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Computer Software

This page was initially based on an October 1997 University Software Listing. See also 1993 Software.

Software Reviews etc

Stroud's application reviews
Reviews software that is used on the internet

Open Directory listing for Software

Microsoft database

Accutype: A typing tutor useful for first time users of the keyboard who wish to improve their keyboard skills.

Acrobat Reader: Adobe Acrobat Reader is freely available software to enable PDF (Portable Document Format) files to be read. Useful tool to have with a web browser.

Aldus Pagemaker An interactive desktop publishing package that allows you to integrate graphics with text to create high quality documents.

AppleWorks (formerly ClarisWorks):
A program for
Apple Macintosh computers
It comes free with new Macintosh computers

Claris Works is an integrated application combining word processing, graphics, spreadsheet, charting, database and communications.

Tom Maddox, reviewing wordprocessors, wrote:

"This has most of what most people need:

  • a word processor (with tables and outlining),
  • spreadsheet,
  • database.
and is absolutely the class act of integrated programs -- rock-solid, well-designed, cheap, very functional.

General purpose draughting and design program with full 3D wireframe construction and surface modelling capabilities.

The BASIC programming language system. The name is an acronym for Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.

Bio Science Option
Computer Aided Learning package to assist biology students - covers topics such as blood structure, chest, muscle physiology, respiration, etc.

CA-Cricket Graph
A full-featured professional graphing package designed for creating sophisticated graphs in the business, scientific and engineering environments.

CA-Cricket Presents
A full-featured professional desktop presentation package designed for both first-time and experienced presenters.

CA-SuperProject for Windows
A Windows graphics package with a complete set of project management and presentation tools.

Computer Aided Design - a simple DOS based graphics package that allows you to create drawings based on cartesian co-ordinates.

Suite of civil engineering programs which includes facilities for soil mechanics and similar functions.

cgi software:

external link explaining what the Common Gateway Interface is

Matt's Script Archive Matt's Script Archive

Open Directory's links to scripts and programs

web2mail tutorial


MailMe!Pro Form Mailer

Clarity English
English language teaching software.

Programming language extensively used in commercial applications


Corel are the firm that developed the Corel graphics programs and now own WordPefect wordprocessors and Office suite. Corel Web Links:

Graphics Programs


Paint Microsoft Paint is a paint program that comes with Micrsoft Windows. It can usually be found under Programs in the Accessories menu.

Corel Draw
Windows based graphics package with powerful
drawing, charting, painting and presentation tools. The paint part of the suite is CorelPaint

Corel Paint
Paint program included with Corel Draw

The program Corel Presentations contains a paint program originally designed to make and edit WordPerfect graphics.

Graphic Workshop Professional by Alchemy Mindworks


Drivers are programs that control devices like printers, disk drives, mice, keyboards, modems, and scanners.

Any machine or component that attaches to a computer is known as a device. Each device requires a program called a device driver that converts the general commands put out by computer software like wordprocessors into the specific commands that the device understands.

Drivers like keyboard drivers come with the operating system.

Devices like printers come with drivers in the software that supports them. Sometimes, however, new, improved, drivers are provided on the website of the company that produces the device.

In DOS systems, drivers are files with a.SYS extension. In Windows environments, drivers often have a .DRV extension.

Mailers (for Electronic Mail)



Outlook Express:

Microsoft mailer

Outlook Express is the mailer and newsgroup reader that comes with Windows98.

Microsoft Exchange with Windows95 includes a mailer and fax.


Probably the best
mailer in the world. This is the description of it by Stephen Roberts:
    An email program packed full of features. As just a few examples of those features:

  • excellent filters to manage your messages, send standard replies and even run another program when an appropriate message is received;

  • an easily used identities feature so you can send and receive for example personal messages and business messages with different settings;

  • distribution lists; and a distribution list can even be configured to work as a simple mailing list.

Pegasus Website Click for the website to get a copy. Pegasus Website

The first Pegasus was invented by David Harris for a New Zealand University in 1989. It has always been free. David Harris keeps going financially by selling printed manuals, but you do not need these because the mailer has good online help.

Why is (probably) the best mailer in the world free? This is what David Harris says:

    "It dates from the time when the Internet was a community rather than just a highway -- when people helped each other without worrying too much about who was going to pay for it.

    I found that I was receiving mail from people thanking me for giving them something they couldn't have afforded any other way -- communication. I grew to understand that communication had to be regarded as a right, not as a privilege: it seemed to me in 1989, as it still seems to me now, that freedom of speech is useless if nobody can hear you. Giving away Pegasus Mail seemed to be a means by which I could try to make communication more accessible to a much wider range of people who needed it.


software company owned by Bill Gates, who may or may not be the richest man in the world. It owns the operating systems (MS-DOS and Windows) used on most personal computers.

