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MathGroup Archive 2007

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Re: Re: What to do in v. 6 in place of Miscellaneous`RealOnly

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg76772] Re: [mg76731] Re: What to do in v. 6 in place of Miscellaneous`RealOnly
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Sun, 27 May 2007 04:52:35 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <f33ork$l7l$> <f36go3$9rf$> <>
  • Reply-to: murray at

You've stumbled upon a long-standing problem I've faced with using 
Mathematica in an academic setting (or perhaps any setting) where 
systems are locked down by the folks whom maintain the systems: how to 
handle 3rd-party add-on packages.

In my own experience, getting the packages installed on the students' 
own machines is not that big a deal provided the zip file (or whatever) 
is properly assembled and the instructions are sufficiently clear and 
the students are able to follow direction.  (Hmm...the last IS a bit of 
a problem: if only students read directions as carefully as I wrote them!)

The real problem resides with lab & classroom computers. Given 
sufficient advance notice, of course, such packages can be incorporated 
into the standard software on the systems. (At my own institution, any 
package needed for the September semester needs to be in the hands of 
the IT folks no later than July 1, and preferably earlier; for the 
Spring semester, no later than Thanksgiving. This is a real pain.)

I don't have a good solution to this.  Perhaps somebody at Wolfram 
Research will look into it.

Helen Read wrote:
> dimitris wrote:
>> Hi Helen.
>> I don't have version 6 but in case you don't know
>> there is a much more flexible package named
>> SwitchableRealOnly by Ted Ersek available at
> I'll have a look at that, but I'm not keen on using a package that the 
> students would have to download and install themselves. (They use 
> Mathematica on their own laptops and in computer labs all over campus, 
> not just the classrooms maintained by the math department.)

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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