Lab Software

Lab Software

If you need any further explanations or help with the computer lab software, call ATUS at x3333 for assistance.

Web Browsers
Google Chrome is a browser made by Google. Designed to be lightning fast, with a simple interface, this web browser has a lot to offer.
Internet Explorer (or IE for short) is Microsoft’s web browser.  It is the most widely used browser as it is installed by default on Windows machines.
Mozilla Firefox is an open-source and free web browser, offering an excellent and arguably more secure alternative to Internet Explorer.
Safari is Apple’s web browser. If you’re used to a Mac, and haven’t used any other browsers before, you’ll feel right at home with Safari.
Office Suites
Microsoft Word composes and formats letters, faxes, and documents.
Microsoft Access used to create simple database solutions.
Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet program useful for organizing large sets of data.
Microsoft Powerpoint is an easy-to-use slideshow making program commonly used to accent presentations.
Microsoft Publisher is a useful tool in designing professional newsletters, brochures, post cards, greeting card, and other layouts.
Microsoft Outlook is free modern email and calendar service from Microsoft.
Cloud Storage
WWU U-Drive is a free service that lets you store files on WWU’s servers. You have 512MB of space to store your work and the drive is mounted automatically on login!
Playing Multi-media
VLC is a free, open-source, media player. This application plays nearly any type of media on the planet, and is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and many other operating systems.
Windows Media Player views many types of audio/video. It’s installed by default on Windows.
QuickTime is Apple’s media player. It is essential for playing online QuickTime files.
Editing Multi-media
Audacity is free, open source, cross-platform software for recording and editing sounds. Give it a try, mix some audio files.
Notepad++ is a programmer-friendly text editor. It color codes many different coding languages, to make programming easier to view and work with. Some of these languages include ones used for web design (HTML, CSS, and PHP).
GIMP is an acronym for The GNU Image Manipulation Program. According to their website, “GIMP is a freely distributed piece of software suitable for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.” It has similar features to Adobe Photoshop only it costs $699 less, giving it a nice, affordable price of $0.
Paint.Net is another free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows.
Miscellaneous
7Zip is an open source, Windows utility for manipulating archives. Formats 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR are supported fully, other formats can be unpacked.
Adobe Reader XI views electronic documents which typically end with a .pdf extension.
Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. Fire it up to see Western’s Campus in 3D!
Skype allows you to make free internet calls to other Skype members around the world. Plug in your own headphones, and microphone to try it out.
Programming
CMD is a program on Windows that allows the user to access the windows command line. You can write batch scripts to execute multiple commands at once.
Python is a high-level general-purpose programming language
R is a system for statistical computation and graphics.
Remote Connection
Remote Desktop connects to Windows computers and displays the screen of that computer as if you were sitting down in front of it. It is similar to VNC but uses a Windows specific protocol called RDP. You must have an account on the computer you wish to remotely connect to.
PuTTY Suite securely connects to Linux/UNIX terminals using SSH. Back in the day, telnet was the only way to check your western email. It is mainly used to remote administrate servers. If you know a machine running an SSH server, you can connect to it via putty. There is also a plethora of other utilities included with allow for telnet, file copying, and quick logins using key generation.
File Transfer
WinSCP securely connects to a Linux/Unix computer to transfer files. If you prefer a more advanced, terminal based method, see the PuTTY Suite above.
FileZilla provides a feature-rich and fairly easy-to-use FTP interface. Open ‘er up and take a crack at it!