Category Archives: Open Source Tools and Applications

CVX Annouced Version 2 (beta)

CVX has become an indispensable tool for modeling and prototyping in various scientific disciplines, in particular where optimization play significant roles.  It provides a most intuitive modeling interface that bridges complex formulation and the underlying numerical solvers, saving the user abundant time for thinking.

Version 2 of CVX has featured extended support for commercial solvers, MOSEK and Gurobi. This is really good news for academic users, since 1) both solvers provide free licenses to academic users; and 2) both solvers are mostly more optimized than the free solvers currently bundles with CVX, namely, SDPT3 and SeDuMi. Related part of the announcement as follows:

  • Academic users may utilize the CVX Professional capability at no charge.
    • Users with a valid academic license for Gurobi 5.0 or later may use it with CVX without obtaining a CVX Professional license. This is because CVX is able to detect the presence of an academic Gurobi license.
    • In order to use MOSEK, a CVX Professional license is required. We intend to provide such licenses at no charge, but we have not yet completed the licensing architecture. We will make an announcement once this has been completed.

In addition, mailing list support has changed into a Q&A forum (StackExchange style …) and the documentation has changed to online html version with better cross references.

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Interface Kinect Depth Camera to Ubuntu Linux

Testing environment: Ubuntu 10.10 64bit

This tutorial on provides an excellent walkthrough

Caveats: to launch the visualization at the last step, it seems the configuration file has to be “/tmp/kinect.vcg” exactly. I have changed to other location with the same file name, it turned out not to work, even the launch command has been changed accordingly.

[Update: Feb 25 2011]

Later on I figured out that also provides a nice interface package for Kinect on Linux machines. Here are the steps I followed that verified to work (mostly inspired by this post for Windows).

  • Download and install the necessary driver from SensorKinect. There are stable (master) and unstable distributions available, and the stable version is recommended (the unstable version doesn’t compile on my Linux even with all dependencies settled). In the unzipped folder, find Platform > Linux-x86 > CreateRedist, and run the script ./RedistMaker. In Platform > Linux-x86 > Redist, run sudo ./
  • Install the lastest LibUSB.
     sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0-dev freeglut3-dev  

and in each package, install the package by running sudo ./install.(ba)sh.

  • Test the demo samples. In OpenNi > Samples > Bin > Release, run ./NiViewer to get realtime scene and depth map viewing.
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ModernCV–A cool LaTeX Class for CV

Buzzing with preparation of application materials … you know some university requires more than one statement and you have to be careful about this kind of writing.

During my last several minutes to go to bed, I would like to recommend one Latex class for CV creation, ModernCV. It’s very handy and gets pretty cool features. And as the name suggests, the template generates fashionable CV in one shot.  You may take a look at my CV (apparently not optimized Smile , and it’s in Google Docs … sorry, forks). The only catch is there’s no official documentation there, so you need to know something (advanced) about LaTeX code to modify it if you really desire to do so …  

There’s one blog article summing up all the nice LaTeX tools for CV creation, enjoy! and bye!

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Software & Services: Mergence and Liberation (not breakaway)

Two pieces of news are around recent days, related to software and online services.



Windows Live and get married, to all surprise!  No doubt will at least double its users, and Windows Live gets well advertised and its other services closely linked to the current and future users. But as skeptical as usual, I guess this is more like a “soft acquisition”rather than a “co-operation”.  Why? I simply do not see the reason why can survive for long purely for the service of blogging hosting (and perhaps also the web hosting toolkit they provide with

Continue reading

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看到ChinaTex 新浪博客上的一些有趣的博文,多是LaTeX使用技巧及工具推荐。摘录一些比较高级的文章,链接如下。

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It’s all about Tex!

A couple of things happened to Tex/Latex recently.

The first one comes about the “Father” of Tex, Prof. Emeritus Donald E. Knuth, gossiping about making an earthshaking announcement in TUG 2010 Conference.  He has actually advertised a nice name for successor of Tex. Guess what? iTex … Hope this gentleman hasn’t turned to an apple fan, provided his character of full of humors.

Record: An Earthshaking announcement by Prof. Knuth

Secondly Texmaker has released its 2.0 version (July 30th, 2010), featuring a built-in previewer. Nowadays there are at least dozens of ways to do previewing in Latex editing, most of which don’t require reopening the viewer. Since I’m accustomed to PdfLatex, several combinations that I have tested and work fine are as below.

  1. (Win) Texmaker/Winedt + Sumatra PDF
  2. (Linux) Texmaker/Gedit (with Latex plugin) + Evince
  3. (Win/Linux) Texworks with built-in previewer
  4. (Win/Linux) Texmaker with built-in previewer (New!)
  5. (Linux) Eclipse (TeXlipse) + Evince

Sumatra PDF viewer is an excellent lightweight open-source PDF viewer for Windows and should be recommended to all (the catch is it’s a disaster for printing).  Getting down to our business, I have tried to install  Texmaker 2.0 on my Ubuntu laptop (with v1.99 installed) as follows:

$ wget
$ sudo apt-get remove texmaker
$ sudo apt-get autoremove
$ sudo dpkg -i texmaker_2.0-1_i386.deb

It is much faster than previous versions and the previewer is really cool! The only catch with the installation is to ensure executing autoremove after removing previous versions (line 2 & 3), otherwise errors will be encountered.  I guess this is because some significant changes have to be made to the underlying engine to facilitate the previewing.

To close with some logistic things: I have changed the theme of this blog to make more place for text, and hopefully this pleases your eyes while reading.

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Settling OpenCV2.1 on Ubuntu

My Linux workstation has been upgraded all the way from Ubuntu 7.10 to 10.04, never missing a major release. And this possibly has created left garbages behind and hence caused itches. For example, I have never succeeded compiling and installing OpenCV on.  (What a pity and shame for a vision researcher! 🙂 )

Yesterday after a normal maintenance update, the box wouldn’t run smoothly. After desperately trying to  solve the problem for several times, without success, I turned to decide to make it a reincarnation. And …. 6 hours later, after the lengthy backup process, I installed the latest version of Ubuntu (10.04, Lucid) and was rewarded with another blessing: OpenCV2.1 now settled on it without any problem. Cheers! And as well thanks to this guy for his helpful blog.

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“Undefined References” Errors in gcc/g++ Compiling

(For C/C++ compiling in Linux-like environments with GCC)

The two probable causes,

1)      External libraries are not completely acknowledged

2)      External libraries are not properly acknowledge Continue reading

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