Open Source Alternatives for Math Apps

For my Math subject this sem (Numerical Analysis), we will be using Scilab. For something that’s free compared to proprietary software, it’s a nice alternative to MatLab. It is likewise comparable to another open source application Octave, which i used as an undergrad in EEE together with MatLab.

In the Math department, all the computers (in the lab that we use at least) are installed with an open source OS Quantian, a “Knoppix / Debian variant tailored to numerical and quantitative analysis.” Our professor, Prof. Lope, is even proud that their department has been the only one in the College of Science who fully migrated to Open Source for their numerical applications. It’s been 3 years now and yet they are still alive.

I hope more colleges and departments in the University can discover the benefits of open source in their own applications, and take advantage of FOSS software.

On WAPs Health Risks

“My advice would be not to put a wireless network nto your offices. If you’ve already got one, be aware of the symptoms some of your staff may be suffering — things like headaches, fatigue, irritability and lack of concentration,” he said. [Mobile Tech Today]

Hmm, i was warned about these effects before, when the job is about to be transferred to me. I’m sure there is truth to the said symptoms. I do feel irritated when setting up a number of APs. I just ain’t sure if it’s caused by the signal or something else – like erm, multitasking maybe :D. Any electronic device that emits such high frequency signals can have advert effects in the long run. But although precaution should be taken, the good effects still outweigh the bad ones. There is no stopping the boom of wireless technology around the world, esp in the workplace.

In the University, students have been enjoying the benefits of free wifi access. Hotspots are scattered at selected buildings around the campus. A few offices also have WLANs for faculties/staff with notebook computers. There is heightened interest in such technology now more than ever. And although resources prevent us from covering the whole 493-hectare campus, i bet there are ways that the range can still be improved.

Be aware of the symptoms/effects though. 😀 There’s no harm in following the article’s final advise: Try to locate access points away from where people sit.