Free Technical Software - Part I

from Educators' eZine

As a retiree, I have lots of time to seek out some great free or low cost technical software that educators may use as teaching aids. I have done this three times before (see past articles) but recently I have begun digging even deeper to find some really esoteric but still useful stuff. In fact, I found so much that I may have to do a Part II. But for now just feast your eyes on some of these fascinating examples of what's out there.

STP - Speed, Torque, Power Calculator
From their homepage click on the link to download a nice motor calculator designed for those electric motor applications you might have. Put an short cut icon right on your desktop for quick access when you need it. Also the site offers an amazing array of motors, searchable with your inputted parameters. They are a great supplier to keep referenced in your vendor contact files.

Sequencher 4.7
Although this is not something most of you will use, you just might know someone that could use it. It is a full featured, award winning, no time limit DNA Sequencing program. It was used by those in forensic science to help identify the victims in the tragic 9/11 attacks. There are educators out there that might like this for their students or to use it as a teaching tool. You might also want to grab some of these screen shots as screen savers to impress everyone who passes by.

Although CyberGuard is not free, the site offers a limited-capability shareware version available for download. This unique software allows data to be encrypted as steganography, which involves placing sensitive data in an image, or encrypted in a "virtual safe." It also allows complete removal of all Web surfing evidence and other data removal. The big difference between the limited- and full-versions, besides price, is the smaller file sizes that the shareware will handle.

IPIU – Intel Processor Identification Utility
This very nice utility can identify your processor and everything else related to the computing power level of the CPU. It is free but many people do not know about it. Install this on your PC or all of them and you will always know with a click or two what is under the hood of your computer. The little utility program is a fast way to find out if your computer is going to be able to run that analysis software or not. Leave a shortcut icon on your desktop for easy access.

Get it at:
Screen shot of new version just out:

Engineering Power Tools
With so many wonderful programs available you are bound to find something of interest and usefulness here, whether it's a simple temperature conversion utility, a periodic chart of the elements, or something much more esoteric. This is a great place to browse and have fun.

Go to:

Advanced Aircraft Analysis
Any aeronautical engineers, or would-be aircraft designers, out there? You will find tons of interesting and useable software components here that help solve all sorts of fascinating problems dealing with the physics of flight.

Carlson Design
Well, if you're not into airplanes, perhaps you like boats. If so, scroll down to mid-page on the Carlson site to find this rather simple but excellent hull designer. You can import it into your favorite MCAD software with the VRML1.0, DXF, or HPGL formats and then measure things and give it some 3D dimensional depth with ribs and hull thicknesses. Is there anyone out there into the making of model boats? There is a whole boatload of pre-designed hulls already for you to use.

ESB Calculators and Unit Conversion Utilities
I use these great little engineering aids with my MCAD and AEC applications. These are great to have on your desktop with shortcut icons for easy access to them, especially if, like me, you find it hard to remember formulas and relationships. The relatively inexpensive Pro version has much more packed into it with many more things for engineers, techs and teachers.

AutoDesk AliasStudio
This is a free personal edition of one of their great premier industrial design tool applications., The user interface looks very impressive but is easy enough to use comfortably, and it is customizable to boot. The site offers many tutorials and videos to help you get started. The screen shots below are from their video tutorials. Check this one out for yourself and since it is free for you to learn with why not try in on for size.

I hope these sites can help someone, somewhere, at sometime. Drop me a line if you liked this article and if it helped you.

Email:Richard Williams