Why GNU Octave
Learning image processing using C++ is not practical for a newbie like myself as it is not conducive to trial and error. Besides, I would like create a model and explore it in an iterative fashion before I code it in C/C++/ObjectiveC.
I opted to install GNU Octave on the Mac Mini since all my dev is on that platform. I did install it on Windows 7 a while back for an earlier project so I know what it can do. I also wanted a tool that was almost 100% compatible with MatLab code.
Installing GNU Octave
My dev box consists of a Mac Mini with 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM running OS X version 10.8.3 (Mountain Lion). There seems to be a lot of issues with installing Octave in OS X based on what I see on the web. I went down the MacPorts path since I used it for some other installation.