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MathGroup Archive 2005

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Re: Hardcopy or electronic books?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg62331] Re: Hardcopy or electronic books?
  • From: "Steven T. Hatton" <hattons at globalsymmetry.com>
  • Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2005 04:50:34 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <200511191054.FAA16499@smc.vnet.net> <dlp2i9$r0$1@smc.vnet.net>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

Renan wrote:
 
> I don't like the concept of electronic books because it is harder for
> me to follow the book (because I need to keep alternating windows on
> my desktop, from the book viewer - e.g. Acrobat - to the program I'm
> working on).
> 
> However, I'd like to see a Mathematica book that comes with a CD-ROM
> that has notebooks that are useful for readers of the book, such as
> examples and sample packages.
> 
> I've seen this concept used in a few programming books, and I
> understand that this makes it easier because you don't have to type a
> page of code and then check it for errors.

The Mathematica Book /is/ available in the HelpBrowser, and Mathematica
certainly comes with a lot of pedagogical material.  I will observe that
one mistake I made early on when learning Mathematica was to read too much
into the "thou shall not reverse engineer" part of the license agreement. 
I took that to mean 'don't read the code in the packages'.  That was
certainly a mistake.  There is a wealth of material in the files composing
the packages, and I have neglected that as a resource.

I very much like having both the electronic form of a book, and hardcopy.  I
spend a lot of time flipping through pages taking mental "snapshots" of
parts I have not yet read.  For some reason, I have a better sense of where
I am in a book when I hold it in my hand.

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