The need for Anonymity
As I work at a university and am exposed to students and nosy career administrators alike[1] I prefer to remain anonymous. As such I don't necessarily like the idea of running a blog. I don't really feel a pressing need to post pictures of my latest meal, or posting inspired but uninspiring rants about the latest idiocies coming out of Canberra.

Impetus to create a Blog
On the other hand, I believe that with the combination of search engines, blogs and 10,000 typing monkeys there is little reason to solve the same problem twice -- if everyone who encounters and solves a particular problem, no matter how specific, posts their solution online, then we are all contributing to creating a common trouble-shooting database. And that's a good thing.

Everyone can't be an expert at everything, but it's not unreasonable to believe that a lack of expertise should not necessarily preclude access to it.

So I started a blog. At first it had one post. Then five. Then ten. And suddenly I found myself using it as a way of documenting almost everything (vaguely) linux related that I was doing. And here we are.

So who I am isn't important. What is important is that you can use your favourite search engine to find solutions to problems that you encounter -- and sometimes this blog will be among the hits, and once in a while it will even hold the solution.

verahill and lindqvist
These are both names which are related to me through my past. Neither is my name. Feel free to addres me using either name, as I recognize that my anonymity puts you in an awkward situation as far as common courtesy goes.

What you should know:
Suffice to say that I am a chemist of the laboratory variety. In other words, I have absolutely no expertise when it comes to theoretical or computational chemistry. Treat blog posts regarding computational chemistry with the suspicion they deserve.

I also have no expertise when it comes to systems administration, computer science, programming or anything along those lines. What I share here is based on my own (mis)adventures in Linux Land.

I do, however, use nothing but Linux both as a private person and in my professional capacity. I also run my own beowulf cluster, and I manage a multi-user beowulf cluster at a different institution on behalf of another research group, so whatever I report here is based on my own experience and has been tested.

I moderate all comments to avoid spam since I'm typically getting 5-10 spam comments per day. I have not (to date) censored any comments for any reason other than spam.

Frequency of posting
The frequency by which I post varies depending on a lot of factors. Typically I post more when I'm doing a computational project, and less when I'm teaching. The blog isn't abandoned.

[1] see e.g. here for what can happen when they are allowed to run amok. Not that we're much better at my institution...


  1. As a fellow *nix user and in the field of chemistry (medical) I too enjoy when I can treat my data as I please.
    I'm happy to have found your little cave of gems

  2. Hi,
    Your Blog seems interesting. I would like to know any of your experiences in installing torque pbs on a multicore workstation for queued job submissions ?

    1. Hi Anon,
      I don't have any experience of Torque, only SGE. A very bad and jumbled post, that none-the-less works, about SGE is here: http://verahill.blogspot.de/2012/06/setting-up-sun-grid-engine-with-three.html

      But I know essentially nothing about Torque.

  3. thx for the blog, great infos!

  4. Your blog has been invaluable to me for the past 2+ years -- thanks for this resource. Maybe I'll return the favor someday, and I LOVE the anonymity -- too many people with too much time on their hands with too many axes to grind that I (as an academic as well) just don't have the patience to deal with.

  5. Good job. I am sort of fall into your category as well. Like you blog and at times they come really handy, specially nwchem stuff.

  6. dude, thank you so much for your blog.
    always a great help and inspiration :-)
    keep up the awesome work!!

    1. Thank you (and the other commenters above) for the encouragement!

  7. Great blog with highly useful stuff. Makes (my) life easier! Thanks.

  8. Very useful blog with lots of informations, Can u help me with the UV-VIS plot in Octave interms of eV in the X-axis and also loading with multiple spectra in the same graph ? Thanks

  9. OK, Lindqvist, I'm stuck trying to run Debian 7.5.0 Live CD. It gives me just: user@debian:
    How to get to the graphical desktop ?

  10. awesome blog concept.

    I'll spend spare clock cycles trying to guess who you are ;)