W Randolph Franklin home page Login

Here are notes on

  1. various programs I've used, or
  2. programs that I haven't used, but which look interesting.

Altho the notes are short, the information therein may have taken me hours to discover. Therefore others might find this useful. My preferred environment is linux and C++, supplemented by commercial tools that are good enough to be worth the hassle of license management etc.

Comments are welcome.

This page describes publicly available SW written by others. For my SW, see my Research page.

Contents (hide)

  1.   1.  Linux
    1.   1.1  Booting with old grub
    2.   1.2  Booting with grub 2
    3.   1.3  Linux multimedia incl video
    4.   1.4  Using an ipod with linux
    5.   1.5  MS Office in linux
    6.   1.6  Ubuntu Network Remix
    7.   1.7  Encrypted partitions
    8.   1.8  Linux other
    9.   1.9  Firefox
  2.   2.  Linux virtual machine (VM) notes
  3.   3.  Converting a VM from VMWare to KVM
  4.   4.  Linux mail user agents - comparisons, advantages and problems
    1.   4.1  Kmail
    2.   4.2  Claws-mail
    3.   4.3  Evolution
    4.   4.4  Thunderbird
    5.   4.5  Gmail
    6.   4.6  Mulberry
  5.   5.  Zsh
  6.   6.  Cellphone as modem in linux
  7.   7.  Retrieving Motorola V325i cellphone addressbook with Bitpim in Linux
  8.   8.  Boot ISO image
    1.   8.1  Boot ISO image from disk (hard drive)
    2.   8.2  Boot ISO image from USB flash drive
  9.   9.  C++ Compilers
  10. 10.  Numeric and statistical computing
    1. 10.1  SW
    2. 10.2  Sparse least squares
    3. 10.3  Matlab hints
    4. 10.4  Syntax comparisons - Matlab, Mathematica, Maple
  11. 11.  Graphics and media
    1. 11.1  Big packages
    2. 11.2  Plotting (functions and data)
    3. 11.3  Drawing figures
    4. 11.4  Image format conversions
    5. 11.5  Stitching, panoramas
    6. 11.6  Cameras
    7. 11.7  Download video
    8. 11.8  Flickr from ubuntu
  12. 12.  LaTeX
    1. 12.1  Misc
    2. 12.2  LaTeX into HTML
    3. 12.3  HTML into LaTeX
    4. 12.4  XML to LaTeX or HTML
    5. 12.5  Replacements or supplements:
    6. 12.6  Fonts
    7. 12.7  Lucida fonts
  13. 13.  PDF
    1. 13.1  XML into PDF
    2. 13.2  LaTeX figures and PDF
    3. 13.3  Watermark a PDF file
    4. 13.4  Convert a directory of image files to PDF files
    5. 13.5  Crop and resize PDF pages
    6. 13.6  Combine a directory of PDF files into one file
    7. 13.7  Update PDF file metadata
    8. 13.8  PDF to RTF (good for MS Word)
    9. 13.9  Paginate a PDF file
    10. 13.10  Complete (fill in) a PDF form
    11. 13.11  Linux PDF w embedded multimedia
  14. 14.  Talk (Presentation) Slide Tools
  15. 15.  Other Words
    1. 15.1  Others' words
    2. 15.2  Speak words
  16. 16.  Geo
    1. 16.1  Major sites of information
    2. 16.2  Packages
    3. 16.3  Rendering terrain with povray
    4. 16.4  GPS, specifically Garmin 60csx
    5. 16.5  Convert gpx files to kml for Google maps
    6. 16.6  SRTM
  17. 17.  VMWare - shrink pre-allocated disk on windows client
  18. 18.  MS Windows
    1. 18.1  Retrieve passwords and activation keys
  19. 19.  Web fonts

1.  Linux

Note: Some things, that are not necessarily intrinsically linux, are in a separate top level section.

1.1  Booting with old grub

  1. Grub disk naming when booting
    1. Assume you have a laptop with two disks: the original one and a second in a caddy replacing the DVD drive.
    2. In the BIOS, you specify the order in which the BIOS is to try booting from them.
    3. That is the order that grub uses when numbering disks (hd0), (hd1) etc.
    4. Note that the disks' positions on the bus is irrelevant here.
    5. If you exclude a disk from the boot order, then grub doesn't give it a number.
    6. Later, grub and linux name the disks according to their bus addresses.
    7. Up to SuSE 10.1 (approx), including older versions of Knoppix, the main disk is /dev/hda and the caddy disk /dev/sda
    8. From SuSE 10.2 on (approx), the main disk is /dev/sda and the caddy disk /dev/sdb.
    9. You can use these names later in grub, e.g., in the kernel command.
    10. Does /dev/sda correspond to (hd0) or (hd1)? It depends on the BIOS boot order.
    11. In the BIOS statup list disk (S1) is the builtin disk, and (PM) is the caddy disk.
    12. scsiinfo -s /dev/sda lists the disk's serial number that is printed on the disk itself.
    13. If /etc/fstab disagrees with the root= option on the grub kernel command, then the root= option determines what partition is mounted, but /etc/fstab determines what df shows. If they are inconsistent, then df's output will be wrong. (10/19/2007)
  2. Grub setup/install weirdness: The command grub-install /dev/sda can produce a different result than
          > setup /dev/sda 
    The former reused an old location for message. (approx; this is from memory). 10/19/2007

