This website delivers content to its users, usually in the form of web pages (HTML), PDF files, DOC, RTF, XLS, and PPT files. You will need the appropriate software installed on your computer in order to view these files. This page describes the types of software that you may wish to use when utilizing the files that are found within this website.
All of the web pages contained within this website should be viewable using a modern standards-compliant Web Browser, such as Firefox, Chrome, Opera, or Safari. Internet Explorer will also work, but you'll see more of the website in the way that it was intended if you use one of the previous listed three browsers instead of IE. Each of these Web Browsers are freely available to download and install on your computer.
Office Productivty Software - Software for DOC, XLS, and PPT Files
Materials found on this website may be in the form of spreadsheets (XLS or XLSX), documents (DOC, DOCX or RTF), or even PowerPoint (PPT). Thus far, Microsoft has held the primary market share in the world of office prductivity software, both for Mac and PC. However, you should know that there are other brands of office software, many of which are freely availalble, that can be used instead of Microsoft Office; these office suites will provide you with software that is compatible with most Microsoft file formats. Two of the most commonly used, freely available office suites are listed below. With LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org, you can create documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and other types of documents, for free.
LibreOffice is the power-packed free, libre and open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base. Support and documentation is freely available from their large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers.
OpenOffice.org is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose. Support is freely and commercially available, here and here as well as in other places.
Portable Document Format - PDF - this is a file format that is very commonly used on this website as well as all across the Internet. It's an easy way for content providers to package up materials for you to view without requiring that you have to purchase any proprietary software. Although there are numerous PDF readers availalbe for various operating systems, the most commonly used freely available PDF reader is Adobe Acrobat Reader, and can be downloaded from the Adobe website: http://get.adobe.com/reader/
Did you know that Microsoft Windows and Mac OS are not the only operating systems that are in use today? Linux is probably the next most commonly used operating system that will work with your computer (for both desktop and server platforms), and there are hundreds of flavors of Linux distributions that are freely available for you to use and distribute. Other operating systems that are widely in use (in computers and/or smart-phones) are BSD, FreeBSD, Unix, Solaris, AIX, Android, and Apple iOS.
Please note that if you install any operating system over the top of whatever is currently installed, you will loose all files and data, as well as the previous operating system. There is a way of installing Linux along-side of Windows, but we'll recommend that you search elsewhere for information about how to build a dual-boot machine. Fortunately, most Linux distributions will allow you to give it a test-drive before you install it to your hard drive, assumoing that you run it as a Live-CD.