### Playing around with errors in Python - KeyboardInterrupt

It's really hard to write code that doesn't throw errors, no matter what language one programs in. I've gotten used to writing modular code that helps maintain a constant train of thought and reduce the chance of errors occurring but still, from time to time, only after running the code do i go "Ohh, No!". I've been reading up on advanced concepts in python for about a week now and one thing I came across was the Python Standard Library reference of the Built-in Exceptions. I've come across most of these errors, a few more commonly than the rest. I thought that it'd be an interesting exercise to write code that intentionally raises the errors listed in that reference.

To start with, let's look at something that's not exactly an Error but is an interesting thing to play around with, KeyboardInterrupt. If a code is producing error messages or if it's not responsive or if you just wish to halt it, most of us press CTRL+C, which corresponds to KeyboardInterrupt. The interesting thing is that, the same way we can catch an exception using the try-except statements thereby preventing the program from halting, we can catch a KeyboardInterrupt and prevent it from halting out program. And just to rub it in, we can print annoying messages mocking the powerless user.

import time
from random import choice

ANNOYING_MSGS=["\n I'm sorry sir but I can't let you do that.",
"\n You don't have power over me!!!",
"\n I stop when I want to stop!!!"]

def main(i):
print("running "+str(i)+" th loop")
time.sleep(1)

for i in range(10):
try:
main(i)
except KeyboardInterrupt:
print(choice(ANNOYING_MSGS))


The Choice function from the random library is used to return one of the three annoying messages, which is then printed to the terminal when the user presses CTRL+C. That was one way of achieving what I set out to and I'm sure there are many more ways to prevent a Python process from stopping when a user tries to CTRL+C it. Well, that's all for now folks.

### Animation using GNUPlot

Animation using GNUPlotI've been trying to create an animation depicting a quasar spectrum moving across the 5 SDSS pass bands with respect to redshift. It is important to visualise what emission lines are moving in and out of bands to be able to understand the color-redshift plots and the changes in it.
I've tried doing this using the animate function in matplotlib, python but i wasn't able to make it work - meaning i worked on it for a couple of days and then i gave up, not having found solutions for my problems on the internet.
And then i came across this site, where the gunn-peterson trough and the lyman alpha forest have been depicted - in a beautiful manner. And this got me interested in using js and d3 to do the animations and make it dynamic - using sliders etc.
In the meanwhile, i thought i'd look up and see if there was a way to create animations in gnuplot and whoopdedoo, what do i find but nirvana!

In the image, you see 5 static curves and one dynam…

### on MOOCs.

For those of you who don't know, MOOC stands for Massively Open Online Course.

The internet is an awesome thing. It's making education free for all. Well, mostly free. But it's surprising at the width and depth of courses being offered online. And it looks like they are also having an impact on students, especially those from universities that are not top ranked. Students in all parts of the world can now get a first class education experience, thanks to courses offered by Stanford, MIT, Caltech, etc.

I'm talking about MOOCs because one of my new year resolutions is to take online courses, atleast 2 per semester (6 months). And I've chosen the following two courses on edX - Analyzing Big Data with Microsoft R Server and Data Science Essentials for now. I looked at courses on Coursera but I couldn't find any which was worthy and free. There are a lot more MOOC providers out there but let's start here. And I feel like the two courses are relevant to where I …

### On programmers.

I just watched this brilliant keynote today. It's a commentary on Programmers and the software development industry/ecosystem as a whole.

I am not going to give you a tl;dr version of the talk because it is a talk that I believe everyone should watch, that everyone should learn from. Instead, I am going to give my own parallel-ish views on programmers and programming.
As pointed out in the talk, there are mythical creatures in the software development industry who are revered as gods. Guido Van Rossum, the creator of Python, was given the title Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL). People flock around the creators of popular languages or libraries. They are god-like to most programmers and are treated like gods. By which, I mean to say, we assume they don't have flaws. That they are infallible. That they are perfect.
And alongside this belief in the infallibility of these Gods, we believe that they were born programmers. That programming is something that people are born wit…