Web Scraping in 5 Minutes with Python & Excel

Hey data hackers!  Looking for a rapid way to pull down unstructured data from the Web?  Here’s a 5-minute analytics workout across two simple approaches to how to scrape the same set of real-world web data using either Excel or Python.  All of this is done with 13 lines of Python code or one filter […]

vim + Python

Below are my current .vimrc settings which, I find, are particularly pleasant for hacking Python. syntax on filetype indent plugin on set tabstop=4 set shiftwidth=4 set softtabstop=4 set expandtab set autoindent set number ” a useful addition to Python source files is the following: ” vim: tabstop=8 expandtab shiftwidth=4 softtabstop=4 ” this requires the ‘set […]

Installing MySQL for Python in Ubuntu

Whilst on the grind this evening, hacking on some Python code in a newly-installed Ubuntu virtual machine, I needed to install MySQL for Python. Building the package, pre-installation, requires mysql_config — which I had some difficulty locating in the repositories. After flailing about a bit, the solution is to install the libmysqlclient-dev package. $ sudo […]

Installing RExcelXML from The Omega Project in R

A quick post to capture the resolution to the past 20 minutes I have spent in frustration trying to install RExcelXML from Omegahat (The Omega Project for Statistical Computing). As this is a source package, the dependencies need to be satisfied manually (which is a bit baffling, frankly — surely there is a workaround for […]

Netflix "Error N8156-6013" Resolution

A seemingly pervasive problem purportedly caused by a recent update to Silverlight, the Netflix streaming player bombed-out on me this evening, whinging about “Error N8156-6013” and complaining that it had issues both with playing DRM content and — for reasons which transcend reason — the date on my (virtual) computer. The solution was simple enough. […]

Virtualbox + XP + Firefox = Netflix in GNU/Linux

Having recently wrested control of my machine from Windows Vista, I’ve had to implement a workaround for Netflix streaming media. Netflix, unfortunately, has yet to see the mistake in building their streaming architecture on Microsoft’s near-dead Silverlight platform. Until they recognize the error of their ways, I need a workaround. I’ve settled on virtualizing XP, […]