1.2  Booting with grub 2

There are many incompatibilities and problems. (Why does linux make official a package that calls itself 'beta' and that lacks much documentation?) Here are some useful pages:

  1. http://linuxmint.com/wiki/index.php/How_to_repair_your_grub
  2. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RecoveringUbuntuAfterInstallingWindows
  3. http://www.gnu.org/software/grub/manual/grub.html#Installing-GRUB-using-grub_002dinstall
  4. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1195275
  5. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Grub2
  6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_GRUB
  7. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2
  8. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/KernelTeam/Grub2Testing
  9. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1014708

1.3  Linux multimedia incl video

  1. IBM Thinkpad T43p audio
    1. If there is no sound when playing an mp3, say with mplayer, then turn off the line jack sense and headphone jack sense in kmix (or krecord).
    2. Kmix settings for recording:
      These are probably correct.
      1. Input » capture must be set. Level irrelevant.
      2. Input » microphone maybe set. Level relevant.
      3. Switches » mix maybe irrelevant
      4. Output » pcm set. Level 1/3.
      5. Disable everything else, else feedback loop.
      6. OK to mute output. Maybe better.
      Another time, this worked:
      1. Input » red mic set
      2. Input » capture set
      3. Switches » mix NOT set. Setting it unsets Input » red mic.
    3. Kmix settings to play input sound
      1. Output » master set, and reasonable level.
      2. Input » green mic set, and reasonable level.
      3. Switches » mic boost does that.
      4. Nothing else seems to matter.
    4. Kmix settings to play audio file
      1. Output » master set, and reasonable level.
      2. Output » pcm set, and reasonable level.
      3. Switches » line jack sense not set.
      4. Switches » headphone jack sense not set.
      5. Nothing else seems to matter.
    5. Other interesting pages
      1. http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Problem_with_audio_clipping
  2. Gnome-sound-recorder is another recorder.
  3. Alsasound can restart things if they are messed up.
  4. gnome-sound-properties looks useful.
  5. Converting wav to mp3
    1. Install lame from http://users.rsise.anu.edu.au/~conrad/not_lame/
    2. Do: notlame -h in.wav out.mp3
  6. Converting realaudio to wav
    1. Use mplayer.
    2. The realaudio format changes frequently.
    3. The current version of realaudio cannot play very old realaudio formats. Mplayer can.
  7. Mplayer low quality: The output from mplayer (in linux) seems to be worse quality than that of windows programs.
  8. Converting an AVI video to MPEG4 (from SCOREC)
  9. http://www.ubuntugeek.com/ubuntu-tip-simple-way-of-making-a-stop-animation.html
  10. Video tools from Philippe Dreuw.

1.4  Using an ipod with linux

This is not about installing linux on the ipod.

  1. http://people.csail.mit.edu/adonovan/hacks/ipod.html
  2. Ubuntu and Your iPod
  3. http://boingboing.net/2007/09/14/new-ipods-reengineer.html
  4. http://www.gtkpod.org/about.html
  5. http://www.getsharepod.com/ - Replacement for itunes. To try.

1.5  MS Office in linux

  1. antiword (for reading MS Word) - often all you need. What it omits, like gratuitous images, is often content-free.
  2. openoffice - formerly much worse than MS Office, but getting better. However it is not compatible with Office 2007. (12/1/2009).
  3. codeweaver's crossover office. This was excellent. However it cannot handle Office 2007 properly. Office will often crash under crossover. (12/1/2009).
  4. vmware (excellent)

1.6  Ubuntu Network Remix


1.7  Encrypted partitions

old way


  1. cryptsetup create FOO /dev/sdXX
  2. mkdir /FOO
  3. add to /etc/fstab:
    /dev/mapper/FOO /FOO ext3 defaults 0 1
  4. add to /etc/crypttab:
    FOO /dev/sdXX none none
  5. mke2fs -j -L CHOSEN_PARTITION_NAME /dev/mapper/FOO

Explicit mount

  1. cryptsetup create FOO /dev/sdXX (if necessary)
  2. mount /dev/mapper/FOO /FOO

New (LUKS) way

  1. http://www.saout.de/tikiwiki/tiki-index.php?page=LUKS
  2. http://code.google.com/p/cryptsetup/


