The software you need - MCT-master/guides Wiki
In the MCT programme we make use of a variety of software and platforms. Our policy prioritizes systems that are open-source or free, cross-platform and widely used in academia and/or in the industry. The software listed below are used in different courses throughout the programme. Installing and testing them in advance will save you precious time later on. All recommended software do not require any paid license, and they work on all common operating systems such as Windows, MacOSX and Linux. Moreover, you can also consider starting to get familiar with them by following the basic video tutorials we recommend. The list also includes a few accounts that you should create to access resources relevant to the programme.
The software, platforms and accounts:
Atom (text editor)
- VS Code (text editor)
- GitHub (version control system)
- Canvas (UiO learning management system)
- UiO G Suite (content storage)
- Discord (student communication platform)
- Zoom (video-conferencing tool)
- Overleaf (online LaTex editor)
- Anaconda (distribution and package manager for Python)
- Pure Data (audio-specific visual programming language)
- Zotero (reference management software)
- Reaper (digital audio workstation)
- Audacity (digital audio editor)
- JackTrip (audio over the internet)
- SonoBus (audio over the internet)
- GIMP (image editor)
- DaVinci Resolve (video editor)
- Jekyll (static site generator)
- UiO VPN (virtual private network)
Atom is a free and open-source text and source-code editor. This is needed when writing text which must follow a specific syntax, such as a computer program or a webpage. There is a large number of packages for Atom, which allows you to do more, such as compiling and run programs. You can consider installing the following packages for Writing Markdown, Previewing Markdown, Collaborative Teletyping, Spell Checking and Script. For an introduction to Atom you can follow this series of video tutorials or refer to the online manual. If you already have your own favorite text editor, you can use that instead of Atom.
As Atom is discontinued, we are switching to VS Code. It is one of the most popular text editors for developers and has many useful plugins. You can easily find plugins such as Markdown preview inside VS Code interface.
GitHub Desktop provides a friendly graphical interface to manage GitHub repositories. GitHub provides hosting for Git repositories and Git is an open-source version control system. GitHub provides more features than just version control, such as wiki pages (like the one you are reading) and webpages. The MCT Blog is based on a GitHub repository, and you will use this extensively throughout the programme. Moreover using Github repositories may be convenient for various projects you will carry out in the programme. You can follow this short video tutorial on GitHub Desktop. More specific instruction are be provided in the MCT Blog guide on this wiki. If you are already familiar with Github and you are used to manage repositories though the command line interface, you can skip the installation of GitHub Desktop. In order to use the get access to the MCT-master GitHub repositories, you should send your GitHub account details (username, associated email) to the administrator. If you do not have yet a GitHub account, you can consider creating an education account, which provides extra features at no cost.
Canvas is the Learning Management System (LMS) of UiO, which you can access using your UiO account, and which is used to host the sites of all MCT Courses. You will access canvas from the browser. However we recommend installing Canvas Student, a mobile application for Android and iOS. Besides accessing the teaching material from your mobile, and communicating with teachers and fellow students, the application allows you to receive push notification related to announcements, assignments, tasks and other events. This requires you to customize the notification settings in your canvas account (for this, refer to the Canvas guide in this wiki).
UiO G Suite
The UiO G Suite is a special Google account linked to UiO's accounts which specific services including Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Hangouts (there is no mail). UiO G Suite ensure that data us stored according to GDPR, which is not the case for your private Google account. This invisible difference is very important when it comes to storing data we record and produce in the MCT programme. Indeed we use the UiO G Suite Drive to store large files such as audio and video recordings, including those we share publicly through the MCT Blog. As soon as you get a UiO account, you should enable your UiO G Suite following these instructions, including the important step of giving consent. Check that your account has been activated by logging in from here. Then you can request access to the MCT Shared Drive by sending your UiO username via email to the administrator. Refer to the readme files in the MCT shared G Drive for more details on the folder organization.
Discord is a free communications application that MCT students use to chat with each other. Discord is especially helpful in our cross-campus context and is used to collaborate on course assignments, share inspirational content, troubleshoot and to socialize in general. Discord also lets you communicate via video and/or sound and has a good interface that is easy to work with. Discord is among the most frequently used platform in the course so be sure to download the application, either on your desktop and/or on you mobile (preferably both), and follow this link which will invite you to the MCT Discord platform.
