Lee White

My Personal and Professional Life

Matlab Distributed Computing Server MDCS cluster setup on Windows 7 Tips

MDCS admincenter up and running.

MDCS AdminCenter up and running.

I had a hard time getting my MDCS cluster up and running and have a few tips for others. I followed this guide but still had issues:


So here goes (starting from a fresh Windows OS installation):

1) Install Windows and MDCS on a number of computers. Use the same username/password for each.

2) Configure Windows Firewall on all PC’s

2.2) Control Panel > System > Windows Firewall > Incoming > New Rule > Open Ports 27350-29350 (probably don’t need that many, follow: http://www.mathworks.com/support/solutions/en/data/1-39LCCA/index.html?solution=1-39LCCA )

2.2) navigate to matlabroot/toolbox/distcomp/bin/ right click addMatlabToWindowsFirewall.bat and select ‘run as administrator’

3) Start the MDCE service on the PC’s that will be worker hosts/nodes (not the head node)

3.1) open an elevated command prompt (start menu > type cmd > right click cmd.exe and select ‘run as administrator’

3.2) navigate to matlabroot/toolbox/distcomp/bin/ (Hint: ‘cd matlabroot/toolbox/distcomp/bin/’ then enter)

3.3) Type ‘mdce install’ enter

3.4) Type ‘mdce start’ enter (again, only on worker nodes)

4) on the PC you will use as your head node start the admin center

4.1) navigate to matlabroot/toolbox/distcomp/bin/ right click admincenter.bat and select ‘run as administrator’

4.2) add the head node and worker nodes. As described in the above instructions you can use the host name (aka computer name) or the fully qualified host name (eg. mycomputer.myschool.edu) or the IP addresses. You get into a bunch of network nastiness at this step but try a few combinations. I ended up using myIPaddress.myschool.edu but still had host resolution warnings after the connectivity test.

4.3) When you are adding hosts don’t select the option to have the admin center start mdce services on the workers (you already started them).

5) follow the rest of the MDCS directions to start the job manager and workers.

If you run into trouble try restarting the mdce service on offending nodes using ‘mdce stop’ then ‘mdce start’ or ‘mdce uninstall -clean’ then ‘mdce install’ ‘mdce start’ and maybe restarting the PC. FWIW I didn’t need to futz with Windows User Account Control (UAC) with this method. But maybe that’s part of why I was never able to get admincenter.bat to launch mdce on remote machines (local mdce launching for the head node worked). I also had no luck with remotemdce command line launching because it doesn’t offer a communication protocol Windows is compatible with out of the box.

Matlab Distributed Computing Server MDCS cluster setup on Windows 7 Tips | 2013 | Useful Knowledge | Comments (5)

NOLA Bucket List

New Orleans at one time.

Shivani and I are frequently asked what is not to be missed on a trip to New Orleans.  This is the ever-evolving list we send them:

Favorites are in bold.


Go to Frenchman at least one night you are in town.

Jazz at Snug Harbor – Frenchman

Tipitina’s – See Rebirth (New Orleans brass band)

One Eyed Jack’s for 80s night (Tuesdays – dress in costume if desired)

Maple Leaf – Thursdays for brass

Spotted Cat – Frenchman

Blue Nile – Frenchman

House of Blues – see website for specific concerts (2 for 1 tickets on Tuesdays if buy the day before)

The Parish Room (same deal as House of Blues)

Dos Jefes

Howlin Wolf – free shows during Mardi Gras

The Republic – club

360 – club scene with view

DBA – funk/rock/jazz on Frenchman

Preservation Hall – jazz; no liquor permitted


Basically you can wander anywhere up and down Bourbon Street (Pat O’s is awesome!), but I do recommend trying out these other places, particularly WINO and Lola in the central business district.


Lola in the International House hotel (great to go to both WINO and Lola; I believe they are in walking distance from your place)

Miss Mae’s (if you are looking to get trashed and hang out with college students – Shivani’s opinion; Lee’s opinion: “Open 24 hours.  Never closes except when it’s on fire.”  It’s the place to be.”)

Column’s – Friday happy hour around 5

St. Joe’s bar – mojitos

Bridge Lounge – pineapple mojito

Pat O’s – go for the Hurricane and the Piano Bar

Carousel Bar – one of the streets parallel to Bourbon

Daquiries – My favorite is a mudslide daq’ from the shop on Riverbend, ask for an extra shot of diesel and head to the Fly (see activities)

Snake and Jake’s - only go between 2am and 4am.  Drink Shlitz.


Every single one of these places is ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!  You can’t go wrong, but I have bolded some of our absolute favorites.



The Butcher (lunch place in Cochon)

Stella’s – Chartres

Café Amelie (across from the Cornstalk Hotel on Royal) – order the pulled pork sandwich



Bombay Club – cute for date; sit in the loveseat booth

Red Fish Grill – crusted pecan fish; white/dark chocolate souffle

Muriel’s – bloody mary really good; great for brunch; right at Jackson Square

Clover Grill – best breakfast food

Court of Two Sisters – jazz brunch

Port of Call – burger mecca


Jaque-imo’s – Simply put it is the place to go uptown.

