Rapidly accessing cheatsheets to learn data science with Emacs

Matt Dancho’s course DSB-101-R is an awesome course to step into ROI driven business analytics fueled by Data Science. In this course, among many other things - he teaches methods to understand and use cheatsheets to gain rapid level-ups, especially to find information connecting various packages and functions and workflows. I have been hooked to this approach and needed a way to quickly refer to the different cheatsheets as needed.

Incremental improvements can lead to significant gains

While reading the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, I was reflecting that my choice of embracing Emacs and progressively gaining mastery over it was intimately connected with the philosophy preached in the book. My efforts initially started out with a craving for a system to quantify and manage my tasks, habits, notes, blog writing, job applications and projects in a custom environment, and to be able to build toolkits of code to perform repetitive tasks.

Nteract : An interactive computing environment

A slide deck from Netflix, mentions using Nteract as their programming notebook, and prompted a mini exploration. This blog post by Safia Abdalla, (a maintainer/ developer of Nteract) introduces Nteract as an open source, desktop-based, interactive computing application that was designed to overcome a bunch of limitations in Jupyter Notebook’s design philosophy. One key difference (among many others) is the ability to execute code in a variety of languages within a single notebook, and it also appears that that the electron based desktop app should make it easier for beginners to start coding.

Juggling multiple projects and leveraging org-projectile

Scimax has a convenient feature of immediately creating projects (M-x nb-new). The location of the project directory is defined by the setting (setq nb-notebook-directory "~/my_projects/"), which has to be set in your Emacs config. Once the name of the project is chosen, a Readme.org buffer is immediately opened and one can start right away. It is an awesome, friction-free method to get started with a project. These projects are automatically initialised as git repositories, to which it is trivial to add a new remote using Magit.

Jupyter notebooks to Org source + Tower of Babel

This post provides a simple example demonstrating how a shell script can be called with appropriate variables from any Org file in Emacs. The script essentially converts a Jupyter notebook to Org source, and Babel is leveraged to call the script with appropriate variables from any Org file. This reddit thread and blog post elucidate the advantages of using Babel and Org mode over Jupyter notebooks. Directly editing code in a Jupyter notebook in a browser is not an attractive long term option and is inconvenient even in the short term.

Iosevka - an awesome font for Emacs

Before my foray into Emacs, I purchased applications like IAWriter (classic)1, Marked2, Texts (cross platform Mac/Windows), and have also tried almost all the recommended apps for longer form writing. I am a fan of zen writing apps. In particular the font and environment provided by IAWriter are conducive to focused writing. There also exist apps like Hemingway that also help check the quality of your writing. Zen writing apps are called so because they have a unique combination of fonts, background color, including line spacing and overall text-width - all of which enable a streamlined and focused flow of words onto the screen.

Literate Programming - Emacs, Howard Abrams and Library of Babel

I’m an admirer of Howard Abrams, especially because his posts and videos show the awesome power of doing things in Emacs, and the importance of writing clean and logical code. Watching his videos and reading his posts make me feel like I was born yesterday and I am just getting started. But more importantly, they also fire up my imagination regarding the possibilities out there and the potential to create glorious workflows.

Emacs notes: Select paragraph and browse-kill-ring for effective content capture

I like to have any reading material and my notes side by side1. This is easily done with Emacs by splitting the buffer vertically (C-x 3)2 For example: Once a link has been opened via w3m, I hit org-capture (C-c) with a preset template that grabs the URL to the article along with the created date in the properties, with the cursor in position ready to take notes. (setq org-capture-templates '(("l" "Link + notes" entry (file+headline "~/my_org/link_database.

An SSD can breathe life into old computers

It’s a well known trick that installing a SSD in place of the conventional Hard disk can breathe new life into very old machines. My mid 2010 Macbook Pro is one such example, being over 8 years old. In particular, within Emacs - mu4e responds much more quickly and there is significantly less lag in searching / accessing emails and HTML rendering. The other advantage of using a Mac over Linux is that installation and setup instructions are more often available out the box for the Mac OS (though this is changing).

Back to RSS

Why use RSS? Off late, I had been relying more on email based content consumption. The phenomenally fast search and filtering capabilities that can be leveraged with mu4e make this easy. However, even with all these filters, it is quite difficult to keep on top of news from different sources. At times it is inconvenient to mix important emails and correspondence with newsletters and the like, which arrive by the dozen(s) everyday.