NASA recently reminded the public that it has a rather extensive library of software that is free to download and use:
NASA has released its 2017-2018 software catalog, which offers an extensive portfolio of software products for a wide variety of technical applications, all free of charge to the public, without any royalty or copyright fees.
Available in both hard copy and online, this third edition of the publication has contributions from all the agency’s centers on data processing/storage, business systems, operations, propulsion and aeronautics. It includes many of the tools NASA uses to explore space and broaden our understanding of the universe. A number of software packages are being presented for release for the first time. Each catalog entry is accompanied with a plain language description of what it does.
Occasionally I need to re-download one piece of the larger Adobe Creative Suite, for which I have a license, but I don’t feel like either digging up my huge bundle or re-downloading that bundle. Thank you, Adobe, for having [a page that makes that possible](https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-suite/kb/cs5-5-product-downloads.html).
Going through some old file folders in my campus office, as I prepare sadly to return, I came across my *Gobe Family License* for [gobeProductive]. How I loved that software, and my copy of ClarisWorks that preceded it. For those not familiar with either: they imagined a document-centric approach to document creation where you could deploy frames, or modules, of either word-processing, drawing, or spreadsheets. It was the reverse of how we do things and always seemed to fit the way I thought and worked better than the conventional office suite model.
*Alas, twas not to be.*
[Glassboard 2.0 is out.][ie] I didn’t know about Glassboard before this announcement. I have been using, and liking, [Minigroup][mg], quite a bit. On the surface, Glassboard feels more graphic-friendly than Minigroup, but I won’t say anything more until I have test driven it for a while.
[Glassboard][gb] is produced by Sepia Labs, a collaborative, or cooperative, between Brett Terpsta and a number of other folks. Terpstra was the original developer for [MarsEdit][me], an application on which I rely — I am writing this post in ME, for example. ME is now developed by Daniel Jalkut over at [Red Sweater Software][rs]. I have to say I like them both — Daniel, along with Dan Schrimpf the developer of [MacJournal][mj], has the most amazing knack for patience and generosity with his users, and that’s one (very good) reason why I buy every upgrade they produce — and I will look seriously at every new application they develop. I want to put money in their pockets and keep them around.
My advice to friends, family, and students is to do the same. I don’t know why so many people want so much for free. I certainly can’t offer my own services for free — for the record, the bank isn’t interested in giving us our home for free, and so far both grocery stores and gas stations have not offered us their goods for free — and so I don’t see why I would expect others who are offering me real goods and services of real value to me to offer them to me for free. Far from it.
By the way, as long as I am mentioning products I use, as I work on my revision of an essay for the _Journal of Folklore Research_ and continue work on my book, I live inside [Scrivener][sc]. It’s *the* application for writers.
Check out this year’s Humble Bundle. (For those not in the know, the Humble Bundle is a collection of great games that are cross-platform and DRM free. Every year there’s at least one game in the bundle that makes it worthwhile, especially when the developers split the proceeds with charities.) Even if you don’t want to buy it, click the link and enjoy the promotional video. Terrible voice impressions done right.
Write your own interactive, text-based game. (I think my daughter and her good friend could do this.)
My continuing thanks to everyone at Indiana University who works on this project and makes it possible. It keeps getting better, even if my use of it doesn’t. Here’s the link.