  1. cryptsetup --verbose --verify-passphrase luksFormat /dev/sdXX
  2. cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sdXX FOO
  3. mkdir /FOO
  4. add to /etc/fstab:
    /dev/mapper/FOO /FOO ext3 defaults 0 1
  5. add to /etc/crypttab:
    FOO /dev/sdXX none luks,check=ext2,retry=5
  6. mke2fs -j -L CHOSEN_PARTITION_NAME /dev/mapper/FOO

Add key to partition:

cryptsetup luksAddKey /dev/sdXX

Explicit mount and unmount

  1. cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sdXX foo
  2. mount /dev/mapper/foo /foo
  3. umount /foo
  4. cryptsetup luksClose foo

1.8  Linux other

  1. Who owns a given open file? fuser -v FILE

1.9  Firefox

  1. Why firefox got slower and slower:
    1. Noscript and probably other addons seem to have quadratic time performance. They record URLs in a list and apparently linearly search it.
    2. The only solution that I've found is to run firefox inside vmware and regularly restore the VM. Even deleting files that Firefox wrote seems not to work.
    3. Firefox 3 is faster, but didn't print, for the following reason: The firefox 3 designers decided to use a feature of some other SW that had never been used before. It didn't work. Firefox said that's not their problem that the other SW failed. Meanwhile, users like me, who just wanted to get our work done, watched this temper tantrum and started thinking about using Windows.
  2. Calling an existing firefox from the command line:
    firefox yahoo.com
   firefox -new-tab "file:///tmp"

2.  Linux virtual machine (VM) notes

  1. http://www.howtoforge.com/virtualization-with-kvm-on-ubuntu-8.10
  2. http://www.howtoforge.com/creating-virtual-machines-for-xen-kvm-vmware-workstation-6-vmware-server-with-vmbuilder-on-ubuntu-8.10
  3. http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-linux-kvm/
  4. http://virt.kernelnewbies.org/TechComparison
  5. http://www.massivegeek.com/technology/vmware-server-to-xen-conversion
  6. http://www.nalley.sc/david/?p=36
  7. http://www.playingwithwire.com/2009/06/virtual-failure-yippiemove-switches-from-vmware-to-freebsd-jails/
  8. http://bsd.slashdot.org/story/09/06/02/0043258/When-VMware-Performance-Fails-Try-BSD-Jails

3.  Converting a VM from VMWare to KVM

This doesn't yet work for me.

  1. http://blog.bodhizazen.net/linux/convert-vmware-vmdk-to-kvm-qcow2-or-virtualbox-vdi/
  2. http://blog.loftninjas.org/2008/09/08/converting-a-vmware-image-to-kvm/
  3. http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-1163175.html

4.  Linux mail user agents - comparisons, advantages and problems

This is based on personal experience. It contains detailed info that I've not seen in other reviews, and also not seen in the documentation.

This emphasizes the negative because a package's limitations are often more important than its advantages in deciding whether to use it. Also, the limitations are rarely mentioned in the documentation.

4.1  Kmail


  1. The whole KDE project is designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts. It adds whatever new features the designers consider fun. Users are expected to help debug it. KDE is not intended to be a turnkey system for people who just want something that works w/o thinking about it.
  2. The kmail documentation is several years out of date. If that's a problem for you, then fix it yourself. The KDE developers have more fun things to do than write documentation.
  3. Can lose mail when internal db gets corrupted. Symptom: folder shows a message with no subject or body.
  4. Cannot search mail by date. It is impossible to search only within all mail from the last week. The lack of searching by date has been listed in the features request list for several years, but nothing has happened. This is still true of the current 1.9.51 version, as of 7/18/2008.
  5. Searching large folders within kmail is so slow as to be useless. It is much slower than searching the directory directly.
  6. Kmail has very specific requirements for imap, and will not talk to servers that don't have the same hi standards.
  7. Kmail wouldn't talk to gmail, the last time I tried. This may work now.


  1. The addressbook is sophisticated. It is a complete contact program, useful for addresses, phone numbers, etc.
  2. Retrieving messages can be stopped by the user. This is useful if a large imap folder is being scanned.

4.2  Claws-mail


  1. Retrieving mail from several mailboxes is single threaded. Only one mailbox is checked at a time.
  2. Retrieving from a large imap folder cannot be stopped, short of killing claws-mail.
  3. The addressbook is minimal, lacking features in competing addressbooks. E.g., it is useless for storing phone numbers.
  4. This is a stand-alone mail program, not a component of a PIM. There is no integrated calendar.


  1. claws-mail allows mail to be sorted depending on the specific address book containing the sender or recipient. This really convenient feature appears unique to claws-mail.
  2. You can search and filter on arbitrary headers.
  3. You can assign colors to messages and then search by color.
  4. You can watch the connection handshaking.

