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MathGroup Archive 1995

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Re: Mathematica 2.0 swapfile problem?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg1776] Re: Mathematica 2.0 swapfile problem?
  • From: Rex Dieter <rdieter at>
  • Date: Sun, 30 Jul 1995 21:32:42 -0400
  • Organization: University of Nebraska--Lincoln

mek at (Mark E. Kotanchek) wrote:
> In article <3uote1$ica at> jin at (gum) writes:
>   I got the educational copy several years ago, and only started 
>   serious use recently. My swapfile just keeps growing and never shrinks. 
>   Should I upgrade to recent version to get rid of the problem? Or
>   is there any trick I can do to keep the condition under control?
>   I'm running mathematica on NS 3.0. Thanks
> Mathematica has the neat feature that it preserves _every_ result ever 
> generated -- which is why after days of running you can still access that
> umpteen megabyte variable as "%12" even though you stopped caring about
> "%12"  quite some time ago. IMHO, this is an example of poor design for
> those of us  who program or do data analysis with Mma. Since the Mma folk
> don't believe this  is a design flaw, 

I believe this is a valid concern, but your misinformation about this 
feature must be corrected... 

From page 514 of the book: Mathematica, A System for doing Mathematics by 

In a standard session, Mathematica stores all your input and output lines 
for the duration of the session.  In a very long session, this may take up 
a large amount of computer memory.  You can nevertheless get rid of the 
input and output lines by explicitly clearing the values of 'In' and 'Out', 
using: 'Unprotect[In, Out]' followed by Clear[In, Out].  An alternative 
startegy is to reset the line number counter $Line, so that new lines are 
numbered so as to overwrite previous ones...

Rex A. Dieter                             rdieter at (NeXT/MIME)
Research Associate                        Voice: (402)472-9747 
Department of Mathematics and Statistics  FAX:   (402)472-8466 
University of Nebraska - Lincoln

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