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Re: Install problem, 6.0, Mac OS 10.4.10: No kernel connect?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg81818] Re: Install problem, 6.0, Mac OS 10.4.10: No kernel connect?
  • From: AES <siegman at stanford.edu>
  • Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2007 04:22:39 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Stanford University
  • References: <fdnlls$kog$1@smc.vnet.net> <200710010841.EAA22606@smc.vnet.net> <fdt46n$s9k$1@smc.vnet.net> <200710030621.CAA28643@smc.vnet.net> <fdvqrm$op5$1@smc.vnet.net>

In article <fdvqrm$op5$1 at smc.vnet.net>,
 Andrzej Kozlowski <akoz at mimuw.edu.pl> wrote:

> Maybe it just takes time to do that. Do you think that the release of  
> version 6 should have been delayed until someone wrote a suitable  
> book, however long that might take? I assume that Stephen Wolfram  
> himself (officially the sole author of the original Mathematica book)  
> has other things to do nowadays, and in any case, I doubt that the  
> Front End is exactly his forte.  I, for one, am not surprised by the  
> fact that there is no such book as yet. I am sure some, perhaps quite  
> many, books will appear soon and I am equally sure none of them will  
> attempt to emulate the original Mathematica Book.

I do strongly believe that one essential component of the whole process 
of planning for and executing the 6.0 upgrade (which was undeniably a 
massive task for Wolfram) should have been -- from the very beginning -- 
planning for and setting in motion the preparation of some kind of 
*printed* (or printable) introductions or tutorials that would have 
allowed new and old Mathematica users to sit down and read about the 
major changes from the old Mathematica, and the major new additions in 
the new Mathematica, **before trashing the old Mathematica and firing up 
the new one**.  

Not a total reference volume for everything in Mathematica -- online 
documentation is great for that.

Not a complete, detailed explanation of each of the new or changed 
capabilities -- you go to that once you get into using a specific 
feature.

But instead, enough of an introduction to each of them that new or 
experienced users could at least learn that some of their old friends 
would be going away; could learn what the replacements would be; could 
get an idea of what the major new capabilities in 6.0 are -- and could 
make some informed choices *before* burning their 5.1 or 5.2 bridges as 
to which of these new riches they personally wanted to tackle and learn 
about first.

As I've struggled to adapt to the new Mathematica (e.g., as just one 
example, learning that one of my very useful favorites, GraphicsArray, 
is gone, and I need to learn how to use GraphicsGrid and Grid)  I've 
managed to dig out some of the useful tutorials in the Documentation 
Center, and they're generally very helpful -- once you find them.  

Would it really be that hard to just provide a mechanism for users to 
acquire -- in *one* step -- a collection of these tutorials for all of 
the new or most heavily altered capabilities between 5 and 6, and either 
download this or purchase it on paper?

Take a look at 

   <http://www.wolfram.com/products/mathematica/newin6/>

and imagine that, instead of having to spend hours futzing around with 
those links on line -- trapped at your computer -- one could run down 
that web page; check a check box beside each of the capabilities that 
are important to their own work or their own interests (there are some 
40+ such items listed on that page), and then receive, if not a printed 
volume, at least a custom CD (auto-generated, of course) containing a 
PDF file with a few page tutorial on each such capability.  

Let's say, 20 of those major changes or new capabilities of at least 
potential interest to me.  At 10 pages for each (more than enough); I'd 
have paid 5% or 10% of the retail price of Mathematica  to buy such a CD (and 
since it could have cost much less, I'd have possibly taken it down to 
Kinkos and gotten it color-printed.)

In fact, Wolfram could still do this -- right?


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