Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Diagrams and figures

I have been looking for a simple, lightweight program to draw figures and diagrams with. Apparently, those Apple-adherents swear by omniGraffle, but unfortunately that is Maclusive (sometimes I crack myself up, I really do).

Fortunately, a bout of ennui and the aimless web-surfing following it yielded a solution today: Inkscape

Very intuitive and fast, can export in encapsulated postscript, and has a wealth of hidden features that are, well, hidden. Hence the intuitiveness. My first oeuvre is to be admired on the right: The setup of the RF electrode in one of my experiments.

Also, I am following a course about Mathematica this term (hey, it's easy credits!). Mathematica is interesting, and I am playing with the idea of programming some simple evolutionary algorithms for my demonstration in december. But plotting data is a pain in the ass. This I found out when in the first ardour of learning a new software, when I wanted to plot my spectroscopic data. Bad idea. Formatting your plot takes all manners of weird commands that are cunningly hidden in the cryptic help system (I am using version 6.0, in which said system was overhauled and upgraded - go figure), and there doesn't seem to be a way to do the same over the GUI, if you want to just try out something quickly.

Consequently, I went back to Matlab for all my data manipulation needs. Here are some spectra. Pretty, are they not? Note the weird continuum of CF4, of which I have written before (see the corresponding plasma here). Only this time, it is pure CF4, not decomposition of Teflon.

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