# Utilizing Grapher...

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Laplace, Feb 14, 2006.

1. ### Laplace macrumors member

Joined:
Aug 14, 2005
Location:
Huntsville, AL
#1
Hey all, I was trying to use Grapher today to construct some graphs to put in my laboratory reports, but I was having some problems finding the correct functions. After searching through the help I thought that there might not be a function for these.

What im looking for is a way to graph
Unit step function
Triangle wave function
Square wave function

It's a signals class, and I really don't want to plunk down the 100\$ for Matlab. How effective do you guys find Grapher to be for mundane tasks like this? I mean this doesn't exactly scream "buy Matlab", I just want to graph a little and make my lab reports look pretty

Laplace

2. ### MisterMe macrumors G4

Joined:
Jul 17, 2002
Location:
USA
#2
I am not going to do your homework for you. I presume that you have already inspected the list of available functiions under the Help menu. The step function can be constructed using the "sign" function. A square wave can be constructed using the "cosine" or "sine" and "sign" functions. I leave the triangle wave function as an exercise.

3. ### mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

Joined:
Apr 16, 2003
Location:
Boston, MA
#3
May I suggest octave or scilab? Both on fink, and with octave-forge you get most of the basic matlab functionality that you'd get with the student edition.

4. ### mduser63 macrumors 68040

Joined:
Nov 9, 2004
Location:
Salt Lake City, UT
#4
If you're an (electrical?) engineering student, Matlab is well worth the \$100 you'll spend on it. You can't do signals stuff with Grapher. Sure you may be able to do some of the really basic stuff, but try doing Fourier transforms, filters, modulation/demodulation, etc in Grapher and you're quickly going to get frustrated.

FWIW, you can do all three of the graphs you mentioned using piecewise definitions in Grapher. You can also approximate them by sums of sine waves (Fourier series). The other option might be to draw them by hand. Finally, do like mwpeters8182 and check out Octave and Scilab. One of my friends sucessfully used Scilab to do all of the homework in signals and systems last semester, even though officially, Matlab was "required" for the homework.