Software of the lab computers
The lab computers are intended to have a basic set of mathematical, web and office software to enable you to carry out most tasks.
This is one of the best programs for working with graphic images. It is able to import images from the scanner. It is only on the Apple PowerMac G5. See http://www.adobe.com/products/
This is a general-purpose program that can be used for most mathematical work. In many cases there is a choice between doing mathematics either symbolically (exact) or numerically. Maple is also programmable. Disadvantages
: Text-based input for mathematical notation. It is not very good at doing some calculus problems. You need a good memory to use it efficiently. Advantages
: Very comprehensive, good help and nice graphics (3D graphs can be rotated using the mouse). See http://www.mathsoft.com/
General-purpose software used for computations and graphics with an Engineering orientation. It is fast, has many built in functions which can be entered anywhere on the screen. It includes access to a number of reference books on Physics and other fields and a design tool Imagine Engineer. Disadvantages
: weak programming ability. Advantages
: Nice recalculation feature: when you change some data. Better at calculus than Maple. See http://www.mathsoft.com/
MATLAB: (Various versions: 5.3, 6.1, student version): the premier computation and mathematical graphics software with excellent programming ability. Disadvantage: Command line orientation similar to DOS and a text-based input for mathematical notation. Advantages: Very fast, accurate and easily programmable. The versions 5.3 and 6.1 have a Matlab code to C/C++ code converter. See http://www.mathworks.com/
(Versions 3.0 or 3.5), or Scientific Notebook 3.5. A WYSIWYG program with accurate on-screen mathematical notation, publication quality Latex output good for theses and journal publications. It has the Maple
kernel enabling mathematical statement to be evaluated. Disadvantages
: No programming and some Maple functions cannot be used. Advantages
: All Mathematical Symbols can be entered directly without difficult-to-use text based input, publication quality output, live mathematical expressions, easy style changes. See: http://www.mackichan.com/
Generally the professional version includes WORD (word processor), EXCEL (spread sheet), ACCESS (Data base manager), POWERPOINT (Presentation software good for seminars), FRONTPAGE (Web page design) and OUTLOOK (Personal information manager and E-mail program). N.B. E-mail is hard to use on the lab computers unless you have a web-based E-mail address. See: http://www.microsoft.com/
WEB BROWSERS: Netscape 4.7 and Internet Explorer 5 or 5.5.
Adobe Acrobat Reader
4 or 5 (for reading .pdf documents), Winzip
8 (compressing and uncompressing files), WSFTP 5 (file transfer program for moving files to/from any computer running an FTP server), Telnet
(opens a text-based terminal window on any computer running a telnet server, allowing logons to that computer and enabling non-graphical programs to be run off that computer) and Command Antivirus. The lab will soon have two copies of the award winning Macromedia web site creation software packages: Dreamweaver, Flash and Fireworks.
Software available for use on staff and student computers
The University has available a large amount of free and low-priced software available for use on staff and student office computers and home computers. A major source for this is the Software Xpress
site that has available a huge amount of software (web browsers, web design, FTP, Telnet, mail programs, Adobe Acrobat, imaging software, file compression/extraction and much more). Most of this software is free, but some of these programs do require a payment to activate them, such as $75 each for the very powerful Macromedia Dreamweaver
web design programs. Many of these programs are on the UMConnect CD
that is sold at the bookstore at a very low price;
Other site-licensed software programs available include Maple, Mathcad, Autocad, SAS, SPSS and much more. Some of these require a small payment and/or are only available to staff members. Some particularly interesting and little known ones are ZoomText, a windows text enlarger and speech program, and X-Win32, that enables X-windows to run on a Windows computer enabling multiple windows showing text and graphical output from Unix programs running on University Unix servers.
Computers on Campus, part of the University Bookstore, sells or can obtain a large amount of software at low educational prices. This includes education licenses for Microsoft Office. Educational and non-educationally software prices at Computers on Campus are often lower than can be obtained by purchasing anywhere else. This is especially true for software from the USA even when that software is downloaded over the Internet.