Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Top CashBack

This site is pretty cool for cashback. I use it, and they actually do payout, which is nice.

Top CashBack

Monday, 6 September 2010

FlyBe Rewards4All Points Expire

Just a warning for anyone who has, or is considering getting, a FlyBe credit card. I have one and today I checked my points statement which I hadn't done for a few months (I assumed that I was just accumulating points which I could spend when I was ready). Actually I had been losing 2 points (which is £500 spend on the credit card) every month for 3 months now, that's £1.5k of spending!! I received no email or warning that these would expire.

Clearly it's a good thing for FlyBe because they don't have to honour these points now, but it's just another thing that is super annoying about their scheme. Another is that once you've got the points, you then still have to pay taxes and charges (OK, other airlines do this), pay for bags, and then pay a payment charge for these payments on your reward flights!! When the cost of the flights is sometimes only £5 I'm really not sure it's worth my while.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Setuptools (easy_install) can't find vcvarsall.bat

So, using easy_install very regularly ended up with the following error being produced:

error: Setup script exited with error: Unable to find vcvarsall.bat

I'd read that I needed to install Visual Studio, so I installed version 10 and set the Path variable. The command prompt could see vcvarsall but not easy_install. grrr!!

The trick seems to be to install mingw from here ( and make sure you select the base tools, g++ compiler and make stuff. Then add `C:\MinGW\bin' to your Path and create a file called disutils.cfg in C:\Python26\Lib\distutils and put the follow in it:


Then exit from your command prompt, open it up again and all should be fine! The solution was found in a comment here:

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

SPSS Using String Variables in a Binary Logistic Regression

I recently performed a binary logistic regression using SPSS 18 on Windows. I've discovered a rather annoying bug! One of my independent variables was a rather long String variable, with 33 categories. SPSS only recognised two of them though. SPSS has two internal String variables: long String and short String, which is only 8 chars long.

Despite defining the variables as 100 character Strings in the SPSS variable view, the regression only recognised the first 8 characters, and hence cut the whole lot down to two possibilities!

Nice. Solution: recode as some kind of String that is less than 8 characters!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

SPSS (PASW) 18 bug

SPSS seems to be a very hand application. Great, just button click your way through your stats, this is very good. Well, the application is a little unstable though! I think it's written in Java (which isn't a bad thing). Using my data set, which is fairly large with 608 thousand data points, I would like to copy and paste a column of data from one sheet to another. In Excel this is a fairly lengthy operation, it takes in the region of 4 mins. I did this in SPSS also and it has now been running for somewhere in the region of 18 hours. This is using a full CPU core, so there must be some number crunching going on there!

Let's hope this get's fixed in the next release. If someone were to wish to debug it this has been tested on a Windows 7 computer, based on an Intel 4 core processor. It's also been replicated on a Windows 7 Intel Atom based netbook.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

PyDev Fails: No editor descriptor

This has happen twice now, and it's rather frustrating! I use PyDev for my Python development, it's rather nice.. I like it a lot. However, when I then install a different perspective in eclipse it dies! It happened when I tried to install CDT and now it happens with PHP. This is the error when trying to view a Python file now:

Could not open the editor: No editor descriptor for id org.python.pydev.editor.PythonEditor

org.eclipse.ui.PartInitException: No editor descriptor for id org.python.pydev.editor.PythonEditor
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.EditorReference.createPartHelper(
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.EditorReference.createPart(
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.WorkbenchPartReference.getPart(
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.EditorAreaHelper.setVisibleEditor(
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.EditorManager.setVisibleEditor(
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.EditorManager$5.runWithException(
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.StartupThreading$
at org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Synchronizer.runAsyncMessages(
at org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Display.runAsyncMessages(
at org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Display.readAndDispatch(
at org.eclipse.ui.application.WorkbenchAdvisor.openWindows(
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.Workbench$28.runWithException(
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.StartupThreading$
at org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Synchronizer.runAsyncMessages(
at org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Display.runAsyncMessages(
at org.eclipse.swt.widgets.Display.readAndDispatch(
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.Workbench.runUI(
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.Workbench.access$4(
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.Workbench$
at org.eclipse.core.databinding.observable.Realm.runWithDefault(
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.Workbench.createAndRunWorkbench(
at org.eclipse.ui.PlatformUI.createAndRunWorkbench(
at org.eclipse.ui.internal.ide.application.IDEApplication.start(
at org.eclipse.core.runtime.internal.adaptor.EclipseAppLauncher.runApplication(
at org.eclipse.core.runtime.internal.adaptor.EclipseAppLauncher.start(
at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke0(Native Method)
at sun.reflect.NativeMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(Unknown Source)
at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Unknown Source)
at org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.Main.invokeFramework(
at org.eclipse.equinox.launcher.Main.basicRun(

The solution last time was to hunt down every trace of eclipse on the computer (thanks for having no uninstaller eclipse) and then to a full reinstall, and rebuild the workspace.

If you know of a better solution please comment to let me know!