Licensed Software

The department has the following software available for installation, most of which can accessed from the server on the network. Your MSU NetID is required to access software. If you do not have access to a folder, access can be granted by College of Letters and Science IT team by emailing

Software available under campus license agreements

Please refer to this webpage for all software available


Free Software Recommendations

This list is now not maintained but is kept here just for reference purposes.


Writing/Documents/Create Webpages
Name OS URL Purpose
Notepad++ W General text editor. Great for writing code in many languages.
Notetab Lite W General text editor. Has some good features for modifying text/lines e.g. stripping off email quotes.
Crimson Editor W General text editor. Great for writing code.
PDFCreator W Create PDF’s - split or merge pdf's. Create pdf from scratch by adding content from different files
Foxit W PDF reader with some editing functions
OpenOffice W M L The free replacement for MS Office from Sun. Works seamlessly with MSOffice files
OpenProj Open source project management software. It can open native Microsoft Project files.
Scribus W M L Open source desktop publishing - creates great loooking documents of all kinds, including PDF's
Adobe Acrobat Reader W M L PDF viewer
Kivio L Easy to use diagramming, org. charts, and flowcharting application with tight integration to the other KOffice apps.
Webmatrix W Create websites for hosting on servers running IIS, ASP and MSSQL
Wordpress W M L Create websites for hosting on servers running Apache, PHP and MySQL
Kompozer W M L Web page authoring with ‘WYSIWYG
Sharepoint Designer W Sharepoint Designer link Tools for creating Microsoft Sharepoint websites
Freemind W M Mind mapping software.
LyX W M L LyX is a MS Word styled frontend for LaTeX. It has templates for writing documents and creating pdf slides using Beamer package
File Hamster W File version tracking and real-time backup.
WinMerge W Compare differences in files and folders and merge.
Ditto Clipboard Extension W Extends the Windows clipboard by storing many ‘clips’.
Baregrep W Text search tool, like the Unix Grep command.
MacTex M
See also
Redistribution of TexLive with many useful sub-packages.
TeXworks WML The TeXworks project is an effort to build a simple TeX front-end program (working environment) for all operating systems.


Name OS URL Purpose
Microsoft Math 4.0 W Microsoft Mathematics 4.0 Microsoft Mathematics provides a graphing calculator that plots in 2D and 3D, step-by-step equation solving, and useful tools to help students with math and science studies. 
(From basic math to precalculus)
Octave W M L
(Octave GUI for Linux)

GNU Octave, a Matlab-like product, is a high-level language, primarily intended for numerical computations. It provides a convenient command line interface for solving linear and nonlinear problems numerically, and for performing other numerical experiments using a language that is mostly compatible with Matlab.
Power Calculator W
powertoys/ Xppowertoys.mspx
Graph and evaluate functions as well as perform many different types of conversions.
R W M L Software environment for statistical computing and graphics, compares to S-PLUS. R is now very popular in academia.


Name OS URL Purpose
MS Visual Studio Express W This free version of Microsoft Visual Studio contains C#, C++, Visual Basic, and Web Development programming packages.
BlueJ W M L BlueJ is an integrated Java programming environment specifically designed for introductory teaching.


Name OS URL Purpose
Dia W M L Program to draw structured diagrams (flowcharts).
Kivio L Easy to use diagramming, org. charts, and flowcharting application with tight integration to the other KOffice apps.
Gliffy N/A
Note, one caveat with the free basic version is that your documents are "public" meaning that potentaily anyone can view them if they guess the name of the file, see

Create professional-looking flowcharts, diagrams, floor plans, technical drawings, and more
Gimp W M L Image manipulating – like Photoshop.




Name OS URL Purpose
Gimp W M L Image manipulating – like Photoshop
Paint.Net W Image manipulating – like Photoshop
Photoscape W Photo editing
Inkscape W M L Open Source vector graphics editor
ImageMagick Create, edit, convert images with this open source suite
IrfanView W Graphics viewer
Windows Live Photo Gallery W Photo manager and basic image editing tool.
Picasa 3 M W L Excellent way to manage, find, edit and share your photos.
VLC Media Player W M L Video/audio file player. If you cannot get a file to play, this player will play most file formats.




Backup and SynchronizationHard drives are mechanical devices which will fail at some point in time! It is extremely important to backup or synchronize your data to at least one another location on a weekly basis - a daily basis would be even better! Using one, or a combination of these tools will enable you to do so. Remember that your Physics P:\ is automatically backed up for you! (See here for a backup plan)
Name OS URL Purpose

Dropbox. (This is very cool so have moved it to the top of the list)! This is a great tool! Sync data between PC's and even phones. Share folders with others. free for up to 2G
SyncBack W Powerful, feature rich but easy to use backup or sync. tool. Can be scheduled to run automatically and set to email results after completion.
GFIBackup W New as of March 09, this is a feature rich backup and sync. tool, with easy to use 'wizard' driven interface. Jobs can be scheduled and notification emails sent to monitor jobs
Karen's Replicator W
Cobian Backup A more complex backup program as it offers differential and incremental backups. Does not have file synchronization. Can be scheduled to run automatically.
Allway Sync W This one is worth a mention as it is free for students but with limitations (limitations allow user to synchronize no more than 20,000 files per 30-day period). Easily backup or synchronize your files. Try this in lieu of SyncBack. Can be scheduled to run automatically.
MS Synctoy W
Very simple easy to use backup or sync tool, does not have scheduling capabilities built in but can be used with the Windows Task Scheduler easily. No automatic notification on task completion.
File Hamster W 

see the Wiki here...

