Recommended software
 
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Links to recommended software

Below is a list of some of the software packages I use and, in a few precious cases, adore and would fight bitterly for if someone tried to remove them from my various computers.  

Data analysis software

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Stata is the "default", general-purpose statistics package that I use.  When I use something else, it probably means that you can't do it in Stata, that you can do it in Stata but I don't know how, or that I don't like something about how Stata does it.  I enjoy writing programs for Stata and even own a Stata T-shirt, so you may be right to suspect that my enthusiasm for this package borders on the zealous.

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AMOS and M-Plus are the programs I use for structural equation models.  The former is easier to use and the latter allows you to do things that you cannot do readily anywhere else.

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GLIM and LEM are programs for working with generalized linear models that many people who work with data organized as contingency tables use.

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LIMDEP is a very powerful program for working with limited dependent variables.

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SPSS is a program I use for a few things.  I like its facilities for entering data and some of the things you can do with graphics.

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SAS is the other major statistics package, and I should probably be more adept at using it than I am.

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As a general program for working with qualitative data, I defer to Ray Maietta of ResearchTalk, and he has been bullish on Atlas.ti.  Many people also like NVIVO.  If you are working specifically with audio and visual materials and transcripts, Chris Fassnacht's Transana is impressive.

Ancillary programs for data analysts

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Adobe Illustrator is a drawing program that I will sometimes use to improve the appearance of graphs that I generate in Stata.

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PKZip is a shareware graphical interface for zipping files. ZipCentral is an adequate freeware program. 

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Scientific Word is a text editor for mathematics that creates LaTeX files.  It's pretty persnickety  software, but it's easier than any other way of doing LaTeX on a Windows platform.

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StatTransfer is the package I use to convert data files into different formats.  Other people prefer DBMS/Copy, which is better if you have a large conversion that you'd like to run as a batch file.

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TextPad is a fabulous text editor.  If you use it with Stata, you should check out Scott Long's webpage for the TextPad add-on that he has done that adds colors to .do files (if you haven't done any programming, you might think that this would be just a quirky cosmetic addition, but, believe me, it actually does cut down on silly bugs in your code).

Web tools

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Adobe Acrobat Reader is free and allows you to view, navigate, and print PDF files across all the major computing platforms.  If you are serious about using PDF files, however, you need to buy the full version of Acrobat.  Acrobat 5 is amazing.

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Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are the image-editing and drawing programs that I use.  

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IrfranView is a freeware file viewer that includes screen capture and format conversion.  It's great for doing anything with screenshots.

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SmartDraw is the program to use if you enjoy making flowcharts, whether as part of your work or just for kicks.

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Microsoft Frontpage is the program I use for making and publishing web pages.  A particular advantage of it are all the free or cheap themes that one can find on the web.  

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Netscape Navigator is the web browser that I use.  I think using the Netscape browser is particularly a good idea if one uses Frontpage to compose your webpages, while I would use Internet Explorer if I used Netscape's web authoring software.

Other programs I recommend

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Atomtime sets your PC clock using an atomic clock time server.

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Callwave is for people who use the same line for the Internet and regular phone calls.  It will take phone messages for you while you're online and you can play them back without logging off.

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Dragon Dictate is the program I have used for speech recognition, and it seems to work substantially better than its competitors.

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Endnote is the bibliographic software I've used for years.  If it weren't for mindless loyalty and the startup costs of switching to something new, I would probably use ProCite instead.  They're owned by the same company and you can easily move libraries from one to the other, so it doesn't make much difference which you use.

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Real Jukebox is what I use to listen to music files on my computer.  I have all my favorite songs from my CDs digitized--another reason to have a large-capacity hard drive--so I don't have to keep changing CDs when working at my computer anymore.  If you are foolhardy enough to involve yourself with the online sharing of mp3 files, a "friend" tells me that the LimeWire Gnutella software is the best.

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Webshots is a program that automatically rotates the screen savers and wallpaper for my computer.  You can build your own archive from hundreds of free and beautiful pictures.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Insert standard disclaimers here.
Whatever is original is copyright 2003 by Jeremy Freese.
All rights reserved. All wrongs reversed.

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