4.3  Evolution


  1. You cannot search by arbitrary headers.
  2. If a header is duplicated, only the first occurrence is used, unless you write a regex. This makes it very hard to search for mail that flowed thru a specific relay.
  3. You can filter on whether the sender is in any addressbook, but not whether he is in a specific addressbook.
  4. Internal database inconsistencies can arise:
    1. https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/evolution/+bug/287811
    2. http://www.go-evolution.org/Camel.Local#Mbox_bugs
  5. Cannot usefully read an IMAP server from multiple machines, which is the point of IMAP. Specifically, processing a message on one machine is not always seen on others.


  1. You can check for supported types of authentication.

4.4  Thunderbird


  1. Many addons are available.
    1. http://nic-nac-project.de/~kaosmos/
  2. Importing from evolution:
    1. http://maketecheasier.com/how-to-migrate-from-evolution-to-thunderbird-in-ubuntu-intrepid/2008/12/04
    2. http://patrick.wagstrom.net/weblog/2007/01/19/migrating-from-evolution-to-thunderbird/
    3. http://skalyanasundaram.wordpress.com/2007/05/23/using-thunderbird-instead-of-evolution/
    4. http://www.stuermer.ch/blog/the-end-of-evolution-and-how-to-migrate-on-thunderbird.html
    5. http://blog.agdunn.net/?p=225
    6. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=329644
    7. Importing problems:
      1. All messages marked 'read' and tags are lost.
      2. Recommended calendar program, lightening, is version <1.0 and its development team lacks resources.
      3. Mailing lists don't import with addresses.
      4. Addressbook fields are not completely compatible.


  1. It is not possible to to useful spam filtering, or to call out to an external spam program, in Thunderbird. Thunderbird assumes that messages were already tested for spam by the mail server, which added a header with its findings. Thunderbird lets you examine headers and filter the mail. However this filtering sometimes fails. Thunderbird does have a Bayesian spam tester, but it's pretty bad.
  2. Cannot search the bodies of IMAP mail, even if the bodies have been downloaded.
  3. Cannot automatically filter more than one IMAP folder.

4.5  Gmail


  1. All your mail is conveniently centralized, available for search warrants, legal or illegal fishing expeditions, disk crashes, and security failures.

4.6  Mulberry


  1. Extremely powerful
  2. The best documentation I've ever seen for a mailer.


  1. A one-man operation, hasn't been updated since 2007.

5.  Zsh

  1. quote special chars: ${(q)var}

6.  Cellphone as modem in linux

  1. Number: #777
  2. User, pwd: qnc, qnc
  3. Stop dropping calls by
    1. commenting 2 lines in /etc/ppp/options about lcp-echo.
    2. and edit idle-seconds in /etc/sysconfig/network/providers/provider1

7.  Retrieving Motorola V325i cellphone addressbook with Bitpim in Linux

  1. This method is better than using backupassistant, because backupassistant does not save an entry's group or speed dial number.
  2. Using the USB cable.
  3. Try /dev/ttyACM1 or whichever, not usb.
  4. Try connecting phone as modem first
  5. Try turning phone off before connecting to cable.
  6. Eventually I imported the addressbook.
  7. Photos are in filesystem motorola/shared/picture.
  8. Interesting links
    1. http://mark.cdmaforums.com/V325.htm
    2. http://wiki.howardforums.com/index.php/Motorola
    3. http://www.aravind.name/how-install-and-run-bitpim-fedora-10-x8664
    4. http://www.bitpim.org/

8.  Boot ISO image

8.1  Boot ISO image from disk (hard drive)

Suppose that you wish to boot an ISO image of an OS, w/o writing the image to to an external medium, like a CD or USB drive. Info on how to do this is scattered around various mailing lists, and much of that didn't work for me.

What worked

  1. Ubuntu:
    1. Put ISO image somewhere in file system.
    2. Temporarily mount ISO image and copy vmlinuz and initrd files to /boot, possibly renaming them.
    3. Add this to grub, possibly edited:
      title Ubuntu 8.04 root (hd0,0) kernel /boot/ubuntu804-amd64-vmlinuz root=/dev/sda2 vga=0x31b \ splash=silent showopts find_iso=/ubuntu.iso boot=casper initrd /boot/ubuntu804-amd64-initrd.gz lock
    The above has stopped working, and I don't know how to fix it.
  2. Knoppix:
    1. Add to /boot/grub/menu.lst:
       title Knoppix 5.3
       root (hd0,0)
       kernel /boot/isolinux/linux ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init \
          lang=us apm=power-off vga=791 nomce bootfrom=/dev/sda2/knoppix.iso \
          dma myconfig=scan 
       initrd /boot/isolinux/minirt.gz    
    2. Install:
      1. /dev/sda2/knoppix.iso (replacing /dev/sda2 by the mounted name)
      2. /boot/isolinux/linux (obtained from temporarily mounting knoppix.iso)
      3. /boot/isolinux/minirt.gz (")
      4. /KNOPPIX (")
    3. Ref: http://www.knoppix.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=114964

