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--D. Thiebaut 16:02, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

This page contains various tutorials and recipes for getting things done with different software tools. Whenever I need to learn something, I teach myself how to use the new tool, but quickly forget it, unfortunately. From this experience I have learned that it requires less time for me to write a tutorial as I go along the first time, so that the second time I don't have to reinvent the wheel again. I try to make the tutorials informative and helpful so that others can benefit from them as well. Enjoy!


TensorFlow.png MoodleVPLLogo.png DropboxLogo.png AWS.png HadoopCartoon.png AWS.png XgridLogo.png GoogleMap.png Kinect.jpg ProcessingLogo.jpg


IBookAuthorLogo.jpg GoogleDSPL.png MatPlotLib.png ArduinoLogo.png


QtCreator.png Qt3Logo.png BoxPHPRunner.png MySQLLogo.png FreePCB8.png XilinxLogo.gif BashScriptsTutorialLogo.png PySerial.png GoogleWebKitLogo.png Rlogo.png PythonLogo.jpg RaspberryPiLogo.gif


Tutorial Comments

TensorFlow Tutorials & References

A page with good references and tutorials on Google's TensorFlow for Machine Learning.

Playing with the Boston Housing Data

Creating a Regressor for Boston Housing Data.

Tutorial: Binary Matcher

Designing a Neural Net with TensorFlow that recognizes 5-bit binary numbers mixed with random numbers.

Using Tensorflow with Docker on Mac OSX

A short tutorial listing the steps necessary to install Tensorflow with Docker

Moodle Virtual-Programming-Lab (VPL)


The Moodle VPL Tutorials have now grown enough to have their own page.


Tutorial Comments

Simple OSX/Dropbox-Based Server for iPad

Use the instantaneous sync-ing ability of Dropbox to build a simple private server for a mobile device. An iOS iPad is used in this example but all mobile platforms supporting Dropbox will work.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Tutorial Comments

So you want to run your code on Amazon?

A minimalist tutorial showing the different steps required to run a java application on an Amazon EC2 instance. It should take you 10 minutes or so to launch an instance, upload your code, and start running it.

Hadoop, StarCluster, and Amazon's AWS

Tutorial Comments

Tutorial 1: Running a java WordCount on AWS

This tutorial shows how to run the WordCount java program (from the Hadoop distribution, or user-provided) on a cluster of AWS instances organized by MIT's StarCluster.

Tutorial 2: Python WordCount on AWS

This tutorial is similar to the previous tutorial, and uses Hadoop's streaming facility to run python mappers and reducers

Hadoop/MapReduce Computation at Smith College


See the Hadoop/MapReduce Tutorials page for up-to-date information.

Tutorial Comments

Tutorial #0

Running a simple Map-Reduce Python program from the bash command line

Tutorial #1

Running WordCount written in Java on the Smith College Hadoop/MapReduce Cluster

Tutorial #1.1

Creating timelines of the execution of tasks during the execution of a MapReduce program.

Tutorial #2

Running WordCount in Python on the Smith College Hadoop/MapReduce Cluster

Tutorial #2.1

Running a streaming Python MapReduce program on XML files

Tutorial #2.2

Running C++ programs under Hadoop Pipes

Tutorial #2.3

Running Python Map-Reduce programs with Hadoop, on AWS

Tutorial #3

Running Hadoop jobs on Amazon AWS

Tutorial #3.1

Uploading text to S3 and running Amazon's WordCount Java program on our own data.

Tutorial #3.2

Uploading and Running our own streaming version of the WordCount program on AWS.

Tutorial #3.3

Computing the cost of maintaining a cluster of 6 MapReduce instances on Amazon's AWS

Tutorial #4

Start a server on Amazon's EC2 infrastructure

Tutorial #5: Setting up a Virtual Hadoop Cluster

This tutorial is a list of steps taken to create a working Hadoop Cluster. The system is setup on an Ubuntu desktop with an 8-core processor running Ubuntu. The virtual servers are setup using VirtualBox

MPI and C Programming with StarCluster on Amazon AWS

Tutorial Comments

Combining MPI and MySQL with C

A tutorial showing how to run an MPI program written in C that walks directories , grab image files, identify them with ImageMagick to get their width and height, and enters the information in a MySQL database.

Create an MPI Cluster on the Amazon Elastic Cloud (EC2)

This tutorial presents the series of steps necessary to setup a simple MPI cluster on Amazon EC2. This setup is used for the CSC352 seminar on Distributed and Parallel Computing taught at Smith College.

Computing Pi on a AWS MPI-cluster

This tutorial presents the steps necessary for creating a 10-node AWS cluster with the MIT utility starcluster, and then running a parallel version of the Pi-computing program.

XGrid Programming at Smith College


These tutorials and examples are taken from the pages I maintain for the XGrid working group at Smith College. More information can be found in the Smith XGrid page.

