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Every now and then, I get really annoyed with MATLAB/Octave. The clumsiness of the language, and the way it makes you write so much throw away code are two particular annoyances, but the main thing that irks me is that it couldn’t be more different than my favourite language, Ruby. So every now any then, I go on a foray, to see whether the tools I need are around yet, so I can move closer to dumping MATLAB, and bask in OO glory.

Whilst surfing GitHub, the new standard repository for all of the World’s cool repositories, I stumbled across gnuplot-textmate-bundle – another Gnuplot bundle for TextMate. So far I’ve only had time for a quick look, but my initial thoughts are that it is less complete than my bundle, but with better commands. Their run command uses a ruby helper script, which looks quite cool. There’s also some usefulness in the form of a Rake script.

IGARSS Buzzwords

It’s probably impossible to go to a conference without picking up some kind of idea of the current trends in the areas being discussed. IGARSS 2008 was certainly no exception. Here’s a list of what I think were probably the most trendy techniques in remote sensing. You can probably make a list like this just by graphing the frequency of word use: Classification Support Vector Machines Markov segmentation geostatistics - Last time I looked at wikipedia’s geostatistics entry it was very highly biased.

If you’ve ever wanted to automatically add a coloured border to an image, then this ruby script might come in handy. add_border.rb does exactly what you expect; it adds a border. You can specify the outer and inner sizes, and the colour of the inner border between. By default, this colour will be the average RBG value, giving you an awesome look by default. To use it, just run ruby .


snarfr is a ruby script designed for simply backing up your flickr photos. It requires a few gems, notably: flickraw progressbar (≥ 0.9 see: here) mini_exiftool facets/ostruct To run it, type ruby snarfr.rb, or chmod +x it, and then do ./snarfr.rb. It should then begin snarfing yours photos into ./output, unless you’ve specified an output directory (as the first argument), in which case things will go there. snarfr tries to be intelligent by saving it’s progress to the file ~/.