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In this series of web pages, I am outlining the way that I have my computer configured. After writing my book on simulating ecological systems, I developed a typing problems that have taken some time to deal with. As a consequence, I was forced to change operating systems to Windows so that I could use voice recognition software to minimize my typing. (Presently I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking [it is a truly amazing piece of software]. I highly recommend it, but it is available only for Windows, and in particular not available for Linux.)

As a result of changing operating systems I have explored a variety of scientific software that is available for the Windows system. It turns out that a Linux like operating system (Cygwin) can be placed on top of Windows enabling simultaneous access to all of the Linux applications and Windows applications. In addition, this configuration solves many of the problems I've had with Linux: attaching peripherals.

Cygwin web site.

Installing Cygwin can be a bit of an ordeal, but it has become relatively straightforward over the last year. Make sure you have about a gigabyte of space on your hard drive for the installation. Go to the Cygwin web site in and download their installer. Run their installer and choose to download files to your hard drive rather than install from the Internet. Make a new folder under your C: drive to install these files into (I also put the Cygwin installer in this folder). This download will take a long time if you don't have a fast connection; there are a few hundred megabytes involved. If you simply want a terminal window to compile programs in and use one of Microsoft's simple text editors to edit your programs, you can probably get away with installing the default set of files but checking off the GCC files to install as well. I never do it this way, I just install all of the files to make sure I have everything I need. Space on my hard drive is not a problem. If you also want a good X-Windows platform to use like a regular Linux computer, then I suggest you also download the Gnome interface for Cygwin (called Cygnome).

Cygnome web site.

You can download these files simultaneously with all of the Cygwin files by adding their site to the list of sites for download and selecting that site and one of the Cygwin sites to download files from.

Once you've downloaded the files, run the Cygwin installer a second time. This time select install from local directory, and when you have the chance to choose the files to install click on all until install is showing as the option. Then just install the whole mess. You should get a couple of icons on your desktop that represent the Cygwin program. You might find when you click on the icon it says something to the effect that a permission isn't set right. Look in c:/cygwin/ for startgnome.bat and check it out. It seems that every time I've done the Cygwin installation something has changed.

I did a simple Google search on "compiler c Windows", and came up with these two compiler's that I have tried long ago. I do not vouch for them in their present states, but here are some links.

GNU C compiler web site this compiler is the one that's included in Linux distributions, as well as the Cygwin installation.

djgpp compiler web site Free C compiler for various platforms including Windows.

lccwin32 compiler web site Free C compiler for various platforms including Windows.

I've also spend some time looking at all of the mathematics programs available for installation on Windows. There is a ton of it, and the links to the left describe much of that software.

These pages are still in development, so please be patient. During the spring of 2004 I am teaching a class which prompts this construction.