What is SM?

(SM) is an interactive plotting package for drawing graphs written by Robert Lupton and Patricia Monger. It has some capability to handle image data, but mostly works with vectors. The main features of the package are:

How are data presented to SM?

SM is used as a plotting package, invoked after the data have been generated, to produce graphical output as a second step. It can also be invoked from within a program, but at the sacrifice of the interactive capabilities that are its true strength. Plot vectors may be generated in several ways:

What are the steps in producing a basic plot?

The steps to produce a graph, once data have been provided to SM are: define the plot device, define the data file, read in data vectors, define axis limits, draw axes, plot the data (as points or as a connected curve - type of line or of points can be selected), label the axes (various fonts available). There are various other more elaborate commands to enable logarithmic axes, labelling curves, putting an ID on the plot, reading positions from the plot with a cursor, getting statistics on vectors (mean, sigma, kurtosis, linear regression coefficients, Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests, etc), manipulating 2-d data and much more.

Handling 2-d data

SM has some capability to handle image data. A few standard types of binary files have been defined which should, we hope, cover the majority of cases. Once one has read in the image, one can contour it with the contour command (first defining levels), and one can take a slice through it. The newest release (2.3) also supports "wire frame" displays of image data, and greyscale.

Availability of SM

System Requirements:

SM runs on Unix and Unix-variant systems (yes, including Linux) and VMS systems as well as on DOS PCs, under Windows (using Borland C++ v3), and under OS/2. It also runs on Mac OSX but not on previous versions of MacOS (A/UX works, however). SM has drivers for Sunview, any form of X11, SGI, various tek401x emulators, VMS UIS, LN03, Imagen impress, QMS quic, HP Laserjet, and Postscript laser printers (also color and encapsulated postscript), raster devices, HPGL, REGIS graphics, and several odd (and likely obsolete) graphics terminals. The PC implementation uses Borland's BGI drivers, so works for any devices supported by that library.


SM is available for $300 U.S., $375 Canadian to university departments, or small colleges. A university-wide site license is $1500 U.S., $1900 Canadian. Prices for commercial or government agencies are $500 U.S. for a department, $2500 U.S. for an entire site.

You only buy it once - the license entitles you to unlimited free upgrades. The distribution includes the source, documentation (TeX files), and permission to install the program on all the machines at your site.

Payment is by check or money order in US dollars made payable to Patricia Monger, or by bank transfer. There is a $35 additional charge to cover bank fees if you pay by bank transfer (unless you are able to arrange through your bank that all fees will be covered by you), or if the check does not have the standard bank MICR encoding on it.


SM is not for sale to groups who want to use it for weapons related research projects for the military agencies of any country.


SM is distributed by ftp. If you absolutely must have a tape or floppy we can probably arrange it.


If you have further questions, please send mail to monger@mcmaster.ca.