What didn't work

  1. in grub 0.97: using map --hook or map --rehook or map --mem. These options don't exist.
  2. grub 2.0: its authors don't claim it's ready for public use.
  3. grub4dos: this might be the answer since it's more flexible and powerful than grub (e.g., it has --hook and --mem), but there's too little documentation in English.
  4. Copying the ISO image to a separate partition then using grub thus:
    title Knoppix rootnoverify (hd0,4) chainloader (hd0,4)+1
  5. Using fromhd in grub thus:
    title Knoppix root (hd0,1) kernel /boot/knoppix53 ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us \ apm=power-off vga=791 nomce fromhd=/dev/sda2 dma myconfig=scan initrd /boot/knoppix53-minirt.gz
    title Knoppix root (hd0,1) kernel /boot/knoppix53 ramdisk_size=100000 init=/etc/init lang=us \ apm=power-off vga=791 nomce fromhd=/dev/sda2/KNOPPIX dma myconfig=scan initrd /boot/knoppix53-minirt.gz

Not thoroughly explored

  1. Putting the image in a separate partition with dd, marking it bootable, and causing grub to boot it.


Some of these are useful.

  1. http://forums.hexus.net/operating-systems-applications/141523-usb-boot-iso-images-possible.html
  2. http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-software-2/booting-of-raw-iso-from-grublilo-though-preferably-grub-367901/
  3. http://www.911cd.net/forums//index.php?showtopic=18045&st=45
  4. http://grub4dos.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Grub4dos_tutorial
  5. http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/grub_intro/
  6. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=774539&highlight=grub
  7. http://ubuntuforums.org/search.php?searchid=41979132&pp=25&page=2
  8. http://ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-170530.html
  9. http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-general-1/boot-iso-image-from-hard-disk-294744/
  10. http://www.knoppix.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=27883
  11. http://www.knoppix.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=11796
  12. http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/articles/grub_intro

8.2  Boot ISO image from USB flash drive

There was a review somewhere that said that you cannot boot from most brands of USB drives. Possibly useful:

  1. http://lifehacker.com/software/linux/boot-linux-from-a-flash-drive-225652.php
  2. http://www.bootdisk.com/pendrive.htm
  3. http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2008/10/15/ubuntu-810-persistent-flash-drive-install-from-live-cd/
  4. http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2008/05/23/how-to-fix-ubuntu-804-casper-script-for-persistence/
  5. http://www.pendrivelinux.com/
  6. http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS2850840818.html
  7. http://www.simonf.com/usb/

9.  C++ Compilers

  1. Gnu and Intel compilers appear to have the same performance for both serial and OpenMP code.
  2. The AMD compiler was designed for Redhat and is too complicated to install on Ubuntu.

10.  Numeric and statistical computing

10.1  SW

  1. BLAD - Bibliothèques Lilloises d'Algèbre Différentielle
  2. http://gmplib.org/
  3. NTL: A Library for doing Number Theory
  4. opt++/
  5. DAKOTA A Multilevel Parallel Object-Oriented Framework for Design Optimization, Parameter Estimation, Uncertainty Quantification, and Sensitivity Analysis
  6. http://www.r-project.org/
  7. http://scipy.org/

10.2  Sparse least squares

Matrix file formats

  1. http://math.nist.gov/MatrixMarket/


  1. http://www.mathworks.com/access/helpdesk/help/techdoc/ref/spparms.html
  2. http://www.mathworks.com/access/helpdesk/help/techdoc/ref/qr.html
  3. http://www.mathworks.com/access/helpdesk/help/techdoc/ref/mldivide.html
  4. http://tomopt.com/tomlab/products/base/solvers/Tlsqr.php - commercial and priced accordingly
  5. http://www.mai.liu.se/~milun/sls/


10.3  Matlab hints

Two-D False Color Plot of a Matrix

The matrix may be up to several thousand square.
shading interp

Read a Data File

load FOO.dat or load FOO
Reads ascii file FOO.dat or FOO into matrix FOO. The file must have one row of numbers per row of the matrix.

Plot Where the Non-Zero Entries of a Matrix Are


Run a Matlab Batch Job

(in linux, from Metin)
matlab -nodisplay -nojvm -nodesktop -nosplash < try.m 1> try.out 2> try.err&
Mathworks Link

10.4  Syntax comparisons - Matlab, Mathematica, Maple

  1. http://amath.colorado.edu/computing/mmm/
  2. http://beige.ucs.indiana.edu/P573/node35.html

11.  Graphics and media

11.1  Big packages

  1. VTK
  2. Gri language for scientific illustration
  3. GLE - Graphics Layout Engine / Professional Graphics Language
  4. Inkscape open-source vector graphics editor review
  5. Graphviz - Graph Visualization Software
  6. Dia - diagram creation
  7. GraphicsMagick - perhaps intended as a replacement for ImageMagick, from which it forked. However ImageMagick nowappears to be better.
  8. ImageMagick - (was?) slower and bigger than GraphicsMagick, however can process 16-bit greyscale images.
  9. contextfreeart: generates images from a grammar.
  10. Synfig: powerful, industrial-strength vector-based 2-D animation software package, designed for producing feature-film-quality animation.
  11. Art_of_Illusion: 3-D modeling and rendering studio.
  12. http://matplotlib.sourceforge.net/
  13. Visualization Library "A lightweight C++ OpenGL middleware for 2D/3D graphics" - gallery looks quite good.
  14. https://www.canva.com - free online design package, since about 2013.

