The Easter Bunny Came Early This Year (Part 1) - By Richard Williams

Dedicated to Mr. Joe Greco and Louise Elliot, my mentors.

           It is time once again for me to tell you about all the great things I found on the World Wide Web that most of you cannot spend the time to find.  After all, you are working and I am retired so I have more time to spend surfing for all those great engineering, designing and teaching aids and tools that are not always so easy to find as you might think. I have done this three times before and I was able to delivered to my readers of the technical professions a lot of great free or cheap applications, some of which you can place right on your desktop monitor screen for easy access to.  Most of the time they are free or cost just a little for a more powerful professional version.  This time around, I wanted to dig deeper into the hidden web for things that just do not seem to get noticed.  I have asked the web site owners to provide me with some free stuff that those engineers, architects and designers out there can use.  Even schoolteachers at all levels of education use the things I am able to find on the internet.  The reason I ask vendors to give something away free accomplishes two things.  First, it entices so many technically trained people to these sites who might not know about them and the free things offered there.  Secondly, it gives the Company Vendors a chance to show off their wares and have a better chance to make a sale.  Both sides win.  There was an overwhelming response from so many Companies doing business on the web, that I am forced to write a part 2 to this article and just maybe a part three.  So now, let us get busy and look at what I found out there for you.

1.   This just came out recently and was mentioned in some of the daily Tech. newsletters I get.  This company contacted me personally to let me know about this update.  The Web page can be found at: .  Here you can grab a nice motor calculator that is designed for those electric motor applications you might have.  Put an short cut icon right on your desktop for quick access when you need it.  Make sure you take a digital walk around this web site.  They have an amazing array of motors that you can narrow down with your inputted parameters.  They are a great supplier to keep referenced in your vendor contact files.

Speed, Torque, Power Calculator

 2.  Another great find recently was very much unexpected.  Now I will admit this is not something that most of you will use but you just might know someone that could use it.  This is a full featured, award winning, no time limit DNA Sequencing program.  It was used by those in forensic science to help identify the victims in the tragic 9/11 attack.  Your right, I don't know how to use it  but we have college medical students and also those educators out there that might like this for their students or to use it as a teaching tool.  Some of you do medical engineering of devices, so their might be some interest here to you on designing the right multi screened labs.  There are only a few limitations such as (i.e. no saving, exporting or printing).  However, can you imagine how impressive some of these screen shots would look as screen savers when your leader passes by and looks at your monitor?  When that person comes around there won't be any questions about what you are doing. They will avoid your area for the rest of the day. 

Get it at:  for this one.  Some screen shots down below.

Sequence Editing

Restriction Mapping

Multiple Config Variance Table

3.  Encryption is getting more and more important to protect intellectual property rights.  Here is a small software program that is not free but cheap enough and "really neat" if you can use its   features.  Just suppose for an moment that you need to pass a special code over the internet.  It could be something to your co-worker of a personal nature that you do not want to type out in a text message format.  This program gives you a nice choice on how to do that.  You can hide that data inside of a picture or other digitized data that only the intended receiver can unlock with their code.  They call this steganography encryption.  Truly, erase things off your computer's hard drive that you must be sure are not there anymore.  Lock things away in a virtual safe, encrypted in a high value security algorithm.  Look below at these screen shots and make sure you check things out at their web page:

Surf Cleaner



















4.   Now lets talk about your project partner that is on the other side of the world.  He or she tells you that there is going to be TV news announcements describing a development that could have an impact on the project.   They suggest that you tune in to see and hear for yourself the affect this news will have on the project.   For a moment, you think "of course I will" but then you realize that this is impossible to do from your TV.   This "ain't necessarily so" anymore.   It is done now using the Internet TV channels and special free downloadable viewing softwares.   Down below are some of the links that you can go to, to find those TV stations.   The viewer is a cross-platform media player that supports a wide variety of video formats and does not need those additional codecs.   I had fun watching many international broadcasts although I assure you that I did not know what they were saying.   I must be language challenged.   However, it is possible to do.   You might have to hunt for what you want specifically but keep trying.   There are many more of them but you do not have to buy anything unless you want to.   Remember the internet is free. "Warning Will Robertson, there are no G, PG-13 or R and X ratings used by most of the world"


To get the viewer click over to:




Here is a low priced viewer with 1300 channels already configured for you.   The channels are free but you are paying for the Viewer program.   Screen shot below is of a Greek Channel:      Try going to:

Free  Internet  TV

  5.     Intel has a very nice utility that can identify your processor and everything else related to the computing power level of the CPU.   It is free but many people do not know about it.   Install this on your PC or all of them and you will always know with a click or two what is under the hood of your computer. The little utility program is a fast way to find out if your computer is going to be able to run that analysis software or not.   Leave a shortcut icon on your desktop for easy access.

Get it at:

Screen shot of new version just out:

Intel  Processor  Identification  Utility

6.    Here is something that could be of interest to many of you especially if you are doing something for NASA like building robotic landers.   There is a free version download at the link below.   Of course if you pay a little, you will get the much more powerful version.   This can be a great science tool for teachers. The program is a graphic animation of our solar system and it shows our solar system and planet relationships to each other.   It looks very simple but you will not believe all that it does inside or it.   If interested go look at the web page and get it. Maybe NASA got theirs from here.



