Fortran

Fortran for Mac

Java may be the hot computer language of the nineties, but you wouldn’t know it to look at business and government sites; in the real world, older languages like COBOL and FORTRAN (Gfortran) are still doing much of the day-to-day work at banks, government labs, and NASA. In big-project scientific and numeric calculation, for example, the ancient FORTRAN language in one of its newer forms–FORTRAN 77 or FORTRAN 90–is still grinding away on optimized legacy code.

Source code originally written for Cray and Fujitsu supercomputers can now run without serious modification on a Mac using latest Gfortran package. This formidable suite includes compilers for FORTRAN 77, the more modern FORTRAN 90, and the thoroughly modern C/C++ (optimized for use in the MPW Shell); IMSL’s FORTRAN numeric and statistics libraries, the best available for any language, are available as an option. All this magnificence takes a little more programming background to put into action than the new CodeWarrior-adapted LS FORTRAN from Fortner Research, but compiled code runs two to three times faster with Gfortran –and for most FORTRAN users, speed of executables is the number one consideration.

Fortran Mac

The Gfortran program makes itself practically invisible: you simply install it, set a few options, and watch the Pro FORTRAN compiler devour your source code. On four benchmarks–two of my own and two industry-standard SPECmark routines–the compiled code running on a 604e-based Mac executed roughly twice as fast as the same programs compiled in LS FORTRAN. The Absoft product also breezed through a grueling test pastiche of combined C and FORTRAN code.

As a language that started life when RAM was measured in 4KB chunks, Gfortran has a huge bag of optimization tricks and is the topic of many reference books–and the new FORTRAN-based teaching language F suggests that FORTRAN will have some big-computer tasks all to itself for at least another decade.

PROS: Superior performance of compiled code; few Mac porting modifications.
CONS: Some popular editor features missing.

Category: Tools
Version: 9.2
Download Size: 80 MB
License: Free to try
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Last Updated: December 6, 2019
System requirements: Mac OS X 10.14 or later

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Adobe Reader for Mac

What Do You Want to Read Today?

Adobe’s Portable Document Format is just about everywhere you look nowadays: software manuals, store catalogs, and even IRS tax forms are all available as PDF files. What makes these files so popular is that they’re self-contained documents that retain their original formatting and can be read on a Mac or a PC with the aid of a small, free program called Acrobat Reader.

Adobe Reader Mac

If PDF files seem to be coming at you from every direction, it’s time to get up to speed on how to open, navigate, and extract data from them as quickly and easily as possible–and that means tapping into some of the surprisingly powerful but easy-to-miss features lurking in Acrobat Reader.

Speed Reading

Reader is designed for fast, easy document viewing. To really speed through documents with a minimum of clicking and scrolling, however, bypass the Reader tool bar and use some shortcuts.

  • Move from page to page by using the page up and page down keys or the arrow keys (right and down move you forward; left and up move you backward). To jump to a specific page, press command-5, type in the page number, and press return.
  • To scroll vertically within a page, hold down the shift key while using the arrow keys; to scroll horizontally, press shift-left arrow and shift-right arrow.
  • To see more of your document at once, press command-shift-B to hide the Reader tool bar and command-shift-M to hide the menu bar. The same keystrokes make those items reappear.

One-Shot Text Grabbing

Often you’ll want to convert the content of a PDF file into plain text that you can paste into another document. To grab a specific chunk of text, you use the Select Text tool (press command-option-4) and then drag over the text. But if you want to grab all the text in a document, you can bypass the Select Text tool–just press command-A to select all the text in one shot and then command-C to grab every word in the document.
To confirm that you have indeed copied everything you intended before switching to another application to paste it, use Reader’s Show Clipboard command in the Window menu to get a preview of the selected text or graphics.

Turn Pages into Pictures

You can also turn an entire page of a PDF file–including all the text and graphics–into a single image that can be copied and pasted into another document. Press command-option-5, to switch to the Select Graphics tool; command-A, to select the entire page as one giant graphic; and command-C, to copy it–and then switch to another application to paste the page.

Reader as PowerPoint

If you think Reader is nothing more than a bare-bones document viewer for reading online manuals, you obviously haven’t tried the mind-blowing presentation features that essentially turn it into a tiny, free version of Microsoft PowerPoint. Yes, Reader is the world’s least-expensive slide-presentation program.

