When Karina announced the september call for posts I wasn’t quite sure what to write about. After all, I was still working on writing up my thesis (although a whole first version, with a table of contents, has made its way to my promoter and supervisors) and trying to get through as much comments as I could.
Along the way though, it’s become pretty clear which tools have been indispensable and which computer programs have made my life easier every day. For one thing, I couldn’t live without music to write too, so a good music program is a must. I also love the fact that I have a widescreen, although having an extra screen would be even more awesome. A water-cooker, for making tea, which is always comforting when I’m stuck again. Word probably counts as well, since I seriously didn’t want to learn Latex (or any other word processing program). My external hard-drive to back up everything so I could just as easily work from home. Endnote, to manage all those references!
Then there are PhotoShop, because the latest version of SPSS is capable of giving my pretty figures and graphs, but it just doesn’t do everything yet. So, obviously, SPSS has been a necessity for some analysis. Matlab hasn’t figured heavily in the last month, but it has over the last years, so there you go. Then there were some university-specific programs which use Thurstone’s Fifth law, so thank you Mr. Thurstone for coming up with that law! Last but very much not least though, M-plus. If I go on a lyrical description of all the ways M-plus has made my life easier, people will probably think I have shares, but I don’t. Seriously though, if you ever need to run a factor analysis, do structural equation modelling or linear regression? Run and get M-plus. M-plus has made my day a lot over the last month.