File version tracking and real-time backup. Monitors specific files/folders and automatically creates incremental backups whenever those files are modified. Best of all, notes about the changes made can be easily added, allowing quick location of a specific revision or to provide a detailed account of the work done on a specific file.
MozyHome Free W M L 2GB free online backup. You could also use Google/Yahoo/Hotmail for free online storage!
iDrive Another 2GB free online backup
TimeMachine M Built into OSX leopard onwards Backup
RsyncX M Implementation of rsync with HFS+ support and configuration through a Terminal or graphical user interface.
Back In Time L Backup with GUI (based on rsync).
Outlook Backup Add-in W M L Add on for Outlook to backup the .PST file. (Can also be done with a backup program above).
MozBackup W Simple backup tool for backing up Thunderbird, Firefox and other Mozilla products. (Can also be done with a backup program above).
DriveImageXML W Creates an ‘image’ of your hard drive which can then be copied to a new hard drive should failure occur. (Best not used for day to day backup/synchronization – use Synchback).
FreeFileSync W M L Very simple easy to use tool for comparing and synchronization of files. Great for one-off manual sync. jobs.
Windows Live Sync W M
free online file synchronization from Microsoft




Name OS URL Purpose
McAfee W M
Student/MSU owned computers only
Antivirus/malware protection. Free to use on university and student computers.
Avast Home Edition W Antivirus, malware and rootkit protection. Excellent reviews.
Microsoft Security Essentials W Microsoft's own antivirus product. As good as anything else.
Spybot Search and Destroy W Malware, spyware and adware security software. Use in conjunction with AV software.
AVG W Good reviews, basic antivirus protection only in the free version.
Comodo Firewall/AV W Great 2-way firewall that now comes with Antivirus also. (Windows firewall is good but protects incoming connections only).
ZoneAlarm Firewall Great 2-way firewall. (Windows firewall is good but is incoming connections only).
Smoothwall L Firewall for Linux

OSX Firewall

M Built in to OSX Firewall for Mac



Security and Passwords
Name OS URL Purpose
KeePass W Secure password manager Stores all your usernames/passwords and logs you into website automatically. Can be run from USB thumb drive.
keePassX W M L Ported version of KeePass for Mac and Linux but also runs on Windows. dont know why there are now 22 version for Windows!


W M L Online password manager, store up to 100 entries free. Useful if you use many different computers and do not carry your passwords on a USB drive.


W File encryption. Ideal for secure transportation of files on portable devices.
ShieldsUP! Dynamically test the security of your computer when connected to the internet.
Sandboxie W Run programs in an isolated space e.g. secure web browsing.
NoScript W M L Excellent Firefox plugin that provides extra security. You will be amazed what runs on webpages in the background if you install this!
HostMan W Tool which automatically blocks internet connections to known bad sites. List is regularly updated.
Predator W PREDATOR locks your PC when you are away, even if your Windows session is still opened.
It uses a regular USB flash drive as an access control device
HTTPS Everywhere W M L  This is a plugin for Firefox which protects wireless connections against tools like Firesheep. 
Read more here...




Name OS URL Purpose
WinSCP W Secure FTP (SFTP) client. Access your P:\ drive and the department software folder securely from off-campus
Fences W Great utility for organizing all your desktop icons into categories
Filezilla WML FTP and SFTP program.
WinMerge W Compare differences in files and folders and merge.
W Find out information about a process running in Task Manager.
Recuva W Recover accidently deleted data.
Defraggler W Defrag single files or folders (Windows builtin defrag. tool does not do this). Useful to speed up programs that access big data files like email clients (Outlook/Thunderbird).
Windows Defender W Although this is primarily a security software it also has a useful tool to manage programs that run on startup.
Autoruns W
Comprehensive, powerful tool to monitor auto-starting software – use with caution!
FolderSize W
OS-Enhancements/ Folder-Size-Shell-Extension.shtml
Adds a new tab to the Properties of files or drives giving size of sub folders – very handy
Jellyfissh M Graphical (GUI) frontend to the sshutility.
Fugu M Graphical (GUI) frontend to the command line Secure File Transfer application (SFTP).
SimplyBurns M Useful CD/DVD burning utility
Microsoft PowerToys for XP W
Lots of goodies here for Windows!
DiskCheckup W Hard drives are mechanical devices and will fail at some point! DiskCheckup monitors your drive and can help predict a failure.
Disk Utility M Built into OSX. Refer to
Hard drives are mechanical devices and will fail at some point! OSX Disk Utility can monitor your drive and help predict a failure.
Ditto Clipboard Extension W Extends the Windows clipboard by storing many ‘clips’ .
CCleaner W System optimization, privacy and cleaning tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space.
Baregrep W Text search tool, like the Unix Grep command.
mmtaskbar21 W
Tool to extend the Windows taskbar to all monitors connect to the computer. (Windows only shows the toolbar on the primary monitior).
Directory Printer W