11.2  Plotting (functions and data)

  1. Gnuplot
    1. Website: http://www.gnuplot.info/documentation.html
    2. Make x and y scales the same: set size ratio -1
    3. Sample plot of 2 circles: set parametric, plot sin(t), cos(t), sin(t)+1, cos(t)
  2. Maple: I've switched from gnuplot to Maple for plots.

11.3  Drawing figures

  1. Inkscape looks better than xfig.

11.4  Image format conversions

  1. sam2p - looks good, does single page PS and PDF compactly.
  2. Convert ps to png:
    1. with gs
      gs -sDEVICE=png256 -r300 -sOutputFile=out.png in.ps
      (change the device if desired)
    2. with ImageMagick:
      convert -resize 300 email.eps email.png
  3. http://lifehacker.com/5040094 - quick audio and video media converter
  4. http://www.befunky.com/ - Cartoonizer
  5. Change size with ImageMagick:
    convert -resize 50% in.jpg out.jpg
    resize is similar to but better than scale.
    However it's possible that facebook doesn't like files created this way. They upload as empty. Loading and saving such files with xv may fix them. This problem is tentative; it may be a coincidence.
  6. http://imgtops.sourceforge.net/

11.5  Stitching, panoramas

  1. http://lifehacker.com/378490/ - mentions:
  2. http://autopano.kolor.com/
  3. http://hugin.sourceforge.com/

11.6  Cameras

  1. http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK - Canon Powershot wiki

11.7  Download video

  1. http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/18-free-ways-to-download-any-video-off-the-internet/

11.8  Flickr from ubuntu

  1. flickrfs fails because python 2.6 is not compatible with 2.5
  2. postr is undocumented and appears weak.
  3. dfo crashes when uploading.

12.  LaTeX

12.1  Misc

  1. See also LaTeX slide prep tools.
  2. http://www.latex-project.org/
  3. http://www.fauskes.net/nb/introducing-dot2texi/dot2texi
  4. http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/gnuplottex/gnuplottex
  5. http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX
    1. http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX/Formatting
    2. http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX/Page_Layout
  6. http://detexify.kirelabs.org/ - recognize hand-drawn symbol
  7. http://www.math.uiuc.edu/~hildebr/tex/tips-theorems.html
  8. Include LaTeX math into pmwiki like {$$\Phi_{\mu,\sigma^2}(x) = \frac{1}{\sigma\sqrt{2\pi}}\int_{-\infty}^x e^{-\left(\frac{u-\mu}{2\sigma}\right)^2}du$$}
    See MathJax. (MathJax obsoletes jsMath.) This requires that Javascript be enabled. If you increase the font size and redisplay the page, the formula gets larger and looks better. Setting a minimum font size in the browser can make the formula look worse.
  9. http://tug.ctan.org/tex-archive/info/symbols/comprehensive/symbols-letter.pdf - 100 pages!
  10. LaTeX Tips n Tricks for Conference Papers
  11. http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/hyperref/doc/manual.html
  12. http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rf10/pstex/latexcommands.htm
  13. http://www.kfunigraz.ac.at/~binder/texhelp/bibtx-23.html
  14. http://amath.colorado.edu/documentation/LaTeX/reference/faq/a4.html
  15. http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~rf10/pstex/latexcommands.htm
  16. http://www.dd.chalmers.se/latex/tips_e.html#sidnummer - hints
  17. Adjust Latex enumerate list spacing with enumitem; see resume.tex.
  18. Good latex page from Colorado
  19. recommended: \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} \usepackage{textcomp}
  20. to force lettersize, not A4, paper
    1. This is surprisingly hard; there may be other solutions also.
    2. \usepackage{hyperref}
    3. don't need any options; can set draft.
  21. set even 1 inch margins:
    1. \usepackage{fullpage}
    2. don't also explicitly set margins.
  22. memoir package replaces article etc

12.2  LaTeX into HTML

  1. MathJax: Javascript interpreter for most of LaTeX math mode, with attention paid to hi quality and efficiency. Has been integrated into several other wikis and LaTeX tools.
  2. TtH: Translate TeX to HTML. Equations lose a lot since they're set using HTML formatting.
  3. HeVeA: LaTeX to HTML translator. Equations are readable.
  4. Hyperlatex: Method to generate LaTeX and HTML documents simultaneously, using a large subset of LaTeX with extra commands.
  5. WebTeX: Take an HTML file with math and generate an image for each occurrence.
  6. weblatex: Include LaTeX files in web page, with math converted to either MathML or jsMath, depending on browser capabilities.
  7. TeX4ht: Convert TeX and LaTeX to HTML, using MathML or jsMath for math. Another link.