As well as the operating system, Microsoft Windows users often (or usually) use a range of Microsoft applications designed to do almost everything anyone would want to do on a personal computer. These include Word, Microsoft's wordprocessor. Internet Explorer, its browser and Excel, its spreadsheet.

Under USA anti-trust legislation, Microsoft are now (November 2002) required:

  • to release some technical data to other software developers to enable them to write programs for Windows

  • not to retaliate against computer makers who use rival products

  • to create uniform licensing terms for its software

  • to allow manufacturers and customers to remove icons for some Microsoft features

Microsoft Web Link:

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is a set (suite) of programs designed to work together. The main ones are:
Microsoft Office 2000 cost about £400

Microsoft Office XP

Microsoft Office XP costs about £430

Microsoft Works

Microsoft Works is an integrated package as distinct from a set (suite) of programs. It contains a wordprocessor and a spreadsheet.

wps extension files created by Microsoft Works 6 are not readable by all versions of Microsoft Word - But a free converter downloaded from Microsoft will make them readable.

Used to be called URL Minder
Mind-it is a free notification service provided by NetMind
Web Link
NetMind will send you an email every time there is a change in web pages you ask them to monitor. It lets you track changes to your favourite Web pages. You can highlight sections of a page to track, watch for the appearance of any keywords of interest, track links to a page, or track anything you want, and be notified when there are changes.

To use it you go to the Web page you want to track and tell Mind-it how you want to track it. Then you enter your email address. You get a choice on how you are notified -- by email or on the Web. In every notification there is an easy route back to the service, so that you can monitor more Web pages, modify what you are tracking, delete anything you don't want (including the entire service) or get access to your password.

Numbers software:

Spreadsheets Statistics Mathematics Finance


Understanding spreadsheets
for an explanation of what a spreadsheet is.
Excel: Microsoft spreadsheet

Lotus 123

QuattroPro This spreadsheet is included in the WordPerfect Office Suite

Each of the three leading spreadsheet brands (above) can be bought separately, or a as part of an Office Suite. Many new computers come with a spreadsheet already installed.

Many wordprocessors include the ability to create spreadsheets (called "Tables"). These wordprocessor spreadsheets will be adequate for many everyday uses.

With the specialist spreadsheet packages you can make larger spreadsheets, and have intuitive screen images to help you. Usually, they can also convert their information to graphs and charts. Some of them include formulas to help with statistical analysis and engineering, and can handle general mathematical problems like matrix-manipulation and equation solving.

Statistics software:

Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS).
Comprehensive set of statistical procedures widely used by researchers.

Statistics for the Terrified
A Computer Aided Learning package to assist those learning statistics.

Mathematics software:

Symbolator A program to perform algebraic manipulations on any mathematical expression. It also has numerical and graph plotting facilities including the description, display and transformation of three-dimensional objects.

Computer Aided Learning package for mathematics

Finance software:

Financial accounts computer aided learning package. Includes financial accounting techniques, standard costing, marginal costing, capital investment appraisal and absorption costing.

Investment Appraisal Package to assess whether it is worth spending money to start a new business.

Presentations software:

Corel Presentations
Presentations is the drawing, painting and presentations program that comes as part of the
WordPerfect Office Suite

Microsoft presentations software.

Operating systems:

Critical updates for Microsoft Windows Scans your computer for vulnerabilities and installs patches to protect it:

Microsoft Windows 3.1. is
software that makes operating a computer easier by putting picture symbols on the screen that you can click on with a mouse. This is called a Graphical User Interface, or GUI. Windows 3.11, often used on networks, is similar. Windows 3.1 was first sold in March 1992.

Windows 95:
Windows 95 is the version of Windows released in 1995
Windows 95 is intended to be easier to use than Windows 3.1
It hides its
DOS program away so that the user goes straight into the Windows 95 program.

Windows 98:
Windows 98 is the version of Windows released in 1998
The Microsoft
browser, Internet Explorer, is integrated with Windows 98.

Link to the Microsoft Windows 98 Home Page

Windows NT
Windows NT is a version of Windows intended mainly for large organisations. It is more robust (less likely to crash) than the Windows versions normally found on individual computers. On the other hand, it is fussier about the computer hardware it operates on. The user will find that Windows 95, 98 and NT have much the same appearance.

