If you are taking this class (INFO I210) as an online (including hybrid—online lecture, in classroom lab) course, you may need to install some software on your computer.
If you are taking the class not online, you still may want to install some software on your computer. You also have the option of using the computers in the Linux Lab, TR 102, which should have all the necessary software installed.
Let's start with an overview of what we need:
Before we get to the details, I might as well confess up front that I'm a free/libre/open-source software (FLOSS) fanatic advocate. What is free software? Software can be free in two senses: "free as in beer" (you don't have to pay money for it—and that's nice), and "free as in speech" (you can do pretty much what you want with it—and that's even nicer). It's this second sense of freedom I'm more concerned about. Software which is not free in the second sense is called proprietary. Some proprietary software costs money, but some does not. All proprietary software severely limits what you can do with the product: the typical End User License Agreement (EULA) prohibits you from copying, redistributing, modifying, reverse engineering, or examining the source code of the product. Free software allows you to do all these things. You can give it away to your friends without breaking the law!
All of the software which I recommend or require for this course is free software.
You should read some or all of remaining parts of this document, depending on whether you are on online student:
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