Snippets for Markdown to LaTeX with Pandoc

August 17, 2018

This is another living post that serves more for my personal benefit than anything else. By living, I mean that I will continue to update it over time as I find things I want to keep easily accessible. This post is a place to paste snippets and boiler plate of Markdown/Pandoc/LaTeX material that I find useful but often forget. There’s probably nothing very genius or awe-inspiring here, but hopefully I won’t have to grep through by bash history as often, trying to remember what I did that one time to do that one thing.

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Extracting Entries from

August 13, 2018

Relating to my previous post today about setting up a blog using AWS, Docker Compose, Caddy Server, and Ghost, I found the need to do some web scraping. A number of years ago, my wife began journaling her thoughts in an online service called (at least I believe that was the name). About 2 years ago, this service was acquired by a new site called It seems to be a fairly neat service, but one thing we were concerned with is preserving the data should the account ever disappear.

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Tech Tips from Another Lifetime

July 7, 2018

The following is mostly for my own personal reference. About 5 years ago, I worked as a technical support agent for a fairly large webhosting company that used to be located in Utah, and at the time I kept a small Wordpress site with some tips or code snippets that often came in handy. I was cleaning out soem old files, and came across the SQL dump of that site when I left that job. I’m turning them all into a post here for future reference.

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Home backup strategy

July 4, 2018

TL;DR: CrashPlan died in May 2018, so I switched my family over to using Duplicati, restic, and rclone to sync backups both locally and in the cloud. As a bonus, we’re doing for free for the next year with Google Cloud Storage due to their 12 month, $300 free trial.

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Example for LaTeX Funeral or Memorial Program

June 6, 2018

Another quick post, but something that I hope might be useful to others. Within the past couple weeks, my grandmother of 83 years passed away and my family held a memorial service in her honor. I was asked if I could help out in creating a program booklet or pamphlet that could be given out to the attendees, something that would describe the service itself as well as share a piece of my grandmother’s life with them as we gathered to remember her. Grandma Arlene was a classy lady and I wanted to help her leave a lasting impression on all of those who could make it out to honor her life. As a graduate student in Computer Science, I felt like using LaTeX would be a great way to do so, though my Internet searches fell somewhat short of what I was looking for. We wanted a simple layout consisting of four “pages”, two of which would be printed on a single side of standard sized US letter paper, and then folded into a four page pamphlet after printing. This could also serve well for someone looking for a LaTeX template for religious or other services where a 4 page booklet is desired.

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Dynamic weight tracking form and dashboard

February 26, 2018

This is a quick post, but if you want a quick way to track body weight, or any metric you choose, and have an automatically updating dashboard, this is it. I used Google Forms to easy record the information and then this information is read by a Google Apps Script that generates a chart with Chart.js.

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Dynamically updating Matplotlib figures in Jupyter notebooks

February 24, 2018

Updating matplotlib figures dynamically seems to be a bit of a hassle, but the code below seems to do the trick. This is an example that outputs a figure with multiple subplots, each with multiple plots. Oddly enough, at the time of writing the image will be smaller than the figure until the Jupyter cells stops running, but this can be fixed but generating the figure in one cell, and then updating the image in a subsequent cell 1.

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Setting up a new Python virtual environment for Jupyter notebooks

February 23, 2018

A lot of my lab work and course work involved the use of Jupyter notebooks, though the Python dependencies needed conflict with other areas. I’ve been using virtualenvwrapper to isolate these, and other project, environments from each other. This post goes through the process of installing everything needed to get up and running with a clean Python environment for Jupyter notebooks with separate kernels for each environment, including the installation of jupyter_contrib_nbextensions which adds community developed features.

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