owning a BlackBerry smartphone. In this short article I will highlight some of the pitfalls in doing so, and how to avoid them…

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→ 20 CommentsTags: BlackBerry

Custom LaTeX bibliography style files: Part 1/4

October 13th, 2007 by Mark · 10 Comments

As part of an ongoing series of articles on BibTeX, I will present examples of using BibTeX to generate and format custom bibliography style files to suit a wide range of biomedical journals. [Read more →]

→ 10 CommentsTags: LaTeX · Research

How to get free phone calls from MSN Messenger to a BT Home Hub phone.

May 24th, 2007 by James · 8 Comments

The BT Home Hub enables consumers to get free or low-cost VOIP phone calls out from their DECT/regular phones in their home to UK 01/02 numbers. The BT softphone application when installed allows you to make these calls from a PC anywhere on the Internet. Using this guide I will show you how to make free* phone calls from MSN messenger back to your HomeHub handset when you are away from home, perfect when you are on business and want to call family. [Read more →]

→ 8 CommentsTags: Free

TortoiseSVN and svn+ssh problems

May 15th, 2007 by Mark · 3 Comments

I’ve had problems with TortoiseSVN connecting to a subversion repository on Mac OS X where the connection would just hang when trying to browse or checkout a repository, or would fail with the error “Unable to write to standard output (stderr)”. I show you how to diagnose the problem, and solve it (in my case). [Read more →]

→ 3 CommentsTags: Free · Software

Producing Spaghetti Plots using R

April 6th, 2007 by James · 11 Comments

If you wish to analyse longitudinal data sometimes it is helpful to plot each experimental subject’s data at each timepoint to get a feel for the patterns or trends. You can often learn more from this raw data than a boxplot or line graph of the means. I am a habitual SPSS user but have found myself limited with it’s capabilities. In this short article, aimed at SPSS users who are new to R, I will show you how to produce a ‘Spaghetti Plot’ using R. [Read more →]

→ 11 CommentsTags: Graphics · Medical · Open Source · R statistical computing · Software