General properties of the converters are:

  1. Other packages that are used in the LaTeX are not handled. Therefore, e.g., conference papers lose something in translation.
  2. User-defined commands are often not handled.
  3. The HTML version does not look as good as the LaTeX version. This is not necessarily the converters' fault because paper and the web are different.
  4. You may usually add HTML-only commands to the file.
  5. However, the math, iff converted with jsMath or MathML, looks excellent, with only a few changes.

My recommendation:

  1. Prepare the document in pmwiki.
  2. Convert it by hand to LaTeX when needed later for, e.g., a proposal.
  3. If the document was originally LaTeX, then put PDF on the web.

12.3  HTML into LaTeX

  1. html2latex, using Perl.
  2. htmltolatex, using java.
  3. html2latex
  4. TeX4ht: links to many other conversion programs, e.g., from LaTeX to HTML.

12.4  XML to LaTeX or HTML

  1. http://www.albany.edu/~hammond/gellmu/
  2. http://tbookdtd.sourceforge.net/

12.5  Replacements or supplements:

  1. http://www.tug.org/eplain/
  2. http://wiki.contextgarden.net/
  3. http://www.tug.org/pracjourn/
  4. http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/memoir/
  5. http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/geometry/ - margins etc

12.6  Fonts

  1. times is the smallest usual font - more text per page.
  2. \usepackage{mathptmx} obsoletes \usepackage{times}
  3. web fonts are in, e.g., Misc
    1. http://www.tug.dk/FontCatalogue/
    2. http://www.tug.org/tetex/tetex-texmfdist/doc/latex/koma-script/readme.txt
    3. http://www.tug.org/fonts/
    4. http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/nonfree/fonts/urw/lettergothic/ - mb install (free)
    5. http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/nonfree/fonts/urw/garamond/ - "
  4. Commercial fonts
    1. http://www.tex.ac.uk/cgi-bin/texfaq2html?label=psfchoice - lists sources
    2. http://www.pctex.com/ - math and lucida
    3. http://www.tug.org/store/lucida/order.html - lucida. How do the 2 lucidas compare?
    4. http://www.micropress-inc.com/fonts/
    5. Also interesting (update of cm): \usepackage{lmodern}

12.7  Lucida fonts

This commercial font set was surprisingly hard to install. The included doc is incomplete. The following is from, i.a., http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Comp/comp.text.tex/2006-02/msg00819.html . Not all the following steps may be necessary.

  1. Install files from lucida-complete.zip to /usr/share/texmf/
  2. Link /usr/local/share/texmf to /usr/share/texmf.
  3. updmap --enable Map=lucida.map
  4. updmap-sys --enable Map=lucida.map

To use, include
Documentation is in /usr/share/texmf/doc/fonts/lucidabr/

13.  PDF

13.1  XML into PDF

  1. http://www.princexml.com/ - Math capabilities appear primitive. Does not do LaTeX math.

13.2  LaTeX figures and PDF

  1. LaTeX to PDF: several ways, w/ or w/o DVI or PS
  2. Hints about tables and figures in LaTeX
  3. Graphics for Inclusion in Electronic Documents: formats, SW, many details.

13.3  Watermark a PDF file

pdftk filetomark.pdf background watermark.pdf output out.pdf

or pdftk filetomark.pdf stamp watermark.pdf output out.pdf

13.4  Convert a directory of image files to PDF files

 for f in image-*.pnm
 convert -resize 25% $f ../pdf/${f:s/pnm/pdf}      

13.5  Crop and resize PDF pages

  1. pdfcrop

13.6  Combine a directory of PDF files into one file

 pdftk image*pdf cat output onebigfile.pdf

13.7  Update PDF file metadata

  1. extract an info file: pdftk file.pdf dump_data > info
  2. edit info
  3. pdftk file.pdf update_info info output file2.pdf

13.8  PDF to RTF (good for MS Word)

I haven't tried this, but it looks interesting. http://3d2f.com/programs/22-038-advanced-pdf-to-rtf-converter-download.shtml

PDF to MS Word

http://www.hellopdf.com/ - To try.

13.9  Paginate a PDF file

  1. http://3d2f.com/programs/22-043-getpdf-page-numberer-download.shtml
  2. http://3d2f.com/programs/63-939-sybrex-speedpdf-page-numberer-download.shtml
  3. pdflatex with pdfpages

13.10  Complete (fill in) a PDF form

  1. for free in Linux: http://www.cabaret-solutions.com/en/
  2. http://www.pdfescape.com/pdf/open/
  3. acroread now works in linux.