7.     Are there any aeronautical engineers out there?   What a stupid question that is.   Well look at what I found for you.   It is from   and it is a fully functioning Advanced Aircraft Analysis program with only certain features disabled (i.e. saving or exporting) No time limit here and you can get e-support if you bother to register it with the company.   Just like anything you are learning go to the help menu and start from there.   They have an on-line help menu too.   Here is another one I cannot tell you how to use it.   It is not my field either but it might be yours though so pay them a visit and make sure you see what else they have to offer.   Here is a screen shot of the program. I did not know how to start the propellers on this one but once again, it is not my field.   It could be yours though.   Truly, some great stuff here.  

Advanced  Aircraft  Analysis  3.0

  8.   I would not want to forget my nautical engineers and designers out there.   I found this rather simple but excellent hull designer.   Check out this web site at:    This is quite a website as there are a few different main topics to look at but for the purpose of this find for the Navy types, just look for the Hull Designer at:    Even, I played with this one but I live on a desert now.   Go figure.   You can import it into your favorite MCAD software with the VRML1.0, DXF, or HPGL formats and then measure things and give it some 3D dimensional depth with ribs and hull thicknesses.   Is there anyone out there into the making of model boats?   There is a whole boatload of pre-designed hulls already for you to use.

Chine  Hull  Designer

  9.     Now for some really fun stuff.   This one is for you teachers out there that are using those digital hand held calculators with a class of students.   Any one know of any engineering students out there?   Well this Learning Check program comes to you from Texas Instruments; one of the leaders in the field of electronic calculators.   This program allows you to compose questions to your students using these devices and then they compute the answers and then somehow the answers are gathered up electronically to the teachers PC for grading and data entry for test scores.   Looks like a real fun thing to be able to use as you teach your students in the use of these amazing graphing calculators.

LearningCheck  Creator

TI  Learning  Check  Creator


This character map is right inside of the software and can be used to make your mathematical notations into the various fields.   For those that sleep with a calculator under the pillow this is some great stuff from Texas Instruments, a great company.  

TI  Character  Map

Pick up the free Learning Check Creator down here at: -

This URL below will bring you to the various free application downloads for the various calculators.

10.     Sometimes, I report on a web site I have already brought to you in past articles.   Such is the case now.   From the land down under this web page will bring you to some very nice free programs that will be updated by the time this article hits the presses.   I use these great little engineering aids with my MCAD and AEC applications because I simply do not trust my memory anymore.   Heck, I can hide my own Easter eggs now.

       These are great to have on your desktop with shortcut icons for easy access to them.  If you are like me, I find it hard to remember formulas and relationships.  There are some free calculators and conversion programs that you should go to pick up for yourself.   Some excellent tools and aids are here on this site and you just might want to check out the other pro versions too.   They are priced right and will not hurt your pockets.   I like this calculator and conversion program a lot.   Both are easy to use.   The two of them are fantastic together and are great engineering and school tools and aids.  Both are on my desktop.  The Pro version has much more packed into it with many more things for engineers, techs and teachers

Just, Goto:

Two screen shots that show you both of them .

EBSUnitConv     ESBCalc















11.              I don't know how many of you have heard about Autodesk's AliasStudio application out there.   Let me tell you right up front that this is a free personal edition of one of their great premier industrial design tool applications that is used by virtually every car company, leading design consultancy and consumer product company around the world. (excerpt taken from their web site)   Truly, this personal edition is for your using pleasure without any time limits.   NOTE:   The Autodesk AliasStudio Personal Learning Edition restricts users to non-commercial applications through the display of a watermark on images as well as through the use of a special non-commercial file format.   (excerpt from their offering page) This one is really nice folks.   The user interface looks very impressive but is easy enough for me to use comfortably and it is customizable to boot.   This program can do so many unbelievable things.   I really like the layering techniques you can use and like everything else Autodesk has to offer, you have many tutorials and videos you can get to help you get started.   This software is so good that it could mean a career change for some.   There is tremendous support for this application and there are many add on's possible to give more power and flexibility to this program.   This would be an excellent move of yours to grab it now at:

Three screen shots off of their AliasStudio web site page video tutorials.   Check this one out for yourself and since it is free for you to learn with why not try in on for size.    It is worth a trip to see what you can do with this software.   If you are like me then you will be surprised.




















  I hope the things that I have found can help someone, somewhere, at sometime, so I can feel good about it, all the time.   Enjoy the sites and do not forget to place them into your favorites folder.   They are good sources of information when you need them.   I am already working on Part 2 of this same article now.   Drop me a line if you liked this article and if it helped you.   If you did not like it, drop me a line anyway and I will forget who sent it soon enough.   One further note: I do not get paid for letting you know about these things I find so I can freely and honestly recommend them to you.   Be safe, productive and live well.

Richard Williams       Email Contact

























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