When you open a PDF file with Reader and press command-shift-L, the page instantly fills every inch of your screen–no windows, no menu bar–just like a slide-presentation program. Amazingly, even in this full-screen mode, you can still move from page to page (by using the up and down arrow keys or by pressing command-5 to jump to a specific page) and zoom in and out (press command-L and then choose a level of magnification). To jump back into normal-screen mode, just press the escape key.

It gets better. Choose Full Screen from the Preferences submenu in Reader File menu, and you’re given a whole array of presentation options. You can have Reader advance from page to page automatically at any interval between 1 and 60 seconds or have it wait until you click the mouse. You can make a presentation loop. You can choose to make the cursor visible during a slide show or keep it hidden. You can select virtually any background color and pick from among 18 transitional effects, so you can have one slide dissolve, wipe, glitter, or split into the next. And let’s not forget about anti-aliased text; not even PowerPoint can make text look as good on a slide. (To have Reader antialiasing the text, turn on the Smooth Text And Monochrome Images option in the General Preferences dialog box.)

Yes, Reader lacks builds, background templates, and animation. But think about what it does offer: if you have Acrobat, you can build a presentation in virtually any program; distill it into a PDF file; and head out on the road, knowing that you’ll be able to present it on any Mac or PC you encounter, using a free program that just about everyone on earth has installed.

Category: Office
Version: DC 2019.021.20047
Download Size: 201 MB
License: Free to try
Release Date: October 24, 2019
Last Updated: November 3, 2019
System requirements: Mac OS X 10.14 or later

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FrontPage

FrontPage for Mac

Category: Internet
Version: 1.0d
Download Size: 17.9 MB
License: Free to try
Release Date: November 1, 1997
Last Updated: November 3, 2019
System requirements: Mac OS X 10.0 / 10.5

Microsoft’s long-awaited Web authoring suite is a colossal disappointment. Despite admirable site-management tools and strong support for the latest Web technologies, FrontPage 1.0 is bloated, cumbersome, and poorly integrated with other programs.

It’s too bad FrontPage’s editing tools aren’t more streamlined, because its site-based approach to Web authoring is otherwise outstanding. Unlike simpler Web authoring programs such as Adobe Page Mill, FrontPage treats your site as a single entity. FrontPage Explorer–one of the program’s two main components–gives you an overview of your site, displaying pages and the links between them hierarchically. Explorer lets you search and replace across your site and maintain a list of pages to be completed, then publish your site via FTP.

FrontPage Mac

The suite’s other main component, FrontPage Editor, is a WYSIWYG page-editing environment that borrows heavily from Microsoft Word’s overblown interface–and it’s here that FrontPage falls down on the job. Although Microsoft touts FrontPage as closely integrated with Microsoft Office, Editor’s integration with those programs is appalling. For example, FrontPage doesn’t recognize Word documents when you use the Open command; you have to change the file type in the dialog box to All Files, then step through another confusing dialog box. In contrast, PageMill opens Word files cleanly, no questions asked.

The program’s drag-and-drop support is also weak. You can’t drag images or text into or out of FrontPage, nor can you drop file icons onto a page to create links to other documents as you can in Page Mill. And setting up frames in FrontPage is needlessly complex, despite a wizard that steps you through the process.

FrontPage Editor’s basic formatting tools, on the other hand, are simple and word processor-like, as are its table-formatting controls. When you enter a string of text that FrontPage recognizes as a URL or e-mail address, the pro-gram automatically turns it into an active link. It converts images to GIFs and JPEGs automatically and includes simple tools for creating image maps. Tool bars make it easy to add sounds, movies, ActiveX controls, JavaScript, and Java. Other buttons give you access to FrontPage’s Web Bots–dynamic objects that add tables of contents, sitewide text searching, forms handling, and other features to your site (though the more powerful Web Bots require a Windows NT or Unix Web server running FrontPage extensions).

FrontPage lets you view and edit the HTML code behind your pages, but the tools for doing so are minimal. You can’t drag and drop text in the HTML window, for example, and you have no control over the fonts and colors used to display the code. You can’t even copy selected text within the window.

Requiring 30MB of hard-disk space and at least 13MB of free RAM, FrontPage is huge and sluggish. For acceptable performance, you need a Power Mac running at 100MHz or higher.

PROS: Good site-management and formatting tools; automatically activates embedded URLs.
CONS: Slow, bloated interface; poor integration with other programs; weak drag-and-drop support; unintuitive frames setup.
LIST PRICE: DEMO / $149.

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