Handy utility for printing directory information. (Karen has several other useful utilites)
Scientific and Technical Documentation Utility W
(ortable version available also) 
Windows Explorer file management tool - provides superior preview and thumbnail options.
Absolute Uninstaller W Absolute Uninstaller is similar to standard Windows Add/Remove program but more powerful.
Seagate Diskwizard Clone your hard drive - uses Acronis True Image
Speedfan W Monitor hardware, temperature etc.
Intel Desktop Monitor W System monitoring tool for Intel motherboards. (You will need to know what Intel chipset you have. Use Windows device Manager to find out. Go here for info.)




Online Collaboration ToolsThere are now many good online collaboration tools which enable online meetings to be conducted with video, voice, IM, desktop sharing, document sharing and whiteboard functions. Several of these tools offer slightly limited free versions, for example smaller number of people can join meetings, so check and test software before using in a real meeting. Save time and money by not having to travel to your next meeting! 
Name OS URL Purpose
Adobe ConnectNow W M L I have set this up for people on several occasions and it has been very successful. Offers screen sharing, whiteboard, remote control, videoconferencing, audio and IM. Supports up to three meeting participants.
DimDim W M L
Not used this one yet but it looks really good and has a whole raft of features listed! Offers screen sharing, whiteboard, remote control, videoconferencing, audio, IM and much more. Free version supports up to 20 meeting participants.
Yugma W M L Another webconferencing/desktop sharing application. Requires Yugma client to be installed on computer before a meeting can be joined.
ooVoo W M L Video chat up to 6 people.
YuuGuu W M L
Great screen sharing, instant messaging.
NetMeeting W Built into Windows Videoconferencing, desktop sharing, file transfer, whiteboard and IM.
(To run: Go to Start – Run – type “conf”). Windows required at both ends.
iChat M Built into OSX Videoconferencing, file transfer and desktop sharing. Macs required at both ends.
Twiddla Twiddla embraces a fairly new concept called co-browsing. A team of people can get together on a Twiddla page and browse a site while participating in discussions, adding annotations, sharing files and chatting along - all in real time.  It's like adding a whiteboard layer over any uploaded image or website!
GoogleTalk W M Google has now built in video into their very successful Talk tool making it ideal for one to one meetings. Google account is required.
Skype W M L Skype is allowed on campus. Great voice and video tool.
iVisit W M (Not an Apple product)! Videoconferencing.
Squidcam W M Videoconferencing




Calendar ToolsThe department uses a variety of calendaring software, Outlook, iCal and Google Calendar, and our own Webmessaging calendar, which means sharing calendars and organizing meetings automatically is difficult. These tools enable calendars to be shared and meetings arranged without having a common software platform. 
Name OS URL Purpose
Calgoo Connect W M Calgoo Connect is a calendar sync. tool that supports synchronization between a wide range of calendar programs: Outlook 03/07, Apple iCal, Google Calendar for example.
Calgoo Hub W M Share your calendar between different platforms - Outlook, iCal, Google and others.
Timebridge W M L Powerful automatic meeting scheduler which works across calendaring systems – highly recommended.
Lightening W M
Calendar software that integrates tightly into the Thunderbird email client.
Evolution L Email, address book and calendar software for Linux.



Remote Computer AccessAccess your work computer from home or elsewhere to access files or to run programs. 
Name OS URL Purpose
MobaXterm W Connect remotely via SSH to Linux/Unix and run X Windows. Has built-in SFTP functionality also. Great tool! Replaces X-Win32 and Secure Shell software.
Windows Remote Desktop W

Built into Windows.
For details, go to Start – Run – Help and Support, Working Remotely.
Also see How to document here

Connect to a remote computer which you have an account on and run programs or access files and folders just like you were sitting at it locally.
Apple Remote Desktop M Built into OSX.
Go to System Prefs. – Sharing – select Apple Remote desktop to turn on.
Connect to a remote computer which you have an account on and run programs or access files and folders.
WinSCP W Secure FTP (SFTP) client. Access your P:\ drive and the department software folder securely from off-campus.
Wake On Lan (WOL) W
See also 
Note, when used from off-campus, "magic packet" must be sent via the Internet not LAN
(Refer to program help)

Turn on a computer remotely via internet network connection to enable remote access. The computer must be new enough to support this function and have wake via network turned on in the BIOS. Handy if you need to access a file on your computer which got turned off.



Links to even more free software suggestions: