Originally published at Louis' Footprint. You can comment here or there.

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Peach Cherry Pie

Originally published at Louis' Footprint. You can comment here or there.

I made this for a housewarming yesterday, came out really tastey. Was excellent for breakfast this morning too.


4 cups sliced fresh peaches
1.5 cups pitted washington cherries
3/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tbls butter cut into small pieces
4 tbls flour
2 pie crusts
1 egg, beaten

Preheat to 400 degrees F. Mix dry sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl. Coat the cherries and peaches with mixture. Spread out the bottom pie crust and fill. Top filling with pieces of butter. Close off pie, and brush top crust with beaten egg. Bake for 45 minutes.

Here is the pie crust recipe I use:
2.25 cups flour
2/3 cups shortening
1 tbl butter
1 tsp salt
1.5 tbls sugar
6 tbls cold water

Mix sugar, flour, and salt together. Cut in shortening and butter (don't work it too much or it will not be flakey!). Mix in water till dough forms. Split into two balls, wrap in plastic and place in fridge for a few hours before making the pie.

The Last Straw

So I've been out of it for a while, got into a relationship last January that recently ended poorly (if you know me, I'd be more than happy to share, but too much to post here). Anyway, in a moment of utter weakness I re-activated my online dating account on okcupid. I picked up where I left off, ignoring the heavyweights and trying to schmooze some cuties. I met up with a possible a week or so ago. We had similar interests in TV (at least I'd be able to nerd out with her about lost) and she seemed friendly enough.

Our meet-n-great ended in a fizzle, however, and I quickly picked up on the fact that we weren't compatible. No biggie, was polite and friendly, but didn't email back or go for a second date. These things happen.

Today I signed on, and she deleted her account? I wonder, was I really that bad? Like how do you become the last straw for people? I mean, really, we met up for a drink, exhausted the things we had in common, and called it a day. What more can I do?

In all honesty, I am rather disappointed. Not because I was someone's last straw, but because she wasn't my last straw. I really want to have some terrible dates to post to FML, or at least joke around about with my friends, and I horrify someone so much that they delete their account? I mean, I've got skills, but damn.

Maybe I should stop messaging nice women and start messaging the freaks.

Pidgin spellcheck problem in Kubuntu 9.04

Originally published at Louis' Footprint. You can comment here or there.

I ran into a weird spellcheck problem with pidgin in kubuntu 9.04. Pidgin uses the gtkspell library, but it kept telling me every word was spelled wrong. If I ran it with
LANG=en_US pidgin

Everything worked fine. I didn't find much on the net, but installing aspell seems to have fixed the problem... somewhere o.O.

Widescreen DVD creation in Linux

Originally published at Louis' Footprint. You can comment here or there.

I recently wanted to make some widescreen dvds to pass on to my parents. I remember trying this before, but having nothing but headaches. Fortunately, software updates have made dvd authoring pretty easy. Here is how I did it in linux using only command line utilities.

I wanted to make a disk that just had the movie (no menu's, etc), and have it play in a regular ntsc dvd player.

First I encoded the files using ffmpeg. I didn't change the bitrate/resolution options cause I don't mind burning a few extra discs. Anyway, I encoded each file with:

ffmpeg -i title1.mkv -threads 2 -target ntsc-dvd -s 720x480 -aspect 16:9 title1.mpg

Then, I used dvd author to create the dvd structure:

mkdir -p dvd
dvdauthor -o dvd/ -t --video=ntsc+16:9 title1.mpg

You can repeat the above to add more titles.
When done, write the table of contents with

dvdauthor -o dvd/ -T

Finally, I burned it using

growisofs -dvd-compat -Z /dev/dvdrw -dvd-video -V "MYDVD" dvd/

Worked great in my roommate's ps2, which usually means it will play in most players.

Given how much faster the mpg encoding happened on my new dual core (note the -threads 2 option), I may make some video dvds to mail out more often.

Bridge Walk!

Originally published at Louis' Footprint. You can comment here or there.

The nice weather recently allowed me to try out the gps on my iphone. I tracked a nice walk I took across the Ben Franklin. I accidentally stopped the tracking before I got home, but most of it tracked pretty well. Map below.


pdflatex and errors with IEEE PDF eXpress

Originally published at Louis' Footprint. You can comment here or there.

