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Mathematica: Assistance requested.


I am trying to learn Mathematica running under suse linux version 7.2. Any 
assistance with the following would be much appreciated:

(1) How do I start Mathematica from the linux command line so as to get only 
the plain text command line interface ?

(2) I have a function defined in a file ftest.m. I am reading this in with 
the command: <<ftest.m However, this function prints locally defined 
variables with dollar signs followed by a number. It's not clear how to get 
rid of this ?

(3) How can one use contexts/packages/etc to get rid of the problem in (2) 
above ? How is the package read in ? Are there some advantages in using 
packages (even for one function) compared to simply defining a function in a 
.m file ?

Thanks very much.

Constantine Frangos.

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