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Re: Major problem with

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  • Subject: [mg89401] Re: Major problem with
  • From: David Bailey <dave at>
  • Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2008 02:33:37 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <g2dbg6$9i4$>

Michael Morrison wrote:
> Very recent I upgraded from to I have found this latest
> version of Mathematica almost totally dysfunctional. Now when I load
> notebooks that previously worked fine, almost invariably I get one or more
> messages warning of an error as a result of an internal self-check. (I've
> never seen such messages with earlier versions.) The messages send me to a
> Wolfram site that solicits details about my problem, which I provide, but
> which doesn't explain the message, the problem or how to deal with it. The
> site says that the problem may not affect the execution of my notebook or
> results. But something is affecting execution of a lot of my notebooks!
> Since installing, notebooks that used to run fine now cause
> Mathematica to crash (!)---a problem I have not had since about version 4.
> Even when that doesn't happen, trying to run a notebook typically generates
> still more of these irritating self-check errors. I have tried everything I
> can think of to ensure that the problem is not with my PC (cleaned the
> registry, various internal maintenance checks, even defragmented by hard
> disc, etc.) No improvement or change. Moreover, the problems appear on a
> second PC I use where I loaded a couple of hours ago. 
> I've sent urgent pleas for help to the appropriate Wolfram site but so far
> have received no reply. (I'm facing an urgent deadline in about 8 hours and
> am suddenly unable to do anything until this problem gets fixed, since most
> of my notebooks won't execute any more or will do so only amidst a blizzard
> of errors.) If anyone can offer constructive advice I would be most
> grateful. I'm running on a conventional Windows XP machine.
> I feel compelled to add that this is only the latest (and by far most
> severe) problem I've had since the release of Version 6. I've used
> Mathematica since about version 2 (very primitive  non-GUI interface, very
> limited help info, couldn't evaluate every integral known to man
> correctly---but it did what you told it to almost always correctly, and it
> rarely crashed). Every subsequent version through 5 improved the product,
> eliminated errors, enhanced usability, and maintained the high standards of
> reliability and freedom from bugs that has made Mathematica the choice of a
> lot of scientists and teachers, including those at my institution. 
> Then came 6.  Bugs all over the place. Commands that don't work even in the
> help browser (try TableAlignments in TableForm).  A new help browser in
> which a search now provides reams of links somewhere in which you might find
> buried the information you want. Unless the information you need isn't
> there: So far as I can figure out, it's still not possible, now months after
> the release of 6.0 and however may subsequent releases, to find a list of
> what is in the standard packages; neither can I find a single place to see
> all the backward-consistency problems that plague notebooks written
> previously. And so forth.  Important commands that used to work fine now
> sometimes work and sometimes don't (PlotLegend, which I use throughout
> myriad notebooks, now doesn't work at all with many types of plot commands
> where it used to work fine, in versions before 6.). For a while I reported
> these to Mathematica, and always got very constructive replies. However
> usually those replies indicated that the problem is a known bug that would
> be fixed soon. That's fine, but it's now months after the release of 6 and
> many of these problems are still problems (unless they were fixed in
>, which I can barely get to work at all).  Moreover, some bugs should
> require user reports (e.g., things that don't work even in the Help
> Browser). 
> Several teachers I know are so frustrated by 6.0 that they're trying to
> persuade their institutions to switch from Mathematica to a competitor 
> So far I've argued strongly against that change here.  But this latest
> debacle with is the straw that broke my camel's back. I don't
> know what's happened at Wolfram, but whatever has happened is a real
> shame.  Mathematica is fast degenerating from a vital research tool
> into software with problems I expect only from a Microsoft product.
> Frustrated, furious, and fed up.
> Michael A. Morrison
> David Ross Boyd Professor of Physics & General Education
> Dept. Physics & Astronomy
> University of Oklahoma
> Norman, OK 73019
> Phone: 405 325-3961
> FAX: 405 325-7557
> EMAIL: morrison at
Have you tried moving Mathematica to another machine? I can't help 
wondering if your machine has developed a fault. Another thing to try 
would be to deinstall Mathematica and reinstall it from scratch. If you 
developed your notebooks under a beta version of Mathematica, of course, 
all bets are off!

If you post a link to a notebook that worked at 6.0.01, I am sure 
someone will check it out. The windows and Linux 6.0.02 software works 
very smoothly for me.

David Bailey

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