Sunday, March 29, 2009

How To Plan Costs And Save Your Money In Time Of Crisis

Site of the day:

Without doubt, one of the most reliable ways to start a fight at home is accidentally saying the word ‘budget‘ (or ‘tracking income and expenses‘). At times, an innocent question like ‘Honey, how much money have we got left till the next paycheck’ could ruin your deserved family evening.
Discussions like this one take place when financial problems already exist and they’re starting becoming visible - either because the checkbook for some reason can’t be balanced, or credit card repayments doubled all of a sudden, or a UPS delivery person became your daily visitor. Anyway, families lose control over their spending and budget and try to talk their way out of “inquisitive” (but very reasonable) questions from their members. What causes such unpleasant discussions and how can families stay out of trouble?
I’ve listed several most frequently cited excuses that are used to confuse a partner and change the subject instead of stepping out of a comfort zone, admitting the financial mess and trying to find ways out.
I’m offended because you don’t believe me. (Or, Do I have to inform you about my every expense?) This is the most popular manipulative excuse (or accusation) used by both family members. The only reasonable (and as emotionless as possible) answer is: “Over the last couple weeks you’ve purchased a lot of stuff we could easily live without, and so we may need to carry some balance on a credit card this month” or “Every week you buy clothes we haven’t budgeted, so we have to gid into savings to fund your purchases”. Facts, not emotions, work best on such manipulative techniques.
Tracking expenses is so embarassing. How could we reach the rock bottom when we have to know where every penny is spent? This question is usually asked in a whining voice in response to a suggestion to define a budget and stick to it. One of the right answers is: “There are ways to avoiding counting every penny and still not spending more than a budgeted amount. Knowing how much money we’ve spent and deliberately resisting the temptation to buy stuff is way less embarassing than getting into debt without any plan to repay it”.
We earn more than we spend. Right? Why bother counting? (Also known as: We’ve never had financial problems before, so we won’t have them in the future.) However, this is likely to be a pleasant but unsustainable illusion when financial troubles are right around the corner. Again, no emotions: “We’re only relying on our home equity and credit card limits to deal with the unexpected. Last month servicing our car cost $400 more than we expected. We always hope that we’ll always have money when we need it but we don’t base this hope on anything. Starting an emergency fund will bring us some peace of mind. And let’s make a simple budget, which will tell us how much money we can safely spend without compromising our short to mid-term goals”.
Also, you need to agree on the three major rules of avoiding conflicts regarding money:
1. Both of you need to define the maximum amount you can spend per week (this amount may vary depending on your utility bills, loan repayments and other obligations). The most important element of this exercise is joint effort. The budget needs to be agreed on by both parties.
2. Both of you need to define the maximum amount each of you can spend without consulting a partner. Buying a CD for $15 might be OK but buying iRobot Roomba without talking to your partner is NOT OK.
3. Avoid lying about money. You might’ve gone a long way towards building trust, but such a simple thing like saying that your new watch costs $100 instead of $500 you’ve actually paid is capable of bringing you back square one. However, show compassion when your partner admits impulse buying instances - but be vary of the trend.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Basic Cell Culture Protocols

Site of the day:

Category: Molecular Biology/Protocols

Basic Cell Culture Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology) by Cheryl D. Helgason, Cindy Miller

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Genomics Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology)

Site of the day:

Category: Molecular Biology/Protocols

Genomics Protocols (Methods in Molecular Biology) by Michael P. Starkey, Ramnath Elaswarapu

Monday, March 16, 2009

Programming Languages

Site of the day:

Category: Computer Science/Programming

On C++:The C++ Programming Language: Special Edition (3rd Edition) by Bjarne Stroustrup

On Java:
Thinking in Java (4th Edition) by Bruce Eckel

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Relevant Books On Operating Systems

Site of the day:

Category: Computer Science/Operating Systems

Windows Internals: Including Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, Fifth Edition (PRO-Developer) by Mark Russinovich, David A. Solomon, and Alex Ionescu

Operating Systems: Internals and Design Principles (6th Edition) by William Stallings

UNIX Network Programming by W. Richard Stevens

UNIX Network Programming, Volume 2: Interprocess Communications (2nd Edition) by W. Richard Stevens

Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment, Second Edition by W. Richard Stevens

Linux Kernel Development (2nd Edition) by Robert Love

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Site of the day:

BioBrick standard biological parts are DNA sequences of defined structure and function; they share a common interface and are designed to be composed and incorporated into living cells such as E. coli to construct new biological systems. BioBrick parts represent an effort to introduce the engineering principles of abstraction and standardization into synthetic biology. The trademarked words BioBrick and BioBricks are correctly used as adjectives (not nouns) and refer to a specific "brand" of open source genetic parts as defined via an open technical standards setting process that is led by the BioBricks Foundation.
BioBrick parts were introduced by Tom Knight at MIT. Drew Endy, now at Stanford, and Christopher Voigt, at UCSF, are also heavily involved in the project. A registry of several thousand public domain BioBrick parts is maintained by Randy Rettberg team at The annual iGEM competition promotes the BioBrick parts concept by involving undergraduate and graduate students in the design of biological systems. The term BioBrick, intended to be used as an adjective, is a trademark of the not-for-profit BioBricks Foundation.

Other useful links:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Computer Science Fundamentals

Site of the day:

Category: Computer Science/Operating Systems

Modern Operating Systems (2nd Edition) by Andrew S. Tanenbaum

This book inspired Linus Torvalds to develop first Linux kernel.

Site of the author:

Category: Computer Science/Programming

"Dragon Book":
Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools (2nd Edition) by Alfred V. Aho, Monica S. Lam, Ravi Sethi, Jeffrey D. Ullman

Sites of the authors:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Donald E. Knuth. The Art of Computer Programming

Site of the day:

Here is something you should read:

The Art of Computer Programming
Vol. 1. Fundamental Algorithms
Vol. 2 Seminumerical Algorithms
Vol. 3 Sorting and Searching

Site of the author:

Biography of Donald E. Knuth:

Interview with Donald Knuth by Donald E. Knuth and Andrew Binstock:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Site of the day:

Site of Metasploit:

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Systems Biology

Site of the day:

Systems Biology: Properties of Reconstructed Networks by Bernhard O. Palsson
Chapters 3 to 5 are worth reading
Everything else - just look it through...