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MathGroup Archive 2004

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Re: Printing digits of Pi

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg46710] Re: Printing digits of Pi
  • From: Paul Abbott <paul at>
  • Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2004 19:10:08 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: The University of Western Australia
  • References: <c215vo$8gv$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In article <c215vo$8gv$1 at>, cmduncan at wrote:

> Hello!  I am having an issue with printing the digits of Pi that mathematica 
> calculates.  I can get a screen print of the digits to about 20 million but 
> interested in ~32 million digits. 

You really are printing out 20 million digits? Why are you doing this? I 
mean, why not compute and save the digits and then you can work with any 
block of digits you want.

Also, I wonder what is the application. You are probably aware of


> Using the N command, I can get Mathematica 
> to determine the ~32 million digits but not print them to the screen.  I get 
> a message "Out of Memory".  Running at 4GB of physical memory should be 
> sufficient?  Right?  

There are (sometimes very large) overheads in formatting output. 
However, exceeding 4GB seems a little extreme. 

Using MemoryInUse (which gives the number of bytes currently being used 
to store all data in the curren session -- which does not tell the full 
story) we see that about 1 extra MByte is required to print out 1 
million digits.

   mem = MemoryInUse[];

   N[Pi, 10^6]
   <  output omitted >

   MemoryInUse[] - mem

   mem = MemoryInUse[];

   N[Pi, 10^6]; 

   MemoryInUse[] - mem

Depending on your operating system, there are (external) ways to see how 
much (total) memory Mathematica is using for computation, formatting, 
and output.

> Is there a way for Mathematica to create an output file 
> to print the digits for a given amount (i.e. 10 million versus 100 million)? 

You can easily create output files: lookup Put, Write, and Export. You 
can also work within Mathematica. For example, here is a way to examine 
the 1000 digits starting at the millionth digit after the decimal point:

  pi = RealDigits[N[Pi, 32 10^6]]; 

> Is there a way to allow Mathematica to utilitize more physical memory than 
> defaulted?  

Surely this is an operating system issue, not a Mathematica issue?


Paul Abbott                                   Phone: +61 8 9380 2734
School of Physics, M013                         Fax: +61 8 9380 1014
The University of Western Australia      (CRICOS Provider No 00126G)         
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley WA 6009                      mailto:paul at 

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