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McGill Reporter
September 27, 2007 - Volume 40 Number 03
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Tetley's law and free software for all my friends!

Join us as we unearth the hidden gems and secret places on the websites of McGill University and its affiliated institutions.

William Tetley's Maritime Law

Don't let the innocuous title fool you, this website is a quirky, engaging, highly personal collection of articles, book excerpts, anecdotes, humour and history, courtesy of William Tetley, Q.C., McGill's eminent professor of maritime law and former cabinet minister in Robert Bourassa's first provincial government, to name only two of his accomplishments. Humour articles like "How to Become a Maritime Lawyer Without Even Trying," and "How to Nominate a Candidate for PM Without Even Trying," pretty much describe themselves, but Tetley also shares his insider's view of important events in Canadian history, particularly the 1970 October Crisis.

Software Licensing at McGill

McGill's Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) purchases site licenses for a range of commercial software applications and offers them to faculty, staff and students at a significant discount—or in some cases, even for free—through this website. Due to differing license terms, though, some of these applications are available only to faculty and staff, while others are also available to students.

Free software for faculty, staff and students

Every McGill scholar should take advantage of EndNote, ProCite and/or Reference Manager from the Thomson Corporation. These sophisticated tools simplify the most arduous aspects of academic writing: creating bibliographies, citations and endnotes! All three programs normally retail for well over US$100 each.

Symantec Antivirus is one of the top antivirus programs on the market. All McGill-based desktops should already have it installed by default, but it's also available for download for use on laptops and home computers. At retail, it would set you back about CND$45 Canadian.

McGill's Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a small security application from Cisco that allows you to access McGill-only network services from your laptop or home computer as if you were on a campus network.

Free software for faculty and staff only

Camtasia Studio from TechSmith is a sophisticated screen video recorder/editor that lets you create your own video presentations. This program would normally set you back a whopping $299.

SnagIt, also from TechSmith, is a great, multi-function screen-capture and graphics tool that usually sells for about $39.95.

Course Genie from Wimba is a Microsoft Word add-on that gives anyone who can type the power to create sophisticated online courses or presentations. These can be posted on the web or integrated into myCourses or other online teaching tools. Course Genie is primarily aimed at professors, but it's also useful as an alternative to PowerPoint for creating web-based presentations. No knowledge of HTML or graphic design necessary!

Respondus is a powerful tool for creating and managing exams that can be printed to paper or published electronically in several different ways.

Note: Don't confuse the service described above with the McGill Computer Store, which sells commercial software to departments, students, faculty and staff at academic discounts. Store website:

Have a favourite McGill web gem we haven't covered yet? Tell us about it at

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