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Software Library

Collected here are links to some of the very best software available on the Internet. This is the software that we use and recommend.

Applications

Olive
Olive

Olive is a design tool for optical system layout. By tracing primary and marginal rays in real-time as you move optical components around, Olive provides a very intuitive interface. Olive comes with lens descriptions for Edmund Scientific products so it is very easy to build your designs.

Pro: Intuitive user interface and much less expensive than high-end optical design software.

Website: http://www.highchiva.com/

Utilities

KeePass
KeePass password manager

KeePass is an open-source password safe. Passwords can be stored in highly-encrypted files, that can be unlocked with one master password or key file: you only have to remember a single password to access all your passwords. The interface is similar to Windows Explorer with passwords organized into folders.

Pro: KeePass is very quick to use. Simply double click the url in the password list. When the site opens, drag the user name and password from the list and drop into the web page's controls.

Con: The website url can't be dragged from the password list onto an existing browser window.

Tips: Use lyrics from a favorite song, title of a movie of sentence from a book to create a strong password that is easy to remember.

Website: http://keepass.info/

Communications and Internet

FileZilla
FileZilla FTP program

FileZilla is a fast, easy to use FTP program. A Windows Explorer style interface is used with separate controls for the local and remote folder structure, and local and remote folder content. A messages window reports the conversation between the client and server. A file transfer queue shows transfer progress and allows failed transfers to be quickly restarted. File transfers are made simply by dragging folders or files. Commonly used sites can be setup with the site manager (stores host address, username, password etc) and selected from a drop-down on the tool bar. The toolbar also contains input boxes for host, username, password and port for easily establishing one-off connections.

Pro: Simple to use and reliable. When overwriting files FileZilla can prompt you for each file or you can select a default action (such as overwrite if newer) to be applied to the current queue, uploads or all transfers.

Con: List of recently used folders is not maintained between sessions.

Website: http://filezilla-project.org/

Free Download Manager
Free Download Manager

Download manager and accelerator. Free Download Manager extends Internet Explorer and Firefox stepping in to handle downloaded files.

Instead of the simple "Save As..." dialog you get from Internet Explorer, Free Download Manager presents a custom dialog when you download files from the internet. You can setup groups, each with a custom destination folder, to organize your downloaded files as you get them. A default group is automatically selected based on the extension of the download file, but you can easily change this, send the file to a particular directory, or create a new group all from the download dialog.

Free Download Manager supports file splitting to accelerate downloads (different parts of the file are downloaded at the same time and stitched together automatically), and resuming or restarting broken downloads. A separate window (accessed from the task tray) provides a log of all downloaded files.

Pro: Downloads can be classified as they arrive. File splitting accelerates downloading large files.

Con: Existing download groups can't be edited from the "Add Download" dialog (new ones can be added though). The groups must be edited from the main application window.

Website: http://www.freedownloadmanager.org/

What is the difference between a computer and a sand castle? Software!

Without software, the computer is little more than very expensive, organized sand.