I've been preparing a paper for publication in CVPR, and ran into some problems getting my pdf to pass the IEEE checks. Specifically, in PDF eXpress I got the following errors:
Document contains Link annotation(s) (98x on pages 1-8)
Font Helvetica is not embedded

The fixes on the IEEE website aren't very helpful if you are using pdflatex (they all reference editing the pdf in acrobat pro).

After some digging, I found that the first error was due to my use of the hyperref package. It makes the citations, references, and urls clickable in the pdf. Commenting it out solves the problem, but I had to add:

to keep my url formatting.

The second error was a bit more difficult. After some crafty googling, I found a post by Daniel Lemire that presents some nice solutions. I went the ps2pdf route, using:
$ pdftops cvpr09_crowded.pdf
$ ps2pdf14 -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress

You can check to see if the fonts are in there by checking the emb column of pdffonts:

$ pdffonts cvpr09_crowded.pdf
name                                 type              emb sub uni object ID
------------------------------------ ----------------- --- --- --- ---------
OQTFVP+NimbusRomNo9L-Medi            Type 1C           yes yes no       8  0
IHREID+NimbusRomNo9L-Regu            Type 1C           yes yes no      10  0
TMDMXG+CMSY9                         Type 1C           yes yes no      12  0
KHVQBR+NimbusMonL-Regu               Type 1C           yes yes no      14  0
YLWRHH+NimbusRomNo9L-ReguItal        Type 1C           yes yes no      16  0
SZBUWF+CMMI7                         Type 1C           yes yes no      34  0
ZCOTPA+CMR10                         Type 1C           yes yes no      36  0
KZMRRX+CMEX10                        Type 1C           yes yes no      38  0
SCVZFU+CMMIB10                       Type 1C           yes yes no      40  0
SEQGIY+CMBX10                        Type 1C           yes yes no      42  0
UUJIIN+CMR7                          Type 1C           yes yes no      44  0
QAYCPT+CMMI10                        Type 1C           yes yes no      30  0
POXMFX+CMSY10                        Type 1C           yes yes yes     32  0
MGEOYM+CMMI6                         Type 1C           yes yes no      54  0
VYQXBO+CMR9                          Type 1C           yes yes no      56  0
KXWFAA+TeX-cmex9                     Type 1C           yes yes no      58  0
ESCVJZ+CMMI5                         Type 1C           yes yes no      60  0
SDEQPI+CMSY6                         Type 1C           yes yes no      62  0
EAHSJV+CMR6                          Type 1C           yes yes no      64  0
WNWUDO+CMMI9                         Type 1C           yes yes no      52  0
CNTUYP+CMSY7                         Type 1C           yes yes yes     77  0
AUSSOU+CMSY5                         Type 1C           yes yes yes     73  0
OTJKZH+CMR5                          Type 1C           yes yes no      75  0
DAHOOF+Helvetica                     Type 1C           yes yes no      86  0

MPI Error Fix

Originally published at Louis' Footprint. You can comment here or there.

I've been doing a lot of MPI development recently, and had a few MPI programs that crashed. After this happened, I kept receiving the following error on when using mpi-lam:

The selected RPI failed to initialize during MPI_INIT.

It turns out the problem is that the system is running out of inter-process communication resources, as they don't properly get freed unless MPI_Finalize() is called. You can see the current resources with the ipcs command, and then free them using ipcrm. Since removing each one is a pain, I made a quick perl script that generates a list of rm commands to free everything of a specific type that your user has allocated.

Here it is:

$ex = shift;
if( !$ex ) {
print "Usage: [-s -m -q]\n";
exit 1;
foreach(`ipcs $ex ` ) {
@data = split / /,$_;
if( $data[1] =~ m/\d\d*/ ) {
print "ipcrm $ex $data[1]\n";

To use it, just run ./ -s to generate a free list for all semaphores.

Strawberry Pie

Originally published at Louis' Footprint. You can comment here or there.

With Jennie visiting and the last of the pear pie meeting its timely death upon the season 1 finale of "Bones", I decided to try making a strawberry pie. I wanted to be a little more experimental this time, so the recipe below is more like a best guess as to what went into mine. One thing is for certain: buy a lot of strawberries! I don't think you can have too much, and I was debating how to put more on before I went to bed. I did a lot of research for this one, and specifically wanted to avoid any "cheating", specifically with regards to using strawberry jello, food coloring, or kool aid. I settled on a vartiation of this recipe. I also tried a different crust recipe that makes more of a pastry. I based it off a recipe from here, but changed a bit since the provided recipe just seemed to much like a pastry. I'll put the crust at the bottom as you could just use whatever or buy store-bought. I also made lemon whipped cream to top it off, which turned out amazing!

