Τρίτη, 12 Μαρτίου 2013

Free tools every math blogger should learn


Although the list below is specialized for math bloggers, they can be used by bloggers of any field. I have used all the software below,
    1. WordPress. WordPress is a free blogging site. Upgrade is available (for a fee) for larger storage and domain name customization.  I chose WordPress to host Mathematics and Multimedia mainly because of its Latex support. As of this writing, as far as I know, two of its top competitors, Blogspot and Typepad, do not support Latex yet.
    1. Blogger/Blogspot. Blogger is also a blogging website that is included in Google Applications.  Once you have a Google Account, you already have a blogspot account, you just need to activate it. I use Blogger to embed GeoGebra applets since JavaScript embedding is not allowed in WordPress.com.
    2. Google DocsGoogle Docs can be used to store and share documents online. It has its own word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software. It has currently released a new drawing software.  You can use Google Docs to store your documents and link your blog to it.
    3. Scribd.Scribd is a document sharing program that can also be embedded in blogs.  The advantage of Scribd over Google Docs is that you can directly embed it in your blog – meaning you can read your embedded document in a blog post without downloading the document or going the the  Scribd website. The Latex document below was embedded using Scribd.
    1. PowerPoint (Proprietary). MS Powerpoint is not just a presentation software, but is also an excellent software to draw simple geometric shapes in stunning graphics format. Thetessellations below were drawn using PowerPoint.
    1. GeoGebraGeoGebra is a free math software that can be used in drawing accurate geometric figures and Cartesian graphs. For more information about GeoGebra, read Introductions to GeoGebra and GeoGebra Tutorial  Series. You may also want to take a look at other free software here.
    1. Google SketchupSketchup is a free 3D software created by Google. You can use Sketchup to draw your geometric solids. The painted cubes model below was constructed using Google Sketchup.
    1. Slideshare. Slideshare is an excellent websites to store and share presentations. It is compatible with most presentation software. Presentations stored in Slideshare can also be embedded in blogs. The Top tools below was embedded from Slideshare.
    1. Youtube. I think we are all familiar with YoutubeThe best thing about youtube is you can embed videos from it in your blog without having to store it. This way, you would be able to conserve space in your blog site. The video in number 10 was embedded from Youtube.
    2. Camstudio. Camstudio is a free software for screen casting. Screen casting is the process of recording what is happening on your screen. The construction of a solid figure below was recorded using CamStudio.  You may also want to check the free online screecasting site called Jing.
  1. Skydrive. If you want to store large files that you cannot store in the software mentioned above, Skydrive is the answer. Skydrive is free online storage and sharing device developed by Windows Live. In Skydrive, you can store up to 25GB. Skydrive is ideal for large files for downloads. Storing in Skydrive would be able to save space on your blog.
  2. Basic Javascript/HTML/CSS. If you want to blog seriously, you may want to learn the basics of HTML, CSS and Javascript.  Knowing HTML and CSS will let you have a better control of the appearance of you blog, while  Javascript is usually used to creating gadgets and widgets. We will learn some of these next year.
  3. Latex. Latex is a code used for creating equations in blogs.  With latex, you can construct mathematical equations such as x = \displaystyle\frac{-b \pm \sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}. The basic symbols in latex are shown in the Scribd document in number 4, and I have two tutorials on latex here and here.

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