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  1. 1. Using Open Source Software in Electrical Engineering Courses Anthony Richardson University of Evansville [email_address]
  2. 2. Why Use Open Source? <ul><li>Multiplatform - Windows, Linux, Macintosh. Users are free to choose their own operating system. </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced software costs for students and the university. </li></ul><ul><li>Access to source code helps to guarantee that file formats will not be made obsolete. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages ethical behavior with regard to the copying and use of software. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Office Software <ul><li>There are several open-source software packages available, but the most popular, cross-platform, open-source suite is probably </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Word processing, Spreadsheet, Drawing, Image Processing, and Presentation components. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full featured. High Quality. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very good MS Office import/export capability. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows, Linux, Solaris (Mac port in progress) </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. OpenOffice Writer
  5. 5. OpenOffice Calc
  6. 6. Mathematical Plotting <ul><li>Although a number of packages are available, Gnuplot is very well-known and has been ported to several platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2D and 3D capability. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 50 graphics output formats. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very fine-grained control over graph contents. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Command-line or script file input. (Well suited as a back-end for web based (CGI) graphics.) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Example Gnuplot Script <ul><li>The last four lines will produce the basic graph. Note the complex number and function support. </li></ul><ul><li>set nokey; set format x &quot;%8.0f&quot;; </li></ul><ul><li>set mxtics 10; set grid; set grid mxtics </li></ul><ul><li>set xlabel &quot;Frequency (Hz)&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>set ylabel &quot;Magnitude (dB)&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>set y2label &quot;Phase (degrees)&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>set title &quot;Frequency Response of Lowpass Filter&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>set label &quot;Phase &quot; at 10000,-22 right </li></ul><ul><li>set label &quot;Magnitude&quot; at 100000,-22 right </li></ul><ul><li>set logscale x; set xrange [1:1e6] </li></ul><ul><li>set angles degrees; set y2tics </li></ul><ul><li>f0 = 10000; H(f) = 1./(1.+{0,1.}*f/f0) </li></ul><ul><li>plot 20*log10(abs(H(x))), arg(H(x)) axes x1y2 </li></ul>
  8. 8. Example Gnuplot Output
  9. 9. Gnuplot 3D Example
  10. 10. Web-Based Bode Plotter
  11. 11. Web-Based Bode Plotter
  12. 12. Numerical Analysis <ul><li>Scilab, RLaB, and Octave are available and have similar capabilities. All are available for Windows and Linux. </li></ul><ul><li>Scilab appears to have the most extensive set of toolboxes and also includes the Scicos dynamic system simulator. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Example Scilab Session
  14. 14. Scilab Graphics
  15. 15. Scicos System Simulation
  16. 16. Computer Algebra <ul><li>Maxima is available for both Windows and Linux. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It does not have as many features as Mathematica, Maple, or Derive, but is still very useful for the types of problems encountered in undergraduate EE courses. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Example Maxima Session
  18. 18. Maxima Graphics
  19. 19. Programming <ul><li>The cygwin tools and libraries provide a UNIX environment for Windows. </li></ul><ul><li>Includes compilers/interpreters for C, C++, Fortran, Java, Perl, Tcl/Tk, and Python. </li></ul><ul><li>A large number of UNIX tools are included. </li></ul><ul><li>Support for UNIX system calls as well as Windows console and graphical applications. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Circuit Simulation <ul><li>Although there are a couple of open-source circuit simulation programs, nothing seems to be available for both Windows and Linux (yet!). </li></ul><ul><li>The open-source Wine software can be used to run many Windows applications under UNIX (without a Windows OS). Wine is still in development, but the I have successfully run the MicroCap simulator (student version 6.0) under UNIX using Wine. </li></ul>
  21. 21. MicroCap Under Wine