Category Archives: Tech

Anti make install

What to do if you accidentally installed some experimental project to your system folder? Are here any ways to undo install script. Here is a simple solution.


below may work or may not, this is all given as-is, you and only you are responsible person in case of some damage, data loss and so on. But I hope things go smooth!

To undo `make install` I would do (and I did) this:

Idea: check whatever script installs and undo this with simple bash script.

1. Reconfigure your build dir to install to some custom dir. I usually do this: `–prefix=$PWD/install`. For CMake, you can go to your build dir, open CMakeCache.txt, and fix CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX value.
2. Install project to custom directory (just run `make install` again).
3. Now we push from assumption, that `make install` script installs into custom dir just same contents you want to remove from somewhere else (usually `/usr/local`). So, we need a script.
3.1. Script should compare custom dir, with dir you want clean. I use this:


echo "Remove files from $RM_DIR, which are present in $PRESENT_DIR"

pushd $RM_DIR

for fn in `find . -iname '*'`; do
# echo "Checking $PRESENT_DIR/$fn..."
if test -f "$PRESENT_DIR/$fn"; then
# First try this, and check whether things go plain
echo "rm $RM_DIR/$fn"

# Then uncomment this, (but, check twice it works good to you).
# rm $RM_DIR/$fn


3.2. Now just run this script (it will go dry-run)

bash <dir you want to clean> <custom installation dir>

E.g. You wan’t to clean /usr/local, and your custom installation dir is /user/me/, then it would be

bash /usr/local /user/me/

3.3. Check log carefully, if commands are good to you, uncomment `rm $RM_DIR/$fn` and run it again. But stop! Did you really check carefully? May be check again?

Good luck!

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C++ sql-like Select example (imperfect)

I just would like to keep it here…

May be there is better implementation? Spent on it 30 mins, have no more time today.

// select.cpp

#include <vector>
#include <iostream>

      typename OutputCollectionT,
      typename OutputItemT = typename OutputCollectionT::value_type
  class Select {
          typename InputCollectionT,
          typename InputItemT = typename InputCollectionT::value_type
      class From {
          static OutputCollectionT Do(
              const InputCollectionT &Input,
              std::function<OutputItemT(const InputItemT &In)> Selector
          ) {
            OutputCollectionT Out;
            for (const InputItemT &In : Input) {
            return Out;

struct A {
    int P1;
    int P2;
    int P3;

struct B {
    int P1;
    int P3;

int main() {
  std::vector<A> aa = {
      {1, 2, 3},
      {2, 3, 4},
      {3, 4, 5}

  auto bb = Select<std::vector<B>>::From<std::vector<A>>::Do(
      aa, [=] (const A &a) -> B {
        return { a.P1, a.P3 };

  for (auto &b : bb) {
    << "P1:" << b.P1 << ", "
    << "P3:" << b.P3 << "\n";

  return 0;
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Edge detection shader for text

Hi there! I’m working on text rendering for my small Bird OSD project.

So I want to add contours to the text, so it could be visible whatever background it is rendered on (bright or dark).

For example I want to enhance text rendering for cases like this:

(Ugh… My eyes suffer!)

Into this one:

Assuming we have 1-component color on input which consists only of alpha channel, I want to mark as edge alpha values around 0.5.

Below is my shader which works, and in fact above are screenshots with its demonstraction. It still has some limits though. Edge radius  can’t take values ended with .5 due to special rounding case for N*0.5 values. If you use it, and find more issues, please let me know.

// The inpute textures
uniform sampler2D uTexture;
varying vec2 vTexCoord;  // Interpolated texture coordinate per fragment.

uniform float uOpacity;

uniform float uWidth;

uniform float uHeight;

// If foreground value is higher than threshold, than edge is zero for this pixel
const float NO_EDGE_TRESHOLD = 0.5;

// Edge radius, works fine in range from 0.6 to 2.0
// Please don't use N*0.5 values, since it has special rounding rules
// and pixel at the left may be in is not the same distance comparing to the right.
const float EDGE_RADIUS = 1.;

const vec3 EDGE = vec3(0., 0., 0.);

// Detects whether we should put edge value in the center.
// Not that if the center is foreground value = 1, then there is
// no need in edge
// (in practice we also admit some values below 1,
// determined by threshold).
// We work with fonts, not the regular image, so
// edge is a function from average of two pixels (not the difference):
// f(l, r) = edge((l + r) / 2)
//    assuming edge should be max, when input value is "k" (belongs to range (0, 1) )
// So, how 'edge' function is defined?
// (see picture if formulaes are difficult)
//    edge(v) = (1./k) * x, if x <= k && x > 0
//              otherwise it is line which goes through p1[x,y] = [1, k] and p2[x,y] = [0, 1]
//  Y ^
//    | p[y=1,x=k]
//    |  /\
//    | /  \
//    |/    \
//    ----------->
//    0  k  1    X
//    y=edge(x) formulae
// in case when k = 0.5 then
// f(l, r) = 1 - |l + r - 1|
// Let's use this case!
// params:
//    left - left foreground value
//    center - center foreground value
//    right - right foreground value
// returns:
//    edge value.
float getEdge(float left, float center, float right) {
    if (center > NO_EDGE_TRESHOLD)
        return 0.;

    if (center > left && center > right)
        return 0.;

    float ledge = 1. - abs(left + center - 1.);
    float redge = 1. - abs(right + center - 1.);

    return max(ledge, redge);

float getNeighbour(float row, float col) {
    float dx = EDGE_RADIUS / uWidth;
    float dy = EDGE_RADIUS / uHeight;

    float texX = clamp(vTexCoord.x + col * dx, 0. + dx/2., 1. - dx/2.);
    float texY = clamp(vTexCoord.y + row * dy, 0. + dx/2., 1. - dx/2.);

    return texture2D(uTexture, vec2(texX, texY)).a;

float calcEdge(float centerValue) {
    // Nighbour pixels:
    // neighbour[i][j] is neighbour with X = x + (j-1) * DX; Y = y + (i-1) * DY;
    // neighbour[0][0] is neighbour with X = x - DX; Y = y - DY;
    float neighbour_0[3];
    float neighbour_1[3];
    float neighbour_2[3];

    for (int j = 0; j != 3; ++j)
        neighbour_0[j] = getNeighbour(-1., float(j-1));

    for (int j = 0; j != 3; ++j)
        neighbour_1[j] = getNeighbour(0., float(j-1));

    for (int j = 0; j != 3; ++j)
        neighbour_2[j] = getNeighbour(1., float(j-1));

    float horEdge = getEdge(neighbour_1[0], centerValue, neighbour_1[2]);
    float vertEdge = getEdge(neighbour_0[1], centerValue, neighbour_2[1]);
    float ltrbEdge = getEdge(neighbour_0[0], centerValue, neighbour_2[2]);
    float rtlbEdge = getEdge(neighbour_0[2], centerValue, neighbour_2[0]);

    return max( max(horEdge, vertEdge), max(ltrbEdge, rtlbEdge) );

vec4 calcFinalValue(vec3 foreground, float foregroundValue, float edgeValue) {
#if 1
    float sumFgEdge = foregroundValue + edgeValue;
    vec3 color = vec3(
        foreground * foregroundValue / sumFgEdge +
        EDGE * edgeValue / sumFgEdge);

    return vec4(color.r, color.g, color.b, min(sumFgEdge, 1. * uOpacity));

    //return vec4(EDGE, edgeValue);
    return vec4(foreground.r, foreground.g, foreground.b, foregroundValue);

// The entry point for our fragment shader.
void main()
    vec4 texColor = texture2D(uTexture, vTexCoord);

    float foregroundValue = texColor.a;
    float edgeValue = calcEdge(foregroundValue);

    gl_FragColor = calcFinalValue(
        vec3(texColor.r, texColor.g, texColor.b),
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The Bird Project

Bird OSD


You have Raspberry Camera and you need FPV, but you can’t fight 100-200ms latency? Then there is a solution.

Bird OSD turns your Raspberry PI into FPV stream source with OSD overlay.


Since raspberry has Video Composite Output, you can then cast raspberrian screen just like a regular FPV signal over FPV transmitter module!

Raspberry Pi works on broadcomm SoC  with VideoCore processor so that means we can apply OSD overlay to camera stream with really low realtime latencies.

X server is not requried

Bird OSD is a systemd service, it uses raspivid app to grab camera image, and it uses own bird-osd GLES2 application to apply overlay with sensor data on it.

