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En Masse Conversion of Documents to PDF

Clients from Hell is a favourite place for web designers and developers to visit for laughter, or a relief from blood-curdling rage through affirmation. But every so often there is a comment from a supposedly frustrated designer or developer that makes one think that the comment is not so stupid.

LUV President's Report to the Annual General Meeting, September 2011

The role of President from September 2010 to September 2011 period was initially one of accident; in my role as Public Officer I attended the Annual General Meeting and left the evening as President of the association. Thrown into this somewhat unexpected role I set as a priority ensuring that we had speakers for our LUV-main and LUV-beginners events, which was achieved quite quickly. Previous experience on the committee indicated that there is nothing worse than a last-minute panic to find speaker.

Installing the GNU Debugger

The GNU Debugger (GDB) is the standard debugger for the GNU software system. It is a portable debugger that runs on many Unix-like systems and works for many programming languages, including Ada, C, C++, FreeBASIC, FreePascal and Fortran.

Installation is trivial, but slightly interesting for illustrative purposes. First download and unpack:

cd /usr/local/src/GDB
tar xvf gdb-7.3.tar.gz
cd gdb-7.3

Installing the R Project for Statistical Computing

The R Project is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics.

To install R download the tarball to an appropriate place and extract e.g.,

MFIX (Multiphase Flow With Interphase Exchanges) with Intel compilers on a 64-bit Opteron Linux System

MFIX (Multiphase Flow With Interphase Exchanges) has been developed by the U.S. National Energy Technology Laborartory, providing transient data on the three-dimensional distribution of pressure, velocity, temperature, and species mass fractions.

Installing BEAMnrc With EGSnrc on a Linux Cluster

EGSnrc (Electron Gamma Shower) is "a package for the Monte Carlo simulation of coupled electron-photon transport. Its current energy range of applicability is considered to be 1 keV to 10 GeV". The previous instructions for installing it remain the same. EGSnrc has an additional program, BEAMnrc.

An Open Letter to Eugene Kaspersky

Dear Mr. Kaspersky,

You are, of course, one the most well-known IT security experts in the world. Your company, Kaspersky Lab, is one of the largest and most successful providers of a suite products that protect users against various forms of malware. It was with some interest then, that I attended your presentation at the University of Melbourne on May 25, 2011.

Red Hat, the $1 billion Linux company

In August 1998 Microsoft employees Vinod Valloppillil and Josh Cohen wrote a famous internal confidental document entitled "Linux OS Competitive Analysis", which was subsequently leaked to Eric Raymond and became known as "Halloween Document 2".

Whilst the whole set is fascinating reading it is worth noting what the document said about Red Hat at the time...

Could Your Business Gain From A Switch To Open Source?

I'll start off with a caveat, I am an open-source advocate, a long standing committee member and current president of Linux Users of Victoria ( My overall approach is that computer programs are scientific problems, and therefore there is an inherent tendency towards a better solution when the source code can be freely analysed, distributed and developed; release early, release often and with many eyes all bugs are shallow (to paraphrase Eric Raymond's famous essay 'The Cathedral and the Bazaar').

Installing An Armadillo and Manually Inserting It Into A Library

Armadillo is a C++ linear algebra library (matrix maths) that supports integer, floating point and complex numbers, as well as a subset of trigonometric and statistics functions.

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