Monthly Archives: June 2015

On-screen clock/count down/counter

This is the version that is used for IEEE Region 8 Committee meetings.

[download id=”1179″]

Update: Source code available here

Key features

  • You can change the ico that appears in the task bar by placing an ico file with the name watch.ico in the same directory as the executable (or the source)
  • You can drag the watch to a more convenient place
  • Double clicking on the watch it will hide it
  • Double clicking on the icon of the watch it will toggle it’s visibility
  • From the menu on the task bar you can “Set it on top”, allow mouse to click through the clock, hide/show the gui
  • You can set the color of the Font and the Color of the background using a color picker
  • You can set the transparency of the GUI
  • The tool has two modes, it can operate as a clock that shows time in 24 hour mode or AM/PM and can operate as a count down tool (timer)
  • The timer mode allows you to pause (and continue), reset and stop the time, reset and continue the time (using lap) or zero the clock

How to set a static IP Address from the Command Line in GNU/Linux using ifconfig and route 5

Assuming you want to make the following changes to the network device eth0

  1. Change the IP to the static value
  2. Set the Subnet Mask to
  3. Set the Default Gateway for the device to be

you can perform these changes using the following two commands

sudo ifconfig eth0 netmask;
sudo route add default gw eth0;


ifconfig is an application that allows you to configure a network interface.
It is used to configure the kernel-resident network interfaces. and it is used at boot time to set up interfaces as necessary. After that, it is usually only needed when debugging or when system tuning is needed.
If no arguments are given, ifconfig displays the status of the currently active interfaces. If a single interface argument is given, it displays the status of the given interface only; if a single -a argument is given, it displays the status of all interfaces, even those that are down. Otherwise, it configures an interface.


route is an application that allows you to show and manipulate the IP routing table. The primary use of route is to set up static routes to specific hosts or networks via an interface after it has been configured with the ifconfig program.
When the add or del options are used, route modifies the routing tables. Without these options, route displays the current contents of the routing tables.

C: Reading Complex Numbers

A complex number is a number that can be expressed in the form a + bi, where a and b are real numbers and i is the imaginary unit, satisfying the equation i*i=−1. In this expression, a is the real part and b is the imaginary part of the complex number.

From wikipedia

The following code, will open a file where each line contains one complex number, read the number and store it into the appropriate variables.

#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main(int argc, char *argv[]) {

  const char *filename = argv[1];
  FILE *fin = fopen(filename, "r");

  // Making sure we managed to open the file
  if (fin != NULL) {

    //Initially this pointer will hold the whole line, eventually the data for the second Component will be removed
    char *first_value = NULL;
    size_t length_of_buffer = 0;
    ssize_t bytes_read;

    // Read Line by line until end of file:
    // If *line is set to NULL and *length_of_buffer is set 0 before the call, then getline() will allocate a buffer for storing the line.
    // This buffer should be freed by the user program even if getline() failed.
    while ((bytes_read = getline(&first_value, &length_of_buffer, fin)) != -1) {
      printf("Data = '%s' : Length = %zu\n", first_value, bytes_read);

      // Create char string to store the second Component
      char *second_value;
      // We are a bit wasteful here but it makes the code simpler
      second_value = (char *) malloc(bytes_read * sizeof(char));

      // Create Imaginary flag to distinguish real values from imaginary values - One for each Component
      char imaginary_flag[2] = {0, 0};

      // Initialize Iterators
      // i: for pointing to characters of current line
      // j: for pointing to characters in first Component
      // k: for pointing to characters in second Component
      int i, j = 0, k = 0;
      // Flag to indicate that first character if the first Component was found - This helps distinguish between first and second Component
      char met_a_number = 0;
      // Flag to indicate first Component ends and we should process the second Component
      char copy_to_second_value = 0;
      // To store the previous character value, we use it to check that when a sign is found, it does not belong to an exponential
      char previous_character = '\0';

      for (i = 0; i < bytes_read; i++) {
        // Initialize current character being processed/evaluated from the line
        const char current_character = first_value[i];

