Useful Programs
Jonathan Pritchard

Cross Platform Apps

Inkscape: Open source art program handles svg, pdf, eps, ps, png etc. Works best on Ubuntu as the pdftosvg function for OS X is rubbish.

textext: Extension for Inkscape that allows you to input LaTeX directly into your images (Requires LaTeX to be installed).

ABCD Gaussian Beam Calculator: Free software to calculate propagation of Gaussian beam through optical elements. PC::Mac

Enthought Python Distribution: Installs all the software ready to get Scipy up and running on python as an alternative to Matlab, free for academic use.

Spotify: Stream music over internet for free - avoids looping through your iTunes too often!

Mac Apps

Quicksilver: Very handy application launcher, catalogues all files and applications on your harddrive so you can open them with a simple keyboard shortcut [ctrl+space].

Cyberduck: FTP/SFTP program.

Chicken of the VNC: VNC viewer.

Fink: Terminal based package manager that works like apt-get in Linux. Invaluable for installing hard to find Fortran Libraries!

MacTeX: Full LaTeX distribution, comes with Bibdesk for making a BibTeX reference database and also LaTeXiT, a brilliant tool for putting LaTeX equations into presentations.

Virtual Box: Free virtualisation software that allows you to run Windows or Ubuntu from within OS X.

TextWrangler: Text editor with syntax highlighting for html, fortran etc.

Flip4Mac: Play .wmv files in Quicktime for free.

Ubuntu Packages

texlive-full: Installs full LaTeX distribution including journal styles.

kile: KDE front-end for LaTeX, also comes with KBibTeX which acts like Bibdesk to give you a database manager for your BibTeX files.

python: For an alternative to Matlab try using Scipy - simply add the following packages {python-dev python-distutils-extra python-scipy python-matplotlib python-tk python-vtk ipython}. Then run ipython to get started.

Fortran: I recommend gfortran as it has the 2003 definitions already. To install both gfortran and LAPACK, install {gfortran libatlas3gf-sse2}. CERNLIB {libmathlib2-dev} also has some useful libraries.

PC Apps

AutoDesk Inventor: CAD software for designing and making workshop diagrams. Very easy to use, free for students - ENSURE YOU SET MM AS DEFAULT UNITS DURING INSTALLATION!

Content © Jonathan D. Pritchard, Durham University 2009