Mathcad 14

I know of no other mathematical software that more closely approaches the feel of working on a blackboard, or the back of an envelope, than Mathcad. Maths for a wide range of applied purposes can be ‘scribbled’ down, played with, manipulated, until the desired results are reached, tidied up, arranged with documentation of process written into the flow, then expanded with text as required. Looked at another way, with its free-form placement of mathematics and text zones it also feels uniquely like a word processor. Focussing on applied use, particularly as a dispersed tool in organisations and with an emphasis on engineering, intuitive communication and collaboration are its unique strengths…

EndNote X

There are a number of mature solutions which, in different ways, address the need of scientists for referencing management, and development tends now to focus on polishing of usability, and on value added. One of EndNote’s most useful features, enhancing its integration into larger mix’n’match research information management (RIM) régimes, is undersold in my opinion. A file can be dragged onto the ‘PDF’ field, giving an icon which, when double clicked, opens the file.

The really interesting bit is that although the EndNote consistently refers to linking PDFs in this way, it can equally well be any file – or files, for that matter, including zip archives. Programs with the increasingly common workbook or project file structures are in their element. This makes EndNote just the thing for tying together information under a single reference heading at the individual user level…