My Favorite Links

Best R Courses

  1. OMGenomics: Conquering Data Analysis in R Great mid-level R course which covers R notebooks, graphing (in great detail), Statistics, data wrangling, and Principal Component Analysis (PCA).

  2. HarvardX: Statistics and R Online Harvard course with an emphasis on Bioinformatics. Great course for developing proficiency with dplyr.

  3. DataCamp Data Science courses for both R and Python.


  1. Maria Nattestad's Plotting in R for Biologists is a great resource for anyone trying to learn plotting in R, with some great examples of using Bioinformatics data.

  2. This Week in Virology (TWIV) "A netcast about viruses - the kind that make you sick" Each weekly episode starts with a discussion and analysis of recent news stories or scientific papers regarding viruses, followed by an interview with one or more guests who are experts in a particular area of virology, followed by responses to emails from listeners. The hosts, Vincent Racaniello and Dick Despommier, do an awesome job of making Biology accessible to listeners from diverse educational backgrounds.

  3. Additionally, Vincent Racaniello and friends have also released the following great podcasts:
    1. This Week in Parasitism (TWIP)
    2. This Week in Microbiology (TWIM)

    Each of these Podcasts has a different flavor, and much of the content overlaps, making it easy for non-Biologists to learn much about this rapidly evolving science by listening to all three (TWIV, TWIP, and TWIM). Their descriptions of Nature's algorithms give lots of insights and ideas for computer programmers (like myself) who spend much of their time architecting applications.

  4. M.I.T. Open Courseware 7.012 Introduction to Biology Free audio and video recordings of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology undergraduate course in Biology. Covers Biochemistry, Genetics, Human Genetics, Molecular Biology, Gene Regulation, Protein Localization, Recombinant DNA, Cell Cycle/Signaling, Cancer, Virology/Tumor Viruses, Immunology, AIDS, Genomics, Nervous System, Stem Cells/Cloning, Molecular Medicine, Human Polymorphisms and Cancer Classifications, and the Future of Biology.  Taught by Professor Eric Lander, Professor Robert Weinberg, and Dr. Claudette Gardel.

  5. Biophysics DeMYSTiFied Awesome book that helps non-Scientists gain a wholistic view of Biology by covering relevant ideas from Physics and Chemistry. I'm also greatly looking forward to his new book, The Elegant Molecule: Biophysics, DNA, and the Secret of Life

  6. Folding@home distributed computing By downloading and installing the unobtrusive Folding@home software on your computer, your PC's spare CPU cycles will help scientists research a number of diseases related to Protein Folding, including Alzheimer's, ALS, Huntington's, Parkinson's disease, and many cancers.

  7. Futures in Biotech One hour audio podcasts of interviews with top scientists in various fields of Biotechnology, covering both new, cutting edge research as well as perspectives from the scientists who made important discoveries in the last 50 years.

  8. PLoS Biology A peer-reviewed open-access journal published by the Public Library of Science (PLoS)

  9. Microbe World Video Podcast, RSS Feed, News Articles, etc. on a variety of Microbe topics (Viruses, Infectious Diseases, Biofuels, Bacteria, etc.)

  10. Gamers beat algorithms for finding protein structures

  11. Joanne Loves Science! Great video-centric site for anyone interested in science in general and biology in particular. Anyone looking for the next science book to read should click here.

  12. DNA Replication Video

  13. Video showing how lagging strand of DNA is copied with Okazaki fragments


  1. The Psychology of the Internet Troll. Best description I've seen of the "Online Disinhibition Effect" (more commonly known as "Why do people behave so badly when they're on the Internet?")

  2. The Sociopath Next Door 1 in 25 people you know are sociopaths, people with no remorse or empathy. The author teaches you about the adverse effects these sociopaths have on the people around them, how to recognize these people, and why they must be avoided.

  3. Scientific American 60-Second Psych A weekly one minute podcast on the latest news in Psychology. Although some of the experiments and conclusions are scientifically questionable, it makes great food for thought.

Economics and History:

  1. The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World By Niall Ferguson A history of money, bonds, stock markets, insurance, real-estate, and investment bubbles. Great historical narratives on how the same innovations in finance can lead to prosperity in one country and poverty in another, how countries often ignore innovations in finance at their peril, and of how the cycle of financial bubbles and busts has repeated itself throughout the last 400 years of economic history.

  2. Nietzsche and the Nazis - Read my synopsis.

  3. Empires: The Medici, Godfathers of the Renaissance

  4. Frontline: From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians This series resets all the hackneyed arguments by both Christians and non-Christians.

