Running a local JABAWS server for Jalview on Ubuntu (11.04 Natty)

The excellent Jalview sequence alignment visualization and editing tool has the ability to send a set of sequences to a multiple sequence alignment web service (“JABAWS”) and receive the results in a new alignment window. This is really convenient when you are doing lots of sequence analysis, and Geoff Barton’s group at the University of Dundee provide a JABAWS server that Jalview will use by default.

But maybe the Dundee server is down. Or maybe you think your local machine will do things faster. Or maybe you work on über secret sequences in some Faraday cage bunker with no permanent network connection. In each of these cases, you may want to run your own local JABAWS server and use that instead. In this case, read on.

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QR-code bookmarklets

A quick post to share some bookmarklets I made.

I’ve found QR-code “2D barcodes” really handy when playing with my Android phone.

qrcode

Sometimes, I have a web page open on my desktop PC, and I want to quickly load it in the Android Chrome browser to see what it looks like. Rather than re-typing it with my thumbs, the Barcode Scanner application allows me to scan a QR-code from the screen of my computer, and if the decoded text contains a URL, open it in the Android browser.

These two bookmarklets turn the URL of the current page that is open in your browser into a scannable QR-code:

Google Charts API based bookmarklet: Drag this link –>Current URL to QR-code to your bookmarks toolbar.

The code is:
javascript:location.href='http://chart.apis.google.com/chart?cht=qr&chs=350x350&chl='+escape(location.href);

Alternatively, I made a Kaywa QR-code generator version. Drag this link –>Current URL to QR-code to your bookmarks toolbar.

The code is:
javascript:location.href='http://qrcode.kaywa.com/img.php?s=8&d='+escape(location.href);

They both do the same thing, so you probably only want one. Only tested on Firefox.

(Update:  seemed WordPress ate the javascript in the bookmarklet links … should be okay now)

Searching bioinformatic databases with YubNub

You may already be familiar with YubNub; it describes itself as “the social command line for the web”. Most commands consist of two (or more) words … one for the search engine, the other for the query.

For example, typing:

gg open science on friendfeed

into the YubNub search box searches Google for “open science on friendfeed“, via YubNub.

I thought I’d highlight a few life science- and bioinformatics-related YubNub commands I find myself using quite often in my day-to-day work. Some are commands I created, others someone else created. This is the beauty of YubNub … often someone has already made the ‘obvious’ command … it’s worth just trying to search with a command you expect to exist, since it often does.

Onward, with the list:

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