squirell1357,

I have a very limited knowledge of programming. I only know how to program in four languages: BASIC, HP48 LISP, MATLAB (which is supposed to be similar to FORTRAN), and WordPerfect 5.1 Macro language. Unfortunately, none of these are considered "mainstream".

My first computer was a Timex Sinclair 1000 with 2K of RAM, 8K of ROM. It used BASIC as the user programming language. My next computer was a Timex Sinclair 2068 with color!, 48K of RAM, and I think 32K of ROM (maybe had more). It was an Americanized version of the Sinclair Spectrum. My next computer was the very first and original Apple IIgs Woz Limited Edition. I still have all these computers, they all work, and they all use a version of BASIC.

Being a chemistry major, I was encouraged to take as many math classes as I could squeeze in my undergraduate education. My last class was a full year of Numerical Analysis in which I was taught to program in MATLAB. I learned more math in that class than all of my undergraduate math classes combined. MATLAB uses all of the "libraries" of FORTRAN, so numerically, MATLAB is KING of math programs for numerical computation. I don't think it does symbolic computations without hacks and add-ins. As far as accuaracy, MATLAB uses LINPACK (as does the Hewlett Packard HP48); it doesn't have round-off error in its answers/results. There's a reason MATLAB costs thousands of dollars. It runs on Macs, PC's, and mainframes.

All I know is that FORTRAN is used by many scientists through out the world, and looking through the book, the code looks an aweful lot like MATLAB which is what I understand.

All I need to do is smooth a few UV-vis spectra that were obtained near the instrument's detection limit, hence the data is jagged and noisy. I just want to smooth out the noise and I found a routine that uses the Fast Fourier Transform to remove the higher frequency noise. Hell, I might even be able to implement it in MATLAB or my HP48 if I can translate the code.

If anyone would like a nice calculator program for their Mac, get X48. The latest version can be found on Apple's Mac OS X download page under mathematics. It's also available on

www.versiontracker.com as well as

www.macosxapps.com. This is a fullblown HP48 emulator and it is really good. I would recommend any science major to purchase one from Hewlett Packard. It may not be as fast as the new Texas Instruments calculators, but it gives numerically more accurate answers and the programming language, HP LISP, is really quite powerful. There are some really neat programs for it at

www.hpcalc.org.
chemistry_geek