Windows 2000
Windows 2000 is a version of Windows intended mainly for large organisations. It is development of Windows NT and Windows98. Launched 17.3.2000. "the most significant version of its business-focused operating system since the original launch of Windows NT back in 1993" (Computer Weekly)

Windows XP

Link to the Microsoft Windows Professional Home Page archive

Allows you to login to a remote machine.

Protection - Backup


iomega support
iomega support

Protection - Security

Open Directory Security Links


Google define firewall

Zone Alarm has a free firewall for home users

Product weblinks:


Google define anti-virus

AVAST has a free version for home users


Google define Spyware

Spybot Search and Destroy

Ad-Aware SE Personal


Turns the DOS Prompt into something much more useful

Web Browsers:

The original internet browser (in 1993) was called Mosaic. It was given away free and gained two million users in a year. Mosaic began to make the internet something ordinary people could use.


Mosaic was developed into Netscape in 1994. This program has become more and more sophisticated, but is still free. It is paid for by advertising.

As well as the browser, Netscape includes a mailer for sending and receiving email which is called Netscape Messenger.

Netscape 7 released 29.8.2002

Netscape 6.2.3 released 21.5.2002

Netscape Communicator 4

Netscape Web Link:

Microsoft Internet Explorer:

Internet Explorer is the browser that has come with Microsoft Windows since Windows98.

Internet Explorer Web Link:

Wordprocessors and Text Editors:

Microsoft Word WordPerfect WordStar
Windows Write Windows Notepad TextPad

A technical word processor for scientific word processing, offering a wide range of symbols.

Microsoft Word:
Word is Microsoft's wordprocessor. Originally for
DOS, the Windows version is now the most widely used wordprocessor in the world. Unfortunately, this is not because it is the best.

It is often supplied with new computers, as part of the Microsoft Office set of programs.

Word for Windows
As this is the most widely used wordprocessor, it is probably the one you are using.

Word's macro facility is the basis of a family of computer viruses. Do not let this scare you. Just follow the link so that you know what a computer virus is.

Word 6 for Windows works with
Windows 3.1 and Windows 3.11

Microsoft Word 97 works with
Windows 95 and later.

Using Word

Taming Word

Microsoft Word does more than is convenient and it does it without asking. You can control it, if you know how.

To disable that paperclip (the "office assistant"). Right click on the paperclip. Choose Options from the menu. Remove the tick from "use office assistant" and click OK. You will now have no paperclip and can chose help when you want from the menu.

To stop it spell checking as you type (and leaving coloured underlining): From the Tools menu chose Options and remove ticks from "check... as you type".

To stop it putting real hyperlinks into your documents whenever you type in a web address. In the Tools menu, click on autocorrect. In "Autoformat As You Type", remove the tick by "Internet and network paths with hyperlinks". You can also remove the hyperlinks individually by right clicking on the webaddress with the mouse, selecting hyperlink and then selecting "remove hyperlink". This will not remove the webaddress, just stop it acting as a hyperlink with a mind of its own that overules yours!

To copy and paste into Word without bringing in formatting and/or hyperlinks: Copy and paste into Notepad first.

To remove all hyperlinks from a Word document use "Ctrl+A" to select everything, then use the key combination "Ctrl+Shift+F9".

You want to indent your quotes. Click on the left margin of the quote (but not the first line) and press tab. If you do not want the quote indented as much, you should alter the tab stops. To do this, select paragraph from the Format menu. Now select tab. Alter the "default tab stops" figure.

You want your writing to have ragged edges on the right as with normal typing. This makes it easier to read. It is called "left justification". Select the text you want left justified and click the Align Left button on the right of bar near the top.

Recent versions have introduced "Personalized Menus". This means that the menu only shows recently used items. To recover control: 1) On the menu bar, click Tools > Customize > Options 2. SELECT the checkbox for "Always show full menus" OR DE-SELECT "Menus always show recently used commands first" [Or something similar]

Things you may want Word to do

External link on how to use accents

The WordPerfect versus Word Centre (1998) was run by people who prefer WordPerfect (Windows) to Word (Windows). It includes some useful articles explaining the differences.


WordPerfect Office
WordPerfect (Windows) WordPerfect (DOS)

WordPerfect was the world's most widely used wordprocessor before Windows developed in the the mid 1990s. It is now owned by Corel, the company that developed the drawing program.

WordPerfect Office:

WordPerfect Office is a set (suite) of programs designed to work together. The main ones are:

  • WordPerfect: A wordprocessor
  • QuattroPro: A spreadsheet
  • Presentations: Allows you to draw and paint on your computer and make projections for presentations.
  • CorelCENTRAL: Scheduling.
  • Trelix: web-publishing program.