        // Find the 'j' character that shows that this number is imaginary, then drop the character
        if (current_character == 'j') {
          if (copy_to_second_value == 0) {
            // First Component is the imaginary part
            imaginary_flag[0] = 1;
          } else {
            // Second Component is the imaginary part
            imaginary_flag[1] = 1;

        //We check that the current character is useful to us
        if (!(current_character == ' ' || current_character == '(' || current_character == ')')) {
          // If current character still part of first Component [based on flag]
          if (copy_to_second_value == 0) {
            // Check when second Component begins
            // When we find one of the sign characters and it is not part of an exponential, then we switch to the second Component
            // Exclude if previous character was "e" because after "e" a sign is followed
            if (current_character == '-' || current_character == '+') {
              if (met_a_number == 1 && previous_character != 'e') {
                // Update Flag to indicate that second Component/Value begins
                copy_to_second_value = 1;
                // Terminate first Component/Value of current Line
                first_value[i] = '\0';
                second_value[k++] = current_character;
              } else {
                // Update First Component with the current character value
                first_value[j++] = current_character;
              // If current character still part of the first Component
            else {
              // Update First Component with the current character value
              first_value[j++] = current_character;
              // A valid character of a number was found, so we are processing a number.
              // If this is the first time it happens, we are processing the first Component
              met_a_number = 1;
            // If current character part of second Component [based on flag]
          else {
            second_value[k++] = current_character;
          // If current character belongs in one of the garbage characters
        else {
          // If current character is garbage number and we already met a number
          // then we start copying to the second Component
          if (met_a_number == 1) {
            copy_to_second_value = 1;
            first_value[i] = '\0';

        // Store current_character before reading the next
        previous_character = current_character;

      // Properly terminate first Component
      if (first_value[j - 1] == '\n') {
        first_value[j - 1] = '\0';
      } else {
        first_value[j] = '\0';

      // Properly terminate second Component
      second_value[k - 1] = '\0';

      // To store the first and second Components in float format
      double numbers[2];

      // Convert to float and Print first Component
      sscanf(first_value, "%lf", &(numbers[0]));
      printf("%.f = '%s' is imaginary = %s\n", numbers[0], first_value, imaginary_flag[0] == 0 ? "FALSE" : "TRUE");

      // Convert to float and Print second Component if it exists
      if (copy_to_second_value == 1) {
        sscanf(second_value, "%lf", &(numbers[1]));
        printf("%.f = '%s' is imaginary = %s\n", numbers[1], second_value, imaginary_flag[1] == 0 ? "FALSE" : "TRUE");


      double real = 0, imaginary = 0;
      if (copy_to_second_value == 1) {
        if (imaginary_flag[0] == imaginary_flag[1]) {
          fprintf(stderr, "Invalid input line.\n");
          if (imaginary_flag[0] == 0) {
            fprintf(stderr, "None of the components is imaginary\n");
          } else {
            fprintf(stderr, "Both components are imaginary.\n");
        if (imaginary_flag[0] == 0) {
          real = numbers[0];
          imaginary = numbers[1];
        } else {
          real = numbers[1];
          imaginary = numbers[0];

      } else {
        if (imaginary_flag[0] == 0) {
          real = numbers[0];
        } else {
          imaginary = numbers[0];
      printf("Real part: '%f'\tImaginary part: '%f'\n", real, imaginary);
  } else {
    fprintf(stderr, "Failed to open file '%s'\n", filename);
    return EXIT_FAILURE;
  return EXIT_SUCCESS;

This application will only perform some basic checks on the input, a lot of invalid data can pass as valid..
What this application expects though is the following:

  • On each line, there can be either one or two numbers.
  • The numbers can be encapsulated in parenthesis ()
  • The first number can have a sign or not
  • There might be space between the characters or not
  • There might be space between the sign characters and the numbers
  • The imaginary part of the number will have the character j either before the number or after, attached to the number