13.11  Linux PDF w embedded multimedia

The following links are interesting, but I haven't checked most of them.

  1. http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/1574/embedding-videos-and-animations
  2. http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1308217
  3. http://eumenidae.blogspot.com/2012/03/movie-playback-in-latexbeamer-current.html

14.  Talk (Presentation) Slide Tools

  1. Summaries
    1. Screen Presentation Tools by Michael Wiedmann
  2. LaTeX beamer is newer than prosper is newer than seminar. Use beamer (for now).
    1. http://latex-beamer.sourceforge.net/
    2. http://www-i6.informatik.rwth-aachen.de/~dreuw/latexbeamerposter.php
    3. http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/powerdot/
    4. http://sourceforge.net/projects/prosper/
    5. http://ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/movie15/ - incs videos
    6. powerdot - replaces ha-prosper replaces prosper, but is beta.
    7. pdfslide
  3. Html: These are at the mercy of the browser. Formerly, all browsers (firefox, explorer, konqueror, opera) were surprising bad and mutually incompatible. I used to say, avoid, However, things may now be improving.
    1. http://meyerweb.com/eric/tools/s5/
    2. http://www.w3.org/Talks/Tools/Slidy/
    3. http://microformats.org/wiki/XOXO
    4. http://my.opera.com/community/dev/operashow/documentation/doc_fileformat.html
  4. Misc
    1. http://member.wide.ad.jp/wg/mgp/ - MagicPoint - looks interesting
    2. http://gmpg.org/xfn/and/
    3. http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~skupin/pdfanim/ - incorporates files of frames - wait for more mature version
    4. http://impressive.sourceforge.net/manual.php - looks good, does PDF
    5. http://www.swftools.org/

15.  Other Words

15.1  Others' words

  1. http://podiobooks.com/
  2. http://dailylit.com/

15.2  Speak words

  1. http://spokentext.net/

16.  Geo

16.1  Major sites of information

  1. http://www.usgs.gov/
  2. http://data.geocomm.com/
  3. http://terrainmap.com/

16.2  Packages

  1. GMT Generic Mapping Tools
  2. http://www.visualizationsoftware.com/3dem.html
  3. http://www2.cs.uh.edu/~somalley/campath.html
  4. Quantum GIS
  5. virtual terrain project
  6. http://www.osgeo.org/

16.3  Rendering terrain with povray

  1. povray-terrain-1.tz shows how to render images of terrain in povray.
  2. povray-terrain-2.tz has more test data and the corresponding images.

16.4  GPS, specifically Garmin 60csx

  1. Track vs Active Track
    SFAIK, the only difference is that the active track has the time of each point. That is deleted when the active track is saved.
  2. Tracks saved on data card
    gpx files saved to the data card do have the times. There is one file per day. The GPS doesn't list them all (?!). They don't show on the GPS display. Get them by putting GPS in USB mode, mounting it, then copying.
    Ref: http://freegeographytools.com/2007/garmin-microsd-card-tricks
  3. gpsbabel - great program for processing tracks in linux

16.5  Convert gpx files to kml for Google maps

  1. http://www.gpsvisualizer.com
  2. http://www.expertgps.com/gpx-kml.asp

16.6  SRTM

  1. http://integrity-logic.com/Blog/?p=30
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shuttle_Radar_Topography_Mission

17.  VMWare - shrink pre-allocated disk on windows client

Preallocated disks are faster and don't get larger with more writes (they start large) but you have to pick the size at the start. What if you later want to shrink (truncate) it?

  1. Create a new preallocated disk file of the desired size on the host.
  2. Install partition magic on the client
  3. On the client, copy and resize the partition from the old disk to the new.
  4. Halt the VM.
  5. In the VM settings, delete the old disk, and update the IDE bus address for the new disk from 0:1 to 0:0.
  6. Reboot; you're done (with luck).

Thanks to http://communities.vmware.com/message/899544#899544

18.  MS Windows

18.1  Retrieve passwords and activation keys


19.  Web fonts

  1. http://typekit.com/ Commercial fonts with nice free preview.
  2. http://www.typetester.org/ lets you see a demo paragraph in 3 user-settable fonts, side by side.
  3. http://textpattern.com/ GPL CMS (to explore)
  4. http://articles.sitepoint.com/article/anatomy-web-fonts - good tutorial with lots of links.
  5. http://www.upsdell.com/BrowserNews/res_fonts.htm - lots of info
  6. http://web.mit.edu/jmorzins/www/fonts.html - compares many fonts, written in 2006
  7. http://www.goodwebfonts.com/ describes several good free fonts
  8. http://code.google.com/webfonts