Title Environment/Language         
Command Line
  • Introduction to the XGrid Part I: Generating histograms in parallel.
  • Introduction to the XGrid Part II : Creating a pipeline.
  • A pipeline in Perl: this version uses a graphical utility to create the batch file.        
PList Format
Qt C++

Geo-Mapping Data

Title Description
A very simple set of steps taken to convert a somewhat buggy CSV-formatted list of locations containing city and country names into an interactive Geographical Map showing the number of entries in the list corresponding to a given city.
Another simple set of steps needed to convert the same CSV-formatted lit of locations with city and country names into a Tableau map.

Processing and Eclipse

Title Description
A simple installation tutorial to get Eclipse all set up to run Shiffman's Kinect demo Daniel Shiffman's demos.

This tutorial assumes some basic Java programming skills. Start with the basic: create a new Processing project in Eclipse with simple animation.

A page presenting several options for creating a path behind animated objects.

This tutorial quickly introduces VisualVM (which is included in Sun's JDK) for profiling a Processing application running on Eclipse (or in its default IDE).

This tutorial shows how to create a separate thread to play sounds when various events are detected.

This tutorial presents a simple model-view-controller implemented in Processing. It displays a square network of vertices and edges forming a rectangular grid. A minimum of user-interaction is implemented, but enough to provide a guide for building more sophisticated systems.

SQLite and Processing

Title Description         
Tutorial #1 A simple tutorial for accessing an SQLite database from Processing. This tutorial uses the Processing native IDE                         
Tutorial #2 This tutorial is similar in its goal to Tutorial #1, but it uses Eclipse as the IDE, requiring the setup of the SQLite libraries and class files in the Eclipse project.
Introduction to Processing A quick introduction to the language Processing, with some references and links.

MySQL and Processing

Title Description         
Accessing a MySQL Server from Processing A simple tutorial for accessing a MySQL database from Processing. This tutorial uses Eclipse to develop the Java application.                         

Formatting Papers with ShareLatex

Title Description
This is a short tutorial that will get you to create a skeleton Latex document formatted for the ACM publication standard
This skeleton is simply the v2-acmsmall package stripped of most extraneous information. The full template can be found on the ACM Latex Styles page.

Google WebKit (GWT)

Tutorial Description

The Basics of a Simple GTW Canvas Web App

This tutorial takes the giantflyingsaucer.com very good tutorial on using an html canvas under GWT and clarifies the relationship between the different files involved in the project.

Drawing Logic Gates (And, Or, Not) with GWT

I found so little information on drawing logic gates, in particular the OR gate with its 3 arcs on the Web that I decided to post a few Java classes for drawing gates on a GWT Context2D canvas.

iBook Author Animations and Recipes

Title Description
This is not really a tutorial, but rather a minimal series of files one can start with to create a new widget by hand.
A short tutorial illustrating how to create a 2-image animation with buttons allowing the user to go from one image to the other. .
This tutorial takes the excellent article for creating a javascript calculator by Simon Southwell and inserts it into the skeleton widget of this section.
A quick and tiny tutorial illustrating how to take a Google WebKit (GWT) project and convert it into a Dashboard widget ready for export into an iBook.
A quick and tiny recipe illustrating how to take a Google WebKit (GWT) project in Eclipse, save it as a tar archive, and then set it up as a set of Web pages on an http server.
A simple recipe by User remoorejr on YouTube

Google's DSPL (DataSet Publishing Language)

Title Description
A first look at DSPL with a simple example showing how to plot two columns of numbers as a function of time (years)

MatPlotLib for Python

Title Description
An introduction to the MatPlotLib Python library allowing you to generate MatLab-style graphs in Python.

Raspberry Pi

Title Description
A simple client-server example illustrating how to control a simple data exchange between a laptop (a mac in this instance) and a Raspberry Pi.
This example shows how to count events with a Raspberry Pi using user-level interrupts. The tutorial ends with suggestions to further increase the resolution and accuracy of this setup.

This example simply takes the client of the client-server tutorial of this section and replaces it with a client written in Processing 2, using communication over sockets.

A collection of assembly language programs written for the ARM processor of the RaspberryPi. The examples include printing strings, performing simple arithmetic, passing parameters to functions, by value and by reference, recursion, and activating an LED.


Title Description
An in-class introduction to the Arduino. Not useful if not accompanied by in-class presentation. Refer to the Arduino Web site if working on your own.
A quick presentation of communication between an Arduino sending characters of the alphabet via an XBee to another XBee connected to a Windows PC.

C++ with Qt 4

Title Description         
: Creating a simple application with VC++ 2003.
: Simple signal/slot experiment with VC++ 2003.
: Creating an application from the console (without IDE).
: Using a Python script to generate the project around a .ui file.
: Adding a debug window and facility to a form.
: The implementation of a memory module for a computer simulator.
: Using a QTableWidget to show data in a tabular form.
: A simple listView model/view example (taken from Qt's doc)
: A model/view implementation of a 2 dimensional array
: Launching a subprocess...

C++ with Qt4 and Qt4 Creator

Title Description         
: Creating a simple console Qt4 application with Qt Creator.          
: Access a MySql database and read the contents of a table.

