I have used Matlab for many years for data processing, instrument control and stand-alone GUI's. I have included here a few scripts that work in either Matlab or GNU/Octave.
I found that I rather like Matlab. The writers simplified the programming language and the interaction with the user making it much easier than say C++. However, now that I am not a student, I do not wish to pay for an entire license just to run a few scripts here and there thus I have moved to using GNU/Octave for those simple scripts. Matlab does many things that Octave never will, interfacing with NiDaq equipment being one of the many.
The one draw back to both Matlab and Octave is that it can not handle strings and numbers within the same data matrix... there is a way around this but is it complicated and uses something a kin to the old C struct.
Anyway, I will post here a few scripts I have written and that I find useful in data processing.
Apart from getting better programming syntax, you also get the NiDaq access, and all for free as in beer. ;)