Free equation editor



#2

Not sure if people know about this site, but they have something today that might interest folks the here.

GiveAwayOfTheDay is a site that offers one normally-commercial program FREE per day. They make a deal with software vendors to help them release new programs, help them get word out about their software and company, etc. The software often ranges in value from $10 to as much as $249. The best part is that these are all legit and legal programs, fully enabled, all 100% free of spam, phishes, spyware, etc. You don't have to sign up for anything or even give them your name. The bad part is you sometimes have to sit through a run of silly screensavers or other junky programs to get to the jewels. I'd say about 20% of the time I find some really cool stuff from these guys -- I check them daily.

Anyhow, today they have a Windows-based Equation Editor/Solver. Check it out:

GiveAwayOfTheDay.com

(I have yet to download it today, so I'll leave the reviews to those of you who are the experts in math...)

thanks,
bruce


#3

Thanks Bruce - its rather fun!

Silly restriction on taking a factorial of a number greater than 20 though.


#4

Thanks Bruce! To all: there are only 9 hours left to get it for free ...

#5

Thanks for the link.

However, I won't download it.

One of the reviewers wrote that you have to

run a program named activate.exe to be able

to actually use the editor.

This rang my alarm bells.


For all others: Set a recovery point

before installing the editor;-)


#6

Raymond, what do you think activate.exe does?


#7

I think it establishes an internet connection to a company I never heard of before,

to retrieve the activation key.

This could have been achieved in a more passive way,

either through email or via a web page the user has to visit to get the activation key.

Programs like 'download.exe' or 'activate.exe' are always suspicious these days,

to contain some more code than needed.

Since I want to keep my PC free of trojans, viruses, or other malware,

I don't download everything advertized as 'free';-)


#8

I have been using software -- and this web site -- for well over a year. I can tell you that in that period of time, even after almost daily checking to see what is knew and reading reviews, this group has only ONCE been caught off-guard. In that instance, the software included some questionable add-on executables by the manufacturer that could marginally be considered spyware. Within 30 minutes of being alerted to this by the community, the software was removed.

Yes, you must run activate.exe. All that does is connect to the GAOTD web site to retrieve the activation codes for the software you downloaded. As I said, these are full commercial software packages, and 99% of them require activation codes. When GAOTD makes a deal for one of the packages, they handle the activation for that 24 hour period. Once the 24 hour period is up, you cannot activate or register the software you downloaded. The activation does NOTHING more than connect, retrieve the code, validate the offer of the day, and then activate your software. While it might log your IP address, it never asks for emails, never pulls any other personal information.

They don't use passive methods because they verify that the software you download is within the 24 hour period of the offer. That's part of the deal they make with the manufacturers.

In fact, if you go read the policy and terms for the site, you'll see that they "guarantee" no spyware, no malware, ads, no viruses, etc. These guys go to great lengths to ensure that nothing untoward happens, and trust me, they'd lose their readership in 10 minutes if they ever did any shady.

I applaud caution in this day and age, and I definitely took care the first time I used this service, but this has been one of the few places that has EVERY TIME lived up to their word and been above board. Of course, it's your personal choice, but I'd recommend you give them a chance.

thanks,
bruce


#9

This is all good to hear. I have installed it. It looks great, except I was a little surprised and disappointed to see that it only solves algebraic equations.

But hey, if I have a tough integral or differential expression, I guess I could always use a HP calculator... ;)

(More'n likely tho', I'd probably reach for a math table or some such to see if there is some "easier" analytical way out first.)

#10

A few other suggestions for new GAOTD readers:

1) Be sure to look at the thumbs-up vs. thumbs-down rating on the download page. That will give you a very quick idea of whether the software offered for the day is worthwhile or not.

2) Once you've glanced at the ratings, then read some of the comments. Especially if there is a high number of thumbs-down and it otherwise seems like a good download.

For example, the other day I saw an Apache Web Monitor program. Looked great, and I was excited. However it was (at that time) 45% thumbs-down, which surprised me. I checked and found out that it was of limited use, and only for Apache installations running on Windows boxes (a very small minority). While I was one of the few who had an Apache running on my box, the comments also said it had problems with large log files, it crashes occasionally, and there were other open-source alternatives. So I passed.

Use the ratings and the comments; they're usually right on.

3) When installing the software, make sure you install it first, run the activation program (if one is included; see next note) and THEN run the software. Sometimes if you run it before activation, it tries to get you to register, and that will result in a failure.

4) Some of the installs use the "new" method, which installs and activates in one step. Some use the "old" method, which has two executables in the zip file. In this case, consult the previous note to make sure you install things in the right order.

All Game GAOTD downloads use the "new" method where there is only one activation. However, right now, the Game GAOTD (GGAOTD!) is on vacation. It should come back in late September, and then you have two sites to visit. ;-)

5) Some activations come as a text window that opens up and gives you the registration code. Just copy-n-paste it into the registration window once you start the app.

6) Every GAOTD download must be downloaded and activated in the 24 hour period. If you miss the deadline and a new offering comes up, you are generally out of luck on activation. Even if you have already installed the software, you have to activate it before the deadline.

That being said, there appears to be a loophole in this, related to timezones. Out here on the west coast, I can download one of the offerings and as long as I install it and activate it before 2am my time, the activation works. Even if there is a new offering on the main GAOTD page. I've done this a few times, when I didn't make it home before midnight, but a cool program was out. As long as I do the activation before 2am, I'm good. Note that you STILL must download the software before midnight though, or you miss it. I don't know if this is the same in other timezones, BTW.

Don't tell anyone else about #6. :-)

7) Some of the downloads are really big. There was one a while back that was over 600MB. Use the mirror site if you see performance problems on the main download site. Start your download early in the morning, so that you can come back later and install and activate it. Use trick #6 if you run out of time and are near the deadline.

8) As you can never activate a program after the deadline, once you've installed and activated it, you might as well delete the download file. If you want to buy more of what you got for free, you can always contact the manufacturer through Help->About. For all practical purposes, the original download file won't ever be useful to you again, and just takes up space.

thanks,
bruce


Edited: 2 Sept 2007, 11:14 a.m.

#11

thanks bruce! being the polar opposite of an expert in math, i always appreciate math aids like this. i especially like that it shows the simplification steps as i slept through that segment in algebra in school.

i was hoping this was an algebra solver though. i've been trying to find one for free or cheap that doesn't take a degree in unix or linguistics to get running. the open source ones i've found have been pretty inscrutable to one like me who has never used one outside of the calculator-based ones by hp and ti.

thanks again,

/guy


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