Miscellaneous Programming Links:

  1. Markup Validator Use this tool to validate your HTML, CSS, XHTML, MathML, etc.

  2. PluralSight An invaluable video resource for learning or reviewing programmning languages, IT Skills, etc.

  3. Mozilla Developer Network Javascript Documentation

  4. 30 Days to learn HTML and CSS (screencast series)

  5. Async and Await for Beginners

  6. When and How to Use Dispose and Finalize in C#

  7. Three Ways to Inject Your Code into Another Process

  8. Windows Hang and Crash Dump Analysis

  9. "Parsing Techniques - A Practical Guide" IMHO, one of the best computer science books ever written

  10. GAC locations for different versions of .Net

  11. The Website is Down (IT Humor)

  12. Understanding and Applying Operational Transformation

  13. How To Use the Security Center API's in Windows 7 and Windows Vista

ASP.Net Programming Links:

  1. ASP.Net Membership and Roles Video Tutorials on how to setup ASP.Net Membership and Roles

  2. Intro to ASP.NET MVC 4

  3. Overview of the ModelView – ViewModel (MVVM) pattern and data-binding Best explanation I've seen of the differences between MVC, MVP, and MVVM

  4. What ASP.NET Programmers Should Know About Application Domains

  5. ASP.NET Podcast

Free Education Sites

  1. M.I.T. Open Courseware Free audio and video recordings of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology courses. Yes, you can get a free college education without actually going to college.

  2. KhanAcademy When the above MIT Opencourseware gets too intense, I go to KhanAcademy for short, insightful videos to clear my haze of confusion.

Microsoft SQL Server Database Links:

  1. SQL Server 2008 Proximity Search With The Geography Data Type How to find zip codes near another zip code using Sql Server 2008

  2. Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Management Studio Express A free version of SQL Management Studio.

  3. Comparison of SQL Server Compact 4 and SQL Server Express 2008 R2

  4. SQL Server 2008 Virtual Labs

  5. SQL Server 2005 Virtual Labs

MSI Installer Links:

  1. While trying to dynamically generate and Authenticode sign an msi file from an ASP.Net page, I spent three days wading through Google searches on Capicom (which is deprecated), the Signer class (which uses Capicom), Signcode.exe, SignTool.exe, and the CmsSigner class before I found the following four links, which together solved all my code signing problems: 

    1. Support Certificates In Your Applications With The .NET Framework 2.0 A general, getting-started article on Certificates
    2. How to sign EXE files with an Authenticode certificate (VB.NET)
    3. How to sign EXE files with an Authenticode certificate (part 2)
    4. CryptographicException when using X509Certificate2 constructor to load self signed certificates that are not in the store – solved an Exception I had when deploying the solution from the link above to my hosted Windows Server 2008 server at DiscountASP.NET (an ISP I highly recommend)

  2. And here are the instructions (from I used to generate my own self-signed .pfx file for testing:

    1. # use Microsoft Windows SDK 7.1 Command prompt to run these
      makecert -r -sv CertTemp.pvk -n "CN=Cert Demo, OU=Certification, O=Cert Test," -b 01/01/2011 -e 01/01/2099 CertTemp.cer
    2. #create .pfx file from .cer file
      pvk2pfx.exe -pvk CertTemp.pvk -spc CertTemp.cer -pfx CertTemp.pfx
    3. #Authenticode sign the .msi file
      signtool.exe sign /f CertTemp.pfx *.msi
    4. # now, put a timestamp on the signature, so we can see the timestamp in the file properties, under "Digital Signatures"
      signtool.exe timestamp /t *.msi

  3. Using SQL Server Compact 4.0 with Desktop Private Deployment and a Setup project (MSI)

Outlook Programming Links:

  1. How to inject a window into Outlook

  2. Application Domains and Shims
    1. COM Shim Wizards for VS 2010
    2. Isolating Microsoft Office Extensions with the COM Shim Wizard Version 2.3.1 (for Office 2007)
    3. Isolating Office Extensions with the COM Shim Wizard (for Office 2003)

  3. Extending the Office 2007 User Interface with a Custom Ribbon (ExtendedRibbon.wmv) There are a bunch of videos to download here -- I suggest downloading ExtendedRibbon.wmv

  4. Outlook PST File Format
    How to read data from an offline PST File
    How to access and read PST Objects, including messages, folders, attachments, recipients, etc.

  5. Differences in locations of features and settings in Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2010

  6. Outlook & Exchange Solutions Center I strongly recommend subscribing to Microsoft MVP Ken Slovak's RSS feed if you want to debug Outlook and Exchange problems (which change month by month with all the hotfixes)

SharePoint Links:

  1. Introducing SharePointContext for Provider-Hosted SharePoint Apps! After struggling for many weeks with SharePoint's new TokenHelper and its associated 401 Authentication errors and 403 Unauthorized errors, this article's description of a better Context/Token handling library solved my problems.

  2. SharePoint Field Notes