So finally you should see something like this:

(GPS was broken, sorry, still can’t demonstrate in real fly)

Another pic from FPV goggles:


  1. RPI device with sensors board (navio2 is ok)
  2. Raspberry Camera connected to it.
  3. Something sending MAVLink data to ardupilot, arducopter, whatever)

How to install

Download .deb package onto your raspberry device:

$ wget

And then install it:

$ sudo dpkg -i bird-osd_1.1.2_armhf.deb

Then you should target MAVLink channel to

E.g. for arducopter:

$ sudo nano /etc/default/arducopter 

Ensure you have string like this:

TELEM1="-A udp:"

Or like this:

TELEM2="-C udp:"

In case you modified /etc/default/arducopterconfig, then you should restart service:

$ sudo systemctl restart arducopter

Finally you should start bird-osdservice with this command:

sudo systemctl start bird-osd

Then on monitor connected to your raspberryyou should see whatever your camera sees + overlay with sensors data!

It is still very first version:

  1. I only tested it on RPI 3, I added dependency to raspividand to bash:
    libraspberrypi-bin (>= 1.20180417-1), bash (>= 4.4-5)

    Perhaps dependency versions are higher then it really needs, just had no opportunity to test it on another envs.

  2. Do not to blame me guys for not opening sources. There are such a mess, need to sort them first.
  3. It still consumes too much of CPU time. After holidays I’ll work a bit on optimizations. It uses text atlas, but still builds text layout dynamically. It should render every static text to texture; per profiling survey results, it should improve performance on 30-40% (since most of text labels are static).
  4. Any proposals are welcome.

How enable or disable service

If you want to enable bird-osdon boot, you should run:

$ sudo systemctl enable bird-osd

This command disables service:

$ sudo systemctl disable bird-osd

How to uninstall

And this command removes bird-osdfrom you raspberry device:

$ dpkg -P bird-osd

Relevant topics

Edge detection for text – simple edge detection shader for text-like foreground drawings

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Artificial Neural Networks and Puffer Jacket

Let’s imagine that humanity died out, and new civilzation discovered that human beings used puffer jackets to save body heat.

But they didn’t know how it works. So they “disassembled” one of jackets  they found, and discovered that it consists of bird fluff.

And this is how they reproduced heat saver thing. They made a building with walls out of fluffs cemented with clay. And got little progress. So they tried to use glair instead of clay, but still too bad.

Only 128 years later, when they advanced on heat theory, they understood what was wrong, and made building with hollow walls, but filled with flair.

A bit later knowing theory and learned chemistry and gas dynamics they stopped to kill birds, and replaced flair with synthetic heat insulation fiber.

Well, if we advance on how our mind works, we perhaps find a better use of artificial neural networks, or may be replace it with better concept?

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Cross compilation for Raspberry from Sierra

In very short

If you need to compile something for raspberry just run this:

path/to/clang --target=arm-linux-gnueabihf --sysroot=/some/path/arm-linux-gnueabihf/sysroot my-happy-program.c  -fuse-ld=lld

In command above “arm-linux-gnueabihf” – is my target triple.

If you don’t like LLVM or just need GCC, read Yuzhou Cheng’s article . Or lookup in nets something like “cross compilation for raspberry”. This may help. Below we describe how to do it with LLVM.


We assume that reader knows how to deal with command line. If not, don’t worry, it’s ok, not to know some things in our life. Feel free and just ask questions in comments.

Let’s start

Root FS

Of course you still need rootfs. And also you perhaps need gcc binutils, but perhaps you would like to use ones provided by llvm infrastructure. But. You don’t have to build it, just get it, e.f. from Linux package. But actually I’m looking for solution how to make it enough just to mount my raspberry rootfs.

How to get LLVM

At current moment there are precompiled binaries for Mac OS (go to “Pre-Built Binaries” paragraph):

Or for version 7.0.0 you may run this in terminal:

$ wget

Compiling LLVM from sources

Don’t worry this is a bit different from building gcc. Difference is in statistics fact, that it usually successful and you can really drink cup of coffee.


Below are few brew commands which adds all dependencies we need.

