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MathGroup Archive 2005

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Re: How to View Mathematica and Hardcopy Books

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg62457] Re: How to View Mathematica and Hardcopy Books
  • From: Dave <INVALID.See-signature-for-how-to-determine at southminister-branch-line.org.uk>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2005 02:24:55 -0500 (EST)
  • References: <dls5ig$qn1$1@smc.vnet.net>
  • Reply-to: Nov-2005 at southminister-branch-line.org.uk
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

> Mathematica notebooks are a revolutionary kind of document. They far outstrip hard copy books and papers. We are just learning how to use them. Although I'm of the older generation and share the fondness for hardcopy books I don't think that in the long run they can compete in the area of scientific, mathematical and technical literature. Many of my technical books are certainly too big to hold open in my hand. If I try to eat and read I can't get the Dover books to lie flat. Because of the technical limitations of books many of them, even by well regarded authors, are full of mis
prints, errors and poor notation.  When I read a book I often have a hard time understanding the material unless I can think of how I would do it in a Mathematica notebook. Then I have to rush back to my desk. I just wish I had a laptop I could always have with me.
> 
> And for those worried about it: electric power will be available at least as much as sunlight and digital copies will last longer than chiseled stone.

I believe this assumption about "digital copies" lasting forever is 
wrong in 99.99% of practical cases. Sooner or later whatever medium the 
data is on will be obsolete. Of course one can copy from one obsolete 
media to a current media, but it relies on someone taking the trouble 
(or being physically able to) move the data. You might do it now, but 
the chances are when you are too old to do it, the process will cease 
fairly quikly.

I personally think a lot of photographs will get lost in this way. 
Negatives from a film camera will have deterioated in 100 years, but the 
information (minus some loss of quality) will be easy to recover. Photos 
on CDs will however be lost in 99.99% of cases.


There are also known health risks of using computers - it is not 
advisable to use for long periods without rest. Probably a good time to 
read a paper book.


-- 
Dave K

http://www.southminster-branch-line.org.uk/

Please note my email address changes periodically to avoid spam.
It is always of the form: month-year@domain. Hitting reply will work
for a couple of months only. Later set it manually. The month is
always written in 3 letters (e.g. Jan, not January etc)


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