Strawberry Pie
2 16oz packages of strawberries
3 tbl corn starch
1 cup ginger ale (I know, right? crazy!)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Cut the tops off your strawberries (I tend to do a core like motion, kind of particular about how I cut strawberries. Thanks mom) and separate about 2 cups worth. Mash up the 2 cups of strawberries, mix with water, and cook in a pot on medium heat until it boils. Whisk the corn starch into the ginger ale (you will get fiz!) and then dump into the boiling strawberries and stir stir stir. Cook until it boils a bit, then turn the heat down to low. At this point, taste the mixture (dip a spoon in, make sure it cools!) to test the sweetness. If its a bit tart, or just sweet enough, stir in a bit of the sugar and repeat. The sweetness of this really depends on how the strawberries are. If you have some tart berries, add lots of sugar. If you have sweet berries, you many not need any. Once you get the sweetness right, remove it from the heat. It should be the thickness of Clam Chowder soup about. Let this cool to room temperature while you cut the rest of the strawberries and/or cook your crust. Once cool, generously coat your berries with the mixture, and pour into cooled cooked pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for 1 day.

Lemon Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup powered sugar
zest from 1/2 large lemon
Freeze a metal bowl and beaters until cold. Whip cream, sugar, and zest on high until firm.

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbl sugar
3/8 cup shortening (sorry for the weird measurement, thats what I had left!)
5 tbls butter
4 tbl ice water
1 egg

Preheat to 375, and mix up the flour, sugar, and salt really well. I used a whisk. Then cut in the shortening and butter (this is what I messed up on the pear pie), resulting in sizes no bigger than a pea. Fold in the ice water until a doughy mixture forms. Wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator. The orginal recipe says for an hour, but I could only leave it in for about 15 minutes, seemed okay but a bit to doughy when I rolled it. Roll out and place in pie plate. I cut the excess and folded around the edges for a nice look. Separate the egg, and brush the white over the crust. This seals the crust a bit to prevent it from getting too soggy. Bake for 15 minutes, then poke with a fork/knife to let some steam out. Continue baking for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. My crush shrunk waaay to much in the oven, and one site I read suggested friging it for a 30min after putting it in the pie plate. But again, didn't really have time for that tonight :(.

Other thoughts
Try to chill everything for the dough before use. I wasn't able to chill the shortening as I didn't have time, but its supposed to make it even better.

When I made the filling mixture, I put in a 1/2 cup sugar off the bat. It was waaaay to sweet! Be carefull when adding it in, remember the ginger ale is mostly sugar anyway. I ended up with a lot of the filling, I may adjust the measurements sometime for a better fit.

Don't use diet ginger ale, as heating nutrisweet will make it bitter.

I wrote the above before, this pie turned out amazing! The crust was very desserty, which worked well with the uncooked strawberries and whipped cream. I will def. be making this again! Thanks to Missy for taking the picture!

Gold Diggers of 1933

Originally published at Louis' Footprint. You can comment here or there.

Picture from wikipedia

Tonight Missy and I went to the Lawn Chair Drive In and saw Gold Diggers of 1933. Contrary to the title, the movie isn't really about Gold Diggers, but is a musical about show girls during the depression. Overall pretty entertaining, and much better to watch outside on 16mm if you have the op. Also, there were some pretty amusing situations that fans of As You Like It and Sabrina may find familiar. I would dig finding some of those swinging tunes from the picture, but I imagine that would be a feat. Most of the music was dancey-showy music or classic romance, as expected from old films. One thing that threw me for a loop was the last song, which suddenly became a huge world war 1 statement directly proceeding the credits. It seemed really out of place compared to the rest of the movie (first act: comedy, second act: romance), and didn't bode well with the previous "numbers". Overall the movie was meant to be an uplift for people dealing with the depression, and hopefully relate to the situation and drive some sales to the box office (they hung this lantern pretty high aka- producer's style), so I figure the last song must have been along those lines.

Probably more entertaining than the actual movie was a short that aired before it about the jitterbug, posted below.

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