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
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.
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
and LEM are programs for working with generalized linear models
that many people who work with data organized as
contingency tables use.
is a very powerful program for working with limited
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.
is the other major statistics package, and I should
probably be more adept at using it than I am.
As a general program
for working with qualitative data, I defer to Ray
Maietta of ResearchTalk,
and he has been bullish
Many people also like NVIVO.
If you are working specifically with audio and visual
materials and transcripts, Chris Fassnacht's Transana
Ancillary programs for data analysts
Illustrator is a drawing program that I will sometimes
use to improve the
appearance of graphs that I generate in Stata.
PKZip is a shareware graphical interface for zipping files.
ZipCentral is an
adequate freeware program.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Photoshop and Adobe
Illustrator are the image-editing and drawing programs
that I use.
IrfranView is a freeware file
viewer that includes screen capture and format conversion.
It's great for doing anything with screenshots.
SmartDraw is the
program to use if you enjoy making flowcharts, whether as
part of your work or just for kicks.
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.
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
Other programs I recommend
Atomtime sets your PC clock using
an atomic clock time server.
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
Dictate is the program I have used for speech recognition,
and it seems to work substantially better than its
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.
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.
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.