by March 10, 2007 0 comments

This time in PCQlinux 2007, we have included a few scientific applications
that can help students and scientists in their research work. Here, we will take
them one by one and discuss them in detail.

3D modeling with K3d
Here is some good news for people who like to design and simulate there projects
using 3D modeling and animation. K3d is an application that allows you to draw
3D models of structures and create their animations. Other features include
creation and editing of geometric objects in multiple real-time OpenGL solid,
shaded, and texture-mapped views, animated procedural geometric effects,
rendering pipeline to Renderman Interface compliant rendering engines,
optimization for use with the Aqsis rendering engine, which features solid
modeling, true displacement, and user programmable shaders, and support for
background and batch rendering. All the parameters of the rendered model can be
animated through a consistent control-spline based interface. It supports
complete extensibility at runtime through third-party plugins. If you have
already worked on 3d Max or Maya, then you won’t face any problem using it.
Otherwise you need to spend some time getting familiar with it. Before using it,
you have to configure its render engine, so that it can render your modeling.
For this download fedora RPM of Aqsis from
  and then install the downloaded Aqsis render
engine by issuing the command given below.

# rpm —ivh aqsis-1.0.0-FC3.i386.rpm

Once installed, open K3d from Start menu > PCQLINUX. It will open an
interface similar to 3d Max with all the modeling tools on the top, viewport on
left and property sheet of each object on the left. You can review the created
models by clicking the timeline play button given at the bottom.

Explore the universe using
Celestia. It has a huge database of stars, galaxies, planets, moons and
With Stellarium you can
see a map of the actual night sky at a given point of time


Design electronic
circuitry with KiCAD. It has a database of all components such as memory,
microprocessors and other such devices

This application is meant for amateur astronomers, who like to explore the stars
and planets. It’s a free space-simulation that lets you travel around the
universe in three dimensions. The software takes you on the voyage of our solar
system-to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond our galaxy. Celestia comes
with a large database catalog of stars, galaxies, planets, moons, asteroids,
comets, and spacecrafts. Usage of Celestia is pretty easy and seamless; its
Exponential Zoom feature lets you explore space across a huge range of scales,
from stars, spacecrafts and galaxy clusters down to only a few meters across. So
start exploring the space from ‘Start Menu>PCQLinux >Celestia.’

K3d is a software that
allows 3D modeling of any object and simulation of its behavior in real-time

Electronics circuit designing
If you are an Electronics engineer, then this is a piece of software that you
would appreciate. KiCAD is an Open Source software for designing and creating
electronic schematic diagrams and printed circuit board artwork. The software
has four components: Eeschema: Schematic entry; Pcbnew: Board editor; Gerbview:
GERBER viewer (photoplotter documents); and Cvpcb: footprint selector for
components used in the circuit design. The software also tests circuitry
parameters and helps engineers to find bugs in the circuit that they have
designed. To start building your own designs, click on ‘Start Menu>PCQLinux >

Star gazing with Stellarium
A useful software for students and amateur astronomers. It shows 3d maps of our
planet and other elements in the sky such as stars, constellations, other
planets and nebulae. This lets you view real-time skies and celestial objects in
it. It renders these objects in such a way as can be seen by a naked eye,
binoculars or a small telescope. Stellarium can let you view the night or day
sky from almost any location on Earth. Celestial objects like Sun, Moon,
planets, stars and constellations can be setup the way you want to see them. You
can even set up grids, zoom into planets and nebulae, and change weather
conditions to add fog, sunrise or sunset, see comets and meteors and more. You
can access this software by clicking ‘Start Menu>PCQLinux >Stellarium.’

Travel around in the sky
and learn what’s up there! It shows 3D maps of our planet along with other
celestial objects

Symbolic computation
Xmaxima is another piece in PCQLinux 2007 scientific suite. It lets you do full
symbolic manipulation of rational functions, matrices, polynomials, integration,
Todd-coxeter, graphing and bigfloats.

You can plot 3D and 2D graphs against given matrices. Though its interface is
not that great, it just gives you a terminal window, where you have to give the
symbolic manipulation equations.

This software lets you do
symbolic manipulation of rational functions

You can access this software at ‘Start Menu>PCQlinux>Xmaxima.’ The software
has intensive and detailed help that opens with the terminal itself.

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