Commander’s Palace – Tuesday lunchtime 50 cent martinis (gross but colorful and fun to get drunk)

St. Charles Tavern and Igor’s for 24 hour food

Pascale’s Manale

Sara’s – Indian fusion

Bangkok Thai – Riverbend; order the mango sticky rice

Lebanon’s (Carollton)

Acme Oyster House – grilled oysters

Camellia grill – cherry chocolate milkshake and omelets; later hours

La Petite Grocery – Magazine

Nirvana – Magazine; pretty good Indian food

Zea’s – St. Charles

Oak Street café – sweet potato pancakes

Dick & Jenny’s

Juan’s Flying Burrito – Magazine

La crepe nanou – uptown; French food; go to Creole Creamery afterward

K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen


Reginelli’s – $2 pitchers Monday and Tuesdays

Any of the Emerill restaurants (Delmonico, Emerill’s, NOLA)


Mimi’s in the Marigny (order the honey goat cheese balls)

Elizabeth’s – Marigny; fried chicken recommended


Ralph’s on the Park – beautiful view of City Park


Creole Creamery

Café du Monde

La Boulangerie’s – Magazine

Angelo Brocato’s Gelato


Po Boys

Get fried oyster or roast beef “dressed”

Crabby Jack’s – same Jack as Jack of Jaque-imo’s


Guy’s Po Boys

Mahony’s (fried onion rings are really good)


Monica’s Grocery (cheaper but tasty)



Fly – requirements: daiquiris (Daiquiri Stand at Carollton and Riverbend), po boy of choice, blanket

D-day Museum with movie

Ogden museum with cocktail hour on Thursdays


Rock ‘N Bowl


Fortune read at Jackson Square

One of the tours – read reviews

French Market

Swamp Tour

Ceramics place BYO something – Maple street

Rum distillery tour

Riverboat Cruise

Audubon Zoo and Park


Insectarium – if you like that sort of thing

Hotel at Canal Place – go up to the 12th floor lobby for view of the river and city


NOLA Bucket List | 2013 | Travel, Useful Knowledge | Comments (2)

Quantitative Objective Assessment of  Preoperative Warm-up for Robotic Surgery

On May 31st, 2012, a committee of engineers and clinicians approved my proposal for thesis research titled Quantitative Objective Assessment of  Preoperative Warm-up for Robotic Surgery.    I am currently pursuing the research objectives enumerated in that proposal including:

1. Evaluate the hypothesis that preoperative VR warm-up produces a significant improvement in robotic surgical performance as measured by Global Evaluative Assessment of Robotic Surgery.
2. Evaluate the hypothesis that preoperative VR warm-up produces a significant improvement in robotic surgical performance as measured by Automatic Algorithmic Assessment.
3. Evaluate the hypothesis that VR warm-up performance predicts immediately subsequent robotic surgical performance as measured using Global Evaluative Assessment of Robotic Surgery.
4. Evaluate the hypothesis that VR warm-up performance predicts immediately subsequent robotic surgical performance as measured using Automatic Algorithmic Assessment.

For more information please read my thesis proposal:

Quantitative Objective Assessment of Preoperative Warm-up for Robotic Surgery
Quantitative Objective Assessment of Preoperative Warm-up for Robotic Surgery
Quantitative Objective Assessment of Preoperative Warm-up for Robotic Surgery | 2012 | Useful Knowledge | Comments (0)

leewhite.org – now with comments!

I finally figured out why I was getting spam on only 2 of my posts and no feed back on the others.  Turn out comments were turned off by mistake.  I changed that and added a bit of spam filtering so now you can praise/castigate/add to my posts.  I’d love to hear what you think.


Comments | 2010 | Useful Knowledge | Comments (4)

Fun facts about Hawkeye King

Hawkeye King is also at the the University of Washington, and he destroys giant enemy crabs by attacking its weak point for massive damage!

...quick attack its weak point!

Giant Enemy Crab attacking Hawkeye

Fun facts about Hawkeye King | 2010 | Useful Knowledge | Comments (2)

Save Flash Videos

Interested in saving videos from YouTube or other arbitrary websites?  Want to watch video on MegaVideo.com without running into time limits? The following technique is useful in both situations.  When playing video from the internet, most browsers download a copy of the video to your computer.  This copy of the file is downloaded from the beginning of the file allowing you to watch it as it downloads.  This copy can be saved an viewed outside the browser.

Step 1 – Empty Disk Cache

Using Firefox, press ctrl+shift+delete.  Select cache to clear, and time range: everything.

Step 2 – Determine Location of Cache

Enter “about:cache” into the Firefox address bar.

Second results will be titled “Disk cache device” and it’s location should be given.

Copy the location into windows explorer to navigate to your cache location.  Only a few entries should be present since you emptied your cache.

Step 3: Navigate to the video you want to save or stream without monitoring

Play with flash video in Firefox for a moment then pause playback.  Allow the buffer indicator to fill for a moment.

