How to use this Book
This book has been written assuming that the reader executes the commands and follows the described procedures at the same time. If this advice is neglected, then the book will be of little help and some parts of the text may seem incomprehensible since it is assumed that the reader sees the results of all commands on her computer. Therefore, you need to create an environment in your computer in order to be able to write your programs and execute the commands presented in the book. The absolutely basic tools are a good text editor, a Fortran/C++ compiler and a plotting program of data and functions. In order to use all the tools presented in the book you need:
- An operating system of the GNU/Linux family and its basic tools (see alternative proposals below, if you need to stay with other operating systems).
- A Fortran/C++ compiler. The gfortran compiler is freely available for all major operating systems under an open source license at www.gfortran.org, whereas the g++ compiler is a front end to the GNU Compiler Collection (gcc).
- An advanced text editor suitable for programming languages, like Emacs. Emacs is freely available for all major operating systems under an open source license at www.gnu.org/software/emacs/.
- A good plotting program, suitable for data analysis like gnuplot. Gnuplot is freely available for all major operating systems under an open source license at www.gnuplot.info.
- The shell tcsh. Tcsh is freely available for all major operating systems under an open source license at www.tcsh.org.
- The programs awk, grep, sort, cat, head, tail, less. Make sure that they are available in your computer environment.
If you have installed a GNU/Linux distribution on your computer, all the above software can be installed easily. For example, in a Debian like distribution (like Ubuntu for example) the commands
- sudo apt-get install tcsh emacs gnuplot-x11 gnuplot-doc
- sudo apt-get install gfortran gawk gawk-doc binutils
- sudo apt-get install manpages-dev coreutils liblapack3
install all the necessary tools. If you don't wish to install GNU/Linux in your computer, you may, alternatively, do the following:
- Boot your computer using a usb/DVD live GNU/Linux, like Ubuntu (www.ubuntu.com). This will not make any permanent changes in your hard drive but it will start and run slower. On the other hand, you may save all your computing environment and documents to a usb drive and use it on any computer you like.
- Install Cygwin in your Microsoft Windows computing environment. If you choose the full installation, then you will find all the tools needed in this book.
- Mac OS X is based on Unix. It is possible to install all the software needed in this book and follow the material as presented. Search the internet for instructions, e.g. google "gfortran for Mac", "emacs for Mac", "tcsh for Mac", etc.