$ brew install swig
$ brew install cmake

Get sources

Get LLVM, Clang, LLD and LLDB sources, once again same link:

Or for 7.0.0:

1. Extract LLVM sources.

2. Extract LLD into llvm/tools/lld

3. Extract LLDB into llvm/tools/lldb

4. Most tricky part: lldb needs to be code signed. This article describes how to to that. Actually you should find it in your lldb sources dir, in lldb/docs/code-signing.txt.

5. Create some binary dir, let say “llvm.darwin-x86_64”, and cd into it.

6. Compile

cmake -G "Unix Makefiles" -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release <path to llvm sources>

make -j<num-parallel jobs, for me it is 8>

7. Test it.

make -j8 check

8. Use it!

Post scriptum

Optionally you may use legacy binutils. In this case install them with brew:

$ brew install arm-linux-gnueabihf-binutils

But I prefer just to use single solution.

CMake Toolchain

Below is my cmake toolchain file, which uses clang (built from sources). Hope it will be useful for you.



# Custom toolchain-specific definitions for your project

# There we go!
# Below, we specify toolchain itself!

SET(TARGET_TRIPLE arm-linux-gnueabihf)

# Specify your target rootfs mount point on your compiler host machine

# Specify clang paths
SET(LLVM_DIR /Users/stepan/projects/shared/toolchains/llvm-7.0.darwin-release-x86_64/install)
SET(CLANG ${LLVM_DIR}/bin/clang)
SET(CLANGXX ${LLVM_DIR}/bin/clang++)

# Specify compiler (which is clang)

# Specify binutils

SET (CMAKE_AR      "${LLVM_DIR}/bin/llvm-ar" CACHE FILEPATH "Archiver")
SET (CMAKE_NM      "${LLVM_DIR}/bin/llvm-nm" CACHE FILEPATH "NM")
SET (CMAKE_OBJDUMP "${LLVM_DIR}/bin/llvm-objdump" CACHE FILEPATH "Objdump")
SET (CMAKE_RANLIB  "${LLVM_DIR}/bin/llvm-ranlib" CACHE FILEPATH "ranlib")

# You may use legacy binutils though.
#SET(BINUTILS /usr/local/Cellar/arm-linux-gnueabihf-binutils/2.31.1)

# Specify sysroot (almost same as rootfs)

# Specify lookup methods for cmake

# Sometimes you also need this:

# Specify raspberry triple
set(CROSS_FLAGS "--target=${TARGET_TRIPLE}")

# Specify other raspberry related flags

# Gather and distribute flags specified at prev steps.

# Use clang linker. Why?
# Well, you may install custom arm-linux-gnueabihf binutils,
# but then, you also need to recompile clang, with customized triple;
# otherwise clang will try to use host 'ld' for linking,
# so... use clang linker.

Sometimes you need to run “cmake” twice, for first compilation gives you this:

error: invalid linker name in argument '-fuse-ld=lld;-fuse-ld=lld'

I have no idea why that happens. Rerunning cmake really helps.

Ok, that’s it.

Message me if you feel lonely dude, I’m still on it, it will try to help!

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Machine FP partial invariance issue

Invariance issue

In computer representation:

“a + b + c” and “a + c + b” is not the same!
(and not the samefor multiplicationas well).

Hallelujah! I finally got that simple fact! After so many years of working in IT industry and software development!Well, Ikind of knew this, but never took it seriously until recently
If you guys are curious how ape dealt with getting bananatask
If you are same late as I am, read bellow.

Floating point machine representation

Usuallyfloating point number is represented as follows:
v = m * (be)


m– is the mantissa, an integer with limited range. For example, for decimal numbers it could be in range from 0 to 99. For 24 bit binary numbers it is in range from 0 to (224-1), or from 0 to 16777215.
b– is the base, usually b = 2, an integer value,
e– is exponent, integer, it could take both negative and positive values.
For example in decimal numbers representation 0.5 is represented as:
0.5 = 5 * 10-1 (here m=5, b=10, e=-1)
For binary numbers 0.5 is 2-1 (m=1, b=2, e=-1)

Some people know, that in order to store bigger numbers we need more space in memory. But bigger precision also requires more memory, for we need mantissa of greater width, and thus we also need more bits to store it.