WordPerfect is a Windows based wordprocessor made by the same company who made WordPerfect for Dos.

WordPerfect 6.1 works well for me. This was produced in 1994. Of more recent versions, Tom Maddox writes:

    "The current version is both outdated and buggy, i.e., for some people it has a nasty habit of crashing and corrupting files. On the positive side, it still generally works to many people's satisfaction, has an active mailing list and a wonderful suite of macros written by people such as John Rethorst".

WordStar 7 for DOS:
A wordprocessor, I believe.
Some professional writers use the old DOS wordprocessors instead of the new Windows ones. Russ Hunt, a Canadian academic, wrote:

The feature that Russ is complaining about is that newer, more complex wordprocesors can add material to your file that you do not see, but which appears if you email it. Often this is because the extra text is intended to be viewed in a browser.

Write is a simple wordprocessor that came free with the Microsoft
Windows operating system before Windows 95. It is now replaced by WordPad

In WordPad, double spacing is obtained by pressing Control and 2 at the same time. Single spacing by pressing Control and 1.

WordPad does not let you insert a page break to make a new page.

Text Editors:

Windows Notepad
Text Editor that comes free with Microsoft Windows. You should find it under "Accesories" in the Programs menu

A Free
Text Editor with spell check - and lots more at:

Text Editor that is highly recommended by Roy Johnson. Here are extracts from his review:
    TextPad - a powerful text editor

    For the past month, I've been testing a new [to me] text editor called "TextPad". What's the difference between text editors and word processors? Well, they are small, light, and fast. They also ditch all the fancy features which cause programs such as MS Word to crash from time to time.

    In their place they put features such as TextPad's ability to let you work on several files at the same time. You can open a dozen or two, then do a SEARCH and REPLACE to change 'file-A.htm' to 'file-B.htm' with one mouseclick.

    The program also lets you spellcheck HTM files, and *doesn't* insert lots of unwanted code when you SAVE. You have a choice of editable dictionaries, and there doesn't seem to be any limit to the size of the file you can work on.

    It's shareware, and costs only 17 pounds to register. Well worth it, believe me.

WebLink for TextPad
WebLink for Roy Johnson's Mantex Newsletter

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Optical character recognition software turns words on paper into words in a computer. You can turn a book into computer text that you can
edit in a wordprocessor. To do this you need a scanner attached to your computer. You will almost certainly receive some OCR software "free" with when you buy a scanner.

Manufacturers of scanners include Plustek

To scan a page of print you put it on the scanner and the software makes a a graphic image of them. The OCR software then converts this to editable text:

"To do this it has to compare the letter shapes it sees on a scanned image of a page with real letters, making the transformation from one to the other. It also needs to do its best to ensure that individual letters combine to make real words." (Sandra Vogel in a review for

Nearly all scanners come with a TWAIN driver, which makes them compatible with any TWAIN-supporting software. Not all scanner software is TWAIN- compatible.

abbyy finereader
Support for version 4

This review of version five was written for by Sandra Vogel

For OCR software to be more effective than getting a fast typist to copy printed text it has to be very accurate. It helps if it can recognise a range of languages. Fine Reader Pro 5 comes with support for more than a hundred languages, though it only spell checks around 25 of the more common ones. It also recognises programming languages like Java and Pascal. The quality of recognition of the English text tested was high--selected test texts, from magazines, newspapers and print outs, required little editing. Fine Reader Pro 5 saves images from the source documents as well as text, recognises formatting such as column breaks and will recognise tables. You can send scanned material to the clipboard for pasting into any editor you choose, or send it directly to Microsoft Word, Lotus Word Pro, Microsoft Excel, Sun StarWriter, or Corel Wordperfect. It can also be sent straight to e-mail, or saved as HTML. The finer points of Fine Reader Pro 5.0, such as fine tuning scanning quality for optimum results, and managing tables accurately require a little practice to master, and the interface is a bit on the cluttered side, but thanks to the Scan&Read wizard getting editable text takes only a few minutes. --

Study Link
Andrew Roberts' web Study Guide
Top of Page Take a Break - Read a Poem

This page is not copyright. I have used other people's listings and appraisals and hope you will use mine.


Software Index


Bio Science
Graphics Workshop
Lotus 123
Opical Character Recognition: OCR
Office (MS)
Microsoft Word
Office (WP)
Operating systems
Stats Terror
Taming Windows
Taming Word
Text editors