For PC:

  • LaTeX (Document preparation system for high-quality typesetting) I have been using it since 1986. It was recommended to me by Ender Ayanoğlu, now a Professor at EE Dept of UC Irvine. It is a public domain program, developed first as TeX by Donald Knuth of Stanford University. Leslie Lamport generated macros to make it more user friendly and called it Lamport’s TeX: LaTeX.  Since there was no internet to download the program at the time, I bought a LaTeX copy that runs on Microsoft DOS from the Stanford Bookstore in the form of twenty 5-inch floppy diskettes and brought to Bilkent. I also bought the user manual of LaTeX, (L. Lamport “LaTeX: A Document Preparation System” Addison-Wesley, 1986). I am probably the first user of LaTeX in Turkey. I was giving PHYS102 in the Spring semester of 1986-87. I prepared the first midterm exam questions using LaTeX and printed it using a dot-matrix printer. My students were really surprised by the quality of the typesetting. At the time, the best word processing program was called Wordstar, running on DOS (Microsoft Windows or Word was not available at the time), which is unable to produce mathematical equations or Greek letters. I ask my students to write the papers or MS/PhD thesis in LaTeX. Downside: It is not “what-you-see-is-what-you-get”. What you see is LaTeX code, what you get is high quality typesetting. You need to use a dviviewer after compilation.
  • Thunderbird (mail client) I avoid using Microsoft’s mail client. Recommended to me by Orhan Aytür. I keep the copies of all my mail traffic since 1994.
  • Matlab: First recommended to me by Seviğ Ayter in 1990. I have been using it ever since. I use it to draw graphs and write matlab code to do numerical calculations. Its interpreter is able to generate code to utilize all the available processors in a PC in parallel, if the matlab code is properly written (using array operators). I also use it to do symbolic operations, using its symbolic math tolbox.
  • Chrome (internet browser) From Google. Betteor than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
  • Word: to generate short text-only documents with only several pages (Note that word interpretes some LaTeX commands, like \Omega to generate Ω). I avoid to use it when the document is long or it contains references, figures, etc. I do not recommend my students to write their thesis in Word. I ask my students to use LaTeX instead.
  • XCircuit  (circuit drawing program) Recommended to me by Özgür Aktaş. It is a light-weight powerful public-domain vector graphics program. It is able to generate high-quality eps files. It has somewhat awkward keystrokes for command entry. Once you learn it, it is a great tool. You can generate your own library. It understands LaTeX commands. Microsoft Word rejects to import eps files after a security update. This is a problem not easy to solve!
  • LTSpice (free and powerful time-domain circuit simulator from Linear Technologies) It is an efficient and fast simulator with no limitations on the size of the circuit. I prefer it over the commercial versions of Spice. Highly recommended for EE’s.
  • Diptrace (has a free version) Powerful printed-circuit-board design program with schematic entry.
  • Klayout (free and powerful GDSII layout viewer and editor) I use it to check GDS files generated by Cadence.
  • AWR (linear and nonlinear microwave circuit simulator) I use it in my Microwave class to teach microwave amplifier design.
  • Xournal (Free note-taking application using stylus). I share its screen in Zoom using Zoom lectures. It generates very small PDF files, later to be shared with students. Better than Microsoft’s OneNote.
  • Inkscape (Free vector graphics drawing and illustrator). It is more powerful than XCircuit, but more difficult to use and learn. It can generate emf files that Microsoft Word accepts for importing. I have generated a Circuit Schematic symbol file to generate schematics with it.
  • Comsol (Multiphysics finite element simulation package) Runs on Linux also.

For iPad:

  • Noteshelf: To use iPad as a notebook. It has a zoomed region to be able to write with an iPad pen. Because it uses a chisel tip pen, my handwriting looks better that it actually is. The PDF file it generates is relatively large (Nearly 1MB for one A4 page handwriting).

For CentOS Linux:

  • Cadence: Professional IC design package. I use it through the Europractice license in IC Design courses. Difficult to use and maintain, but it has all the bells and whistles. I am the maintainer and administrator of the Cadence cluster in Room EE-108.

For Cloud:

  • Overleaf (collaborative multi-user LaTeX development tool). This online tool has LaTeX compiler. Makes it “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” after a delay. I recommend my students to use it, when we are writing a paper together.