This page summarizes some software packages available for scientific and engineering data analysis.  It is by no means comprehensive, but should serve as a starting point for those interested in making some sense of hours, perhaps years, of raw electronic data they have collected.  It is a work in progress and will be updated periodically.

The Vogel Study has standardized on the Linux Operating System as a platform for all of its desktop, laptop, automated station, and server software.  Linux is multitasking, extremely stable, fast, and suited to handling very large data files.  It is widely used in the academic community and thus has a large base of cheap (mostly free), open source software available to it.
     Linux is open source software and appears to support various processors and legacy computers more readily than proprietary operating systems.  The downside is that it is not always user friendly and often requires some tinkering to get a piece of software working.  Once setup, most applications perform with stability and reliability.  It is very difficult to completely crash a properly installed Linux operating system, even when an application goes unstable.  Linux is distributed in a large number of free and value-added versions.  Most distributions include one or more GUI environments and large selections of free software.
     The following programs are heavily used by the Study in custom software development, analysis of data and production of its publications:

Word Processing/Spreadsheet/Presentation and Database  (formerly Open Office) (Cross platform - Windows, Linux, MAC) *

Web Site Development and Maintenance
Kompozer  (Linux) *

Data Representation, Graphics and Plotting
GnuPlot (Cross platform - Windows, Linux) Data Plotting *
Baudline (Linux - X86, PowerPC) - Realtime Spectrum Analysis
Acrobat Reader/Writer - (Windows, Linux variants) Publishing
Gimp (Linux only) – Photo and graphic file manipulation *
exiv2 (Linux only) - Command-line utility to read digital photograph metadata *

Web Browsing and Email
Firefox (Cross platform - Windows, Linux and Mac) Browser *
Thunderbird (Cross platform - Windows, Linux) Email/News client *

C and C++ Program Development
GCC and GCC-C++ - Gnu C/C++ compiler (Linux, Unix) *
Qt3 Designer – GUI and Application Development (Cross platform) *
Netbeans Integrated Development Environment (Cross Platform)

* These programs are included with many Linux distributions.
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Last Updated:10/30/2012