Step 4: Find the video in the disk cache device location

Go back to the windows explorer view of your cache.   Sort the items by size.  The largest should be your video, provided you are not streaming multiple videos at once.  It will have a name like “274747FBDd01″ and a size of a few megabytes.  If the video is fully buffered you can copy the file to another location on your system, change the filename to something relevant and add the extension .flv.  If the video is still buffering, you can play it in VLC while it continues to download.

Save Flash Videos | 2010 | Useful Knowledge | Comments (1)

Lee White Gallery

Here is a slide show of pictures of Lee White.  I, Lee Woodruff White, wanted to try out this slide show plug-in and see if I could influence the search engine image results for my name.  It is built with NextGen photo viewer on wordpress.

Lee White Gallery | 2010 | Projects | Comments (2)


LaTeX  (pronouced lay-tek or la-tek) is a typesetting language/system used to create documents from text and graphics.  To create a LaTeX document you need a compiler, an editor and a viewer.  Here are the basics:

Install MikTex 2.8 or later: http://miktex.org/2.8/setup
Install TexMaker http://www.xm1math.net/texmaker/download.html or another editor
Open TexMaker and type:

% this is how you insert a comment
Hello world!

Save document as ‘universe.tex’
Click Tools>PDFLaTeX or hit F6
Click “View PDF”

Here is a good beginning site: http://www.math.jmu.edu/~arnoldea/latex_setup_and_tutorial.htm If you get stuck try looking at the log file and googling your errors.  Otherwise one of the lab members who uses LaTeX can help you.

Class Files

You can do a lot of advanced stuff using LaTeX.  One reason it is popular is its utilization of class files which specify the layout of a document type.  These ‘class files’ allows you to focus on the content of your paper or proposal.  Typically you will download a pair of files, one .tex, one .cls.

Some useful .cls files

NIH grant proposals: http://www.cs.duke.edu/brd/NIH/tips/

IEEE papers: http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/IEEEtran/

Figures and Video

you will need to include the graphicx package.  With it you will be able to include figures in your document.  .png files produce the best results.  .jpg/,jpeg also work.  .bmp and .tif don’t work.  .eps can be used but they require a different compilation scheme.

You can include video in your LaTeX document using the movie15 package http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/macros/latex/contrib/movie15/doc/movie15.pdf.  Read up on it for more info and compatible viewers and file types.


LaTeX also allows you to track sources with ease.  Download and install JabRef from http://jabref.sourceforge.net/ It produces .bib files from which you can cite.  TexMaker will automatically produce bibliography sections in your document based on the references you actually cited.  When you compile  a document that references .bib files you typically need to run the PDFLaTeX and BibTex commans multiple times.  I suggest:

Run PDFLaTeX or F6

Run BibTeX or F11

Run PDFLaTeX or F6

Run PDFLaTeX or F6

You can also make a Quick-build macro.

3D Models in Documents

You can even include 3D models that a viewer can play with without the need for sophisticated 3D modeling software.  Here is one such .pdf:  universe.pdf

To make such a document:

Create a 3D model of the part using Solidworks or another 3D modeling software.

Save the part as a .stl file

Download and install MeshLab: http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/

Open the .stl file in MeshLab.  Click ‘Save-As’ and choose .u3d as the file type.  This will produce a .u3d file and a .tex file demonstrating how to place the model in your document.

copy the needed code into your .tex file, making sure to include the needed packages (\usepackage[3D]{movie15} and \usepackage[colorlinks=true]{hyperref})

Compile and you are done!

Useful sites:





Lee White produced this design and document.

A PDF produced using TexMaker, MikTex, Solidworks, and MeshLab.

LaTeX | 2010 | Projects, Research | Comments (1)

Milling Acrylic Plastic

For a recent project in the Biorobotics Lab I performed some end mill machining on acrylic plastic (aka plexiglass aka polymethylmethacrylate).  I found good finish characteristics and low chatter with the following mill parameters:

Platform: Vertical End Mill

Material: PMMA Sheet

Material thickness: 0.25 inch

End Mill Diameter: 0.5 inch

End Mill Speed: 1000 RPM

Feed Rate: 5 inches per minute

Cut style: “Climb Cut”  (as opposed to a “dimensional”)

Milling Acrylic Plastic | 2010 | Useful Knowledge | Comments (0)

Windows Forms Applications in Microsoft Visual C++

I’ve spent the few weeks developing applications in Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition for a Robotics Surgery Tracking System.  The learning curve was a bit steep but with the help of Google, the Microsoft Developers Network and fellow Biorobotics Lab Graduate Student Tim Kowalewski I’ve learned a lot and have some highly commented code that I think will be useful to others.  It includes the use of a VC++ Windows Forms Application, including a custom built class in unmanaged memory (as opposed to the managed memory used in WFA’s) and lot’s of examples.  Our aim was to convert a simple console application in to a professional end-user application with a  graphical user interface.

If you have a similar project email me and I can share some with with you to get you started.

Icon for the SurgTrak Software developed in the BioRobotics Lab.

Windows Forms Applications in Microsoft Visual C++ | 2010 | Projects, Research | Comments (1)