Julia v0.4 was finally released!

Unfortunately, I was totally not ready to roll forward yet and could not get Julia v0.3.11 back via apt-get install.

I wrote to Elliot, the maintainer of the Julia PPA, and here’s his response:

Unfortunately the way that Launchpad PPAs work is that when a newer version of a package is released (in this case, v0.4.0) in the same repository, the old versions are hidden from apt-get’s view.  You’re not the only person that wants to keep using Julia 0.3 for the time being, and we’re doing our best to make this transition as smooth as possible.  You have a few options:

1) Remove julia 0.4 (sudo apt-get remove julia), then download this .deb file from the Launchpad archive, (available through HTTP, but not through APT, go figure) and run sudo apt-mark hold julia to tell apt to hold julia at the current version and not upgrade it.  This will get you julia 0.3 back, and once you’re ready to move on to Julia 0.4, you can upgrade with sudo apt-mark unhold julia, followed by the typical sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade.

2) Download the latest 0.3 generic linux binary tarball (you can see more earlier releases on this page), extract it somewhere (say, ~/local), throw the bin folder onto your PATH, and you’re good to go.

3) Wait a day or two for the julia0.3 ubuntu package to finish building, get all the inevitable human-caused issues hammered out of it, and then just sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install julia0.3.  That package will, of course, conflict with the julia package, but should allow you to stay on 0.3 for as long as you like, and still use dpkg rather than using tarballs, if you so prefer.

Before I received Elliot’s email, I had repackaged my installed Julia using dpkg-repack, and shared that .deb around. (I love you Debian tools).

There were some dependencies that .deb required. Instead of individually hunting down those dependencies, I would install Julia v0.4 and remove it, and then then install Julia v0.3.11 from the .deb.

Very hacky, I know, but it worked!

Anyhoo, if you’re looking to get back Julia v0.3.11, check out Elliot’s instructions. Hope this helps!


Some biologists hover near a bunsen burner when preparing bacterial glycerol stocks, others don’t.

I fall in the latter. I’m not a believer of the flame.

I have yet to see good evidence that “flame will create an air current that will keep its surroundings sterile.” I’ve also noticed no difference in my stocks, back when I made ~94 a week.


Nowadays, since many of my lab friends are believers of the flame, I feel like I’m doing something taboo when making stocks.

I’d love to be converted.

On the flip side, always question your protocols!

Yesterday I went on the Church Lab Retreat!

Up in the New Hampshire woods, everyone crowded around a tiny projector to listen to silly 5 minute talks.

george church

George talked about terraforming Venus.

Some quotes from the talks:

“The paper was so dense, not even light could escape.” ~ Paul

“I’ve been offered more than 5 minutes, but I won’t take them. I have 1000 slides.” ~ George

“Puzzle boxes can be NP hard” ~ Kevin

One of the talks was about natto. A sample platter was passed around.


Let’s say it’s very much an acquired taste.

There were also other notable moments, like when Joe taught everyone how to throw a giant net, me eating the best veggie burger I’ve had in my life, people’s horror encountering a clivus toliet for the first time.

I got to share a ride with my new favorite grad students Johnny and Su and unexpectedly hung out with Veronica before she left for NYC.

It was a super fun time!