Integer vs float

While working with regular integer numbers we also having data loss and overflow issues, and yet we’re able to control it. We keep in mind minimum and maximum possible integer results, and this know when overflow might happen.
Floating point numbers is different. AFAIK no sane people control mantissa overflow, except perhaps some really rare cases. So here, better to think it just happens all the time.

Inevitable data loss

It is impossible to store numbers with infinite precision, and thus, data loss is inevitable. It’s obvious, but easy to miss if you had never dealt with some cases.
We can’t work with exact real number “N”…
We only able to work with its nearest machine floating pointrepresentation, fp(N) or:
N* = fp(N)

For mantissa in range 0 .. 999 we have next errors.
Number9999will be stored as
v = fp(9999) = 999e+1 = 9990
(here we lost info about most right “9”)

and number1.001will be stored just as
v = fp(1.001)=1
(here we lost info about most right “1”)

a + b + c

Actually v = a + b + c is performed in two steps:
Step 1: x = a + b
Step 2: v = x + c
Or with respect to fp transformation:
Step 1: x = fp(a + b)
Step 2: v = fp(x + c)
By changing the order of sum components, we in fact change what we’re going to loss on each step. And by changing order of band c we get different data loss, just like a final result.


Let’s demonstrate it on the next example.
  • mantissa can store up to 2 decimal digits, and thus in range 0 .. 99.
  • base is 10.
  • exponent could be any, for it doesn’t matter here really.
Let’s use values:
a = 99 (m=99, e = 0)
b = 10 (m=1, e = 1)
c = 1 (m=1, e = 0)
And consider the difference of “a+b+c” and “a+c+b”:
a + b +c:
fp(a+b) = fp(99+10) = fp(109) = 100
v = fp( fp(a+b) + c ) = fp(100 + 1) = fp(101) = 100

a + c + b:
fp(a+c) = fp(99+1) = fp(100) = 100
v = fp( fp(a+c) + b ) = fp(100 + 10) = fp(110) = 110
Unbelievable for regular people, but so obvious to programmers (and yet unbelievable):
(a + b + c = 100) ≠ (a + c + b = 110)

Well, to be more correct:
( fp(a + b + c) = 100 ) ≠ ( fp(a + c + b) = 110)


As one of solutions, wider mantissa should be used for result, and only after all operation items participated in result, it then may be truncated to fp number with thinner mantissa.
If items have mantissa of N bits, then

  • for sum of M+1 items result should have M+N  bits mantissa,
  • for multiplication of M items result should have M*N bits mantissa.

Real example written on C is below.



// Helpers declaration, for implementation scroll down
float getAllOnes(unsigned bits);
unsigned getmantissasaBits();

int main() {

// Determine mantissasa size in bits
unsigned mantissasaBits = getmantissasaBits();

// Considering mantissasa has only 3 bits, we would then need:
// a = 0b10 m=1, e=1
// b = 0b110 m=11, e=1
// c = 0b1000 m=1, e=3

float a = 2,
b = getAllOnes(mantissasaBits) - 1,
c = b + 1;

float ab = a + b;
float ac = a + c;

float abc = a + b + c;
float acb = a + c + b;

"FP partial invariance issue demo:n"
"mantissasa size = %i bitsn"
"a = %.1fn"
"b = %.1fn"
"c = %.1fn"
"(a+b) result: %.1fn"
"(a+c) result: %.1fn"
"(a + b + c) result: %.1fn"
"(a + c + b) result: %.1fn"
"diff(a + b + c, a + c + b) = %.1fnn",
a, b, c,
ab, ac,
abc, acb,
abc - acb);

return 1;

// Helpers

float getAllOnes(unsigned bits) {
return (unsigned)((1 << bits) - 1);

unsigned getmantissasaBits() {

unsigned sz = 1;
unsigned unbeleivableHugeSize = 1024;
float allOnes = 1;

for (;sz != unbeleivableHugeSize &&
allOnes + 1 != allOnes;
allOnes = getAllOnes(++sz)
) {}

return sz-1;


FP partial invariance issue demo:

mantissasa size = 24 bits

a = 2.0
b = 16777214.0
c = 16777215.0
(a+b) result: 16777216.0
(a+c) result: 16777216.0
(a + b + c) result: 33554432.0
(a + c + b) result: 33554430.0
diff(a + b + c, a + c + b) = 2.0

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