Zoom is the official video-conferencing system used at UiO. When working outside the MCT Portal (the special room featuring a variety high-end telecommunication systems) we usually connect via Zoom. Once you get your UiO account, you can log in to Zoom using one of them (select Sign In with SSO and then enter uio.zoom.us) and you will get a PRO account, which has more features than the basic free account. When joining MCT activities via Zoom you should always use your UiO Zoom accounts.
Overleaf is an easy to use, online, collaborative LaTeX editor. LaTeX is a document preparation system which uses plain text as opposed to the formatted text found in "What You See Is What You Get" word processors (e.g. Microsoft Word, LibreOffice Writer and Apple Pages). TeX editors are commonly used in academia as it simplifies the management of formatting even in long and/or complex documents. Overleaf is an online tool, hence there is nothing to download or install. However we recommend you to create a personal free account.
Anaconda is a free and open-source distribution of Python which aims to simplify package management and deployment. We recommend to download and install the graphical installer for Python 3 (at the very bottom of the page). Anaconda includes Python, a large collection of python packages for scientific computing, conda - a package manager, development utilities such as the Jupiter Notebook and Spyder, and Anaconda Navigator which provides access to all the through an easy to use graphical user interface. Python is the general purpose programming language we use in the MCT programme.
Pure Data is the domain-specific visual programming language for audio, music and multimedia that we use in the MCT programme. You should download and install the "vanilla" version of Pure Data, additional libraries and externals will be installed based on specific needs.
Zotero is a free and open-source reference management software to manage bibliographic data and related research materials. Moreover, Zotero drastically simplifies the process of includign citations and references in your documents, such as papers and theses. You should consider to install as well a connector for your preferred browser and plugins for your preferred word processor. It is also recommended that you create an account in Zotero to synchronize and backup your library (enter account info under preferences, sync). To get familiar with Zotero, you can follow this short video tutorial.
Reaper is a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), which is particularly well suited to work with multichannel audio since the earliest versions. Reaper is not free. However, the duration of the evaluation period is sufficient to carry out all related activities. If you like Reaper, you should consider getting a discounted license. Although you may already be familiar with other DAW, we require you to use Reaper. If you want to get familiar with Reaper, we recommend this series of video tutorials.
Audacity is a free digital audio editor and recording application software. Within the MCT programme, we will record and edit audio quite frequently, therefore having a dedicated and easy to use software will be very handy. If you already have your own favorite audio editor, you can use that instead of Audacity.
JackTrip is a software system for sending and receiving uncompressed multichannel audio through the Internet, primarily used for networked music performance. Within the MCT programme we use and compare a variety of systems for networked music, some require specialized machines or connections available only in campus, other such as JackTrip runs on standard computers and Internet connections. Jacktrip requires Jack Audio Connection Kit, which you should also download and install.
SonoBus is a software system for sending and receiving compressed or uncompressed multichannel audio through the Internet, primarily used for networked music performance. Within the MCT programme we use and compare a variety of systems for networked music, some require specialized machines or connections available only in campus, other such as SonoBus runs on standard computers and Internet connections.
GIMP is a free and open-source raster graphics editor used for image retouching and editing, free-form drawing, converting between different image formats. Editing, manipulating, and converting images is something you will do quite regularly in the MCT programme. If you already have your own favorite image editor, you can use that instead of GIMP.
DaVinci Resolve is a free non-linear video editing software. At various point of the MCT programme you will need do some basic video editing or merge together some audio and video material. If you already have your own favorite video editor, you can use that instead of DaVinci.
Jekyll is a simple, blog-aware, static site generator for personal. Jekyll is useful tool to preview new contents and changes you make to your local copy of the MCT Blog before uploading these to the online repository. Jekyll is a command line tool and it does not have a graphical user interface. The installation may be a little more complex than other software tools we use in the programme. It is recommended that you carefully follow the instructions for your specific operating system type and version.
The UiO VPN (virtual private network) allows MCT students sitting in off campus to exchange data and control messages (such as Open Sound Control) between their computers as if are connect to the same network. This will be very useful at different points of the MCT programme. Follow the instruction to install and configure the UiO VPN. You will not be able to connect until you get a UiO account.