System Overview

 

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Slide-Rule'sTM universal engine is a simple shell script language that has the look and feel of the ever popular C-language.  In addition to the basic constructs of the C-language, are added matrix and vector types, in both real and complex form. These types allow the user to work at a higher level, while at the same time employing the lower level power and familiarity of the C-language type shell script.  Since the running of the shell script is done in an interpretive manner, the user is freed from the chore of compiling and linking code using a commercial bought compiler.  Also, because of the many built in plotting routines, the user can quickly write and run a shell script that allows one to visualize data in a wide variety of formats.  All plotted data to the monitor can also be output to a printer device as well.  You can also write all plotted output as an extended metafile that can be imported into popular word processing programs such as Microsoft’s Word for Windows.

Besides the supplied internal functions, Slide-RuleTM  allows the user to build their own procedures (including subroutines) based on the shell script language.  The shell script language is modeled after the universal C-language, and can be considered a subset of it.  Only the basic constructs have been implemented in the shell, as well as high level matrix and vector operations,  which allows users from all backgrounds to easily write shell script procedures to perform the intended task or analysis that the user desires.  Since C is ubiquitous in industry and academia, the practicing engineer can easily switch to this SOFTWARE system without switching gears to a completely different type of language.  Included in the internal functions are an extensive set of plotting routines that allows the user to visualize data in either 2D or 3D modes, and with a wide variety of options that allow plots to be customized to the users desire.  All plotted output to the display monitor may also be output to a suitable printer for a permanent record.  The user can also print variables and format ASCII text strings to a file during the running of the shell script either for a permanent record, or as a verification of computed results for a given procedure.  Also included within the internal functions, are file I/O functions that allow the user to open up external disk files for reading and/or writing of data in a wide variety of formats.  During the running of a given shell script, the user can open up several plotting windows that are output to one’s  monitor, and then use the pause function to examine the output.  This allows the user the ability to continue the shell or terminate the procedure based on examining the output.  Also, there are visual hot keys that provide the user with simplifying shortcuts to examine the printed output file or quickly get back to the shell script file to make a quick modification and then rerun the shell.

Most of the software written today is written in C or C++.  If you can program in C or familiar with the language, a quick review of the manual and your up and running.  Left out of the shell’s language grammar are all of the things that non-professional programmers and novices to the C programming language find baffling.   Slide-Rule has been designed to be user friendly.  It comes with a custom editor that is seamlessly integrated into the system.  When a given line of code is in error, you’re immediately given an error message, and then put into the custom editor at that line of code.  The user can also edit and modify all displayed plot(s) using the Customize dialog procedures as will be explained in the manual.  This allows the user to modify the plot(s) by changing colors, line styles, titles, etc., with the click of his mouse.  This not only updates the display immediately, but updates the code as well.  The user is freed from the boring tedious task of coding additional lines of code which can be time consuming and frustrating.  For the digital filter section, Slide-Rule offers a complete GUI interface such that the user just fills in a few entries into a dialog procedure, and the code is generated and run, with resulting filter coefficients produced, plots generated along with a print file from calls to the printf function.  Also included within this SOFTWARE, are routines to allow the user to generate their own Dialog procedures at the shell programming level, and if desired, attach these shell scripts to the Main Menu through a dialog procedure as will be explained in detail in the Manual

Note that functions such as the QR decomposition, SVD, Schur Decomposition, etc., as found under the Functions Reference List (Matrix/Vector Operations), are computed by a C++ interface to the LAPACK routines (version 3.1.1, 2/26/2007). This library was built from the C code downloaded from Netlib, and compiled under a C++ compiler.  It consists of the double precision and complex double precision modules, and consists of ~ 300,000 lines of code. The current implementation in Slide-RuleTM  is a small subset of this library, but can easily be expanded for more advanced implementations such as sparse, banded, etc. matrix methods. The original LAPACK project was funded by the NSF with an initial release in February, 1992.  Contributors include: University of Tennessee; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Argonne National Laboratory; University of California, Berkeley; Cray Research, Inc.; Numerical Algorithms Group Ltd.; Rice University; University of Kentucky; Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University; and others.  Supersedes LINPACK, EISPACK, and the BLAS.
 

System Requirements

Slide-RuleTM  for Microsoft Windows is a 32-bit NT program and requires an PC-compatible system with a processor capable of running Microsoft Windows in 386-enhanced mode.  You should have 20 megabytes of additional hard disk storage to install and run this software.  We also suggest that you run your monitor under Windows in it's native resolution to get the full detail of plotted output.  This SOFTWARE  runs on Windows Xp, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 (64-bit version).