C++ with Qt5 and Qt5 Creator

Title Description         
: This tutorial introduces the Qt5 environment and the Qt Creator. It demonstrates how to create a simple application with 3 widgets, two push-buttons and one text-edit to display "Hello World!"          
: This tutorial introduces the Qt5 environment and the Qt Creator. It demonstrates how to create a simple console application which runs in the Terminal and outputs a simple "Hello World" message.          
: This tutorial uses Qt5 environment and the Qt Creator. It demonstrates how to add a debugging window in a text-browser widget at the bottom of the App GUI. The text-browser can be open or closed depending on whether debugging information is needed or not.          
: This tutorial shows how to create a simple 2-button GUI Qt5 app that opens up a QDialog to get a file name, opens the file, reads it, and displays it in a fixed-size font QTextEdit.

iOS Development in C++ with Qt5 and Qt5 Creator

Title Description         
: This video tutorial illustrates how to bypass Qt-Creator when this one is reluctant to push to your iOS device.
: Two video tutorials illlustrating the steps required to push Qt example apps to an iOS device or the iOS simulator.



Title Description         
Tutorial #1 : Creating a simple form with PyQt.                          


Title Description         

Tutorial #1

Creating a simple editor window in Qt 4.

PhPRunner MySql tutorials

Title Description         

Tutorial #1

: A quick intro to PhpRunner and MySql.

Tutorial #2

: Playing with SQL queries.

MySql tutorials

Title Description

Tutorial #1 and exercises

Creating tables, generating SELECT queries.

Tutorial #2 and exercises

Update queries, and left join operations.

Combining MPI and MySQL with C

A tutorial showing how to run an MPI program written in C' that walks directories, grab image files, identify them with ImageMagick to get their width and height, and enters the information in a MySQL database.

BioInformatics Labs in Processing


These labs were created as an introduction to Bioinformatics using the language Processing. Some of them are very short. Others require some amount of programming.

  • Lab #0: Introduction to Processing
  • Lab #1: Retrieving DNA sequence from database
  • Lab #2: Retrieving protein sequence from database
  • Lab #3: Aligning sequences in Proce55ing
  • Lab #4: Finding repeats in DNA sequences with Proce55ing
  • Lab #5: Finding repeats in DNA sequences using a Web-server
  • Lab #6: Playing with FoldIt!
  • Lab #7: Sequence Logos with Proce55ing
  • Lab #8: Sequence Logos on the Web
  • Lab #9: Where/How do I get proteins?
  • Lab #10: Finding the secondary structure of a protein
  • Miscellaneous Links and Resources
    • E Coli sequence in FASTA format
    • A good tutorial ( pdf ) on Processing by Josh Nimoy, from NYU.

Assembly Crash Course

This is a one-evening crash-lab on assembly language. This is a good introduction to the 80X86-family assembly for students with no background in assembly, and taking a microprocessor-based course.

Creating Printed-Circuit Boards

Title Description         
Tutorial: Printed-Circuit Boards With thanks to Paul Voss for sharing his tools and secrets!

Xilinx ISE and The CoolRunner II CPLD

Title Description         
Lab #1: Schematics: Simple gates A first lab/tutorial illustrating how to create a digital circuit from schematics and testing its behavior with the ISim simulator.
Lab #2: Verilog Lab 2 in the series. The same 2-bit adder, but this time in Verilog.
Lab #3: Sequential Circuit Schematics A 3-flip-flop sequential circuit activating two blinking lights and behavior simulator.
Lab #4: 4-Bit Adder in Verilog Lab 4 in the series. We use two modules to build a 4-bit adder made of four full-adders.
Xilinx ISE 13.4 Installation Guide Extensive installation guide for ISE 13.4 on Windows 7 PCs

Bash Tutorials

Title Description         
Bash Tutorial 1 Introduction to bash. cp, cd, and directories.
Bash Tutorial 2 History, pushd, popd, less, cat, grep.
Bash Tutorial 3 Manual Pages and pipes.
Bash Tutorial 4 Redirection.

Bash Scripts

Title Description         
Building a self-refreshing Kiosk on a Mac Powerbook A Bash script that watches when a new movie has been updated on a server, and automatically downloads it and plays it in a continuous loop, in full-screen mode on a Mac Powerbook                         
A bit of Bash A short collection of useful Bash constructs.
Download many movies from YouTube and Number them A Bash script that downloads a series of YouTube movies and renames them on the local disk using a counter.                          


Title Description         
PySerial Simulator for Developing Python-to-Arduino Programs This tutorial briefly illustrates the process of putting together a low-key Arduino PySerial simulator that can be used to develop complex Python apps that will eventually interface with Arduinos.                         

R, R-Studio, and Shiny

Title Description         
R-Script to generate a histogram and boxplot of student grades This is a quick recipe for generating the histogram and boxplot of a series of grades.                         
HeatMap of People's Skills This is the R-markdown of a couple recipes for generating a heat map of people's skills, as collected through documents such as CVs
Shiny Application to Visualize Data Generated On-the-Fly This is the R-markdown of a 5-day Compute & Visualize workshop where I generated a Shiny app that takes data generated on-the-fly on a server, and plots the result in real time.

TKinter & Python 3


Title Description         

TKinter Lab

A lab introducing TKinter as a way of creating simple GUI applications. This lab is based on Python 3.X, but can easily adapted to Python 2.X.