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Re: $MaxNumber

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg117359] Re: $MaxNumber
  • From: John Fultz <jfultz at>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 06:26:42 -0500 (EST)


First, apparently, when I think I'm being helpful, but only have about 60
seconds to devote to an issue because I'm allegedly on vacation, perhaps I
should just stay silent rather than publicly putting my foot in my mouth.  My
two sentence response, aside from not actually being that helpful, spawned at
least three totally unrelated questions from several people.

Everything that I said before was absolutely true, if one assumes that there
were some kind of 32/64-bit different in $MaxNumber.  There was in version 6 of
Mathematica (which is why the referenced website discusses this), but there
wasn't in v7 or v8.  I don't know why it changed...not my area, sorry.

To answer other questions spawned by my response...

* It's pretty easy to know you have Home Edition.  The Welcome Screen (which
opens on startup, or Help->Welcome Screen) would tell you in big red letters. 
For some in academia, this might have been slightly confusing because there's a
special arrangement for some academic site licenses referred to by WRI
salespeople as "home use".  This is *not* the same as Home's merely
a kind of licensing arrangement.

* Yes, that's right.  8.0.1 Home Edition is now contains 64-bit versions of
Mathematica.  Although I didn't realize that I was apparently the first to say
it publicly, so when somebody else from WRI tells you, act surprised. :)


John Fultz
jfultz at
User Interface Group
Wolfram Research, Inc.

[Still allegedly on vacation, so probably still sticking my foot in my mouth...]

On Mon, 14 Mar 2011 05:59:04 -0500 (EST), John Fultz wrote:
> Perhaps you have Home Edition of Mathematica.  Until the most recent
> release (8.0.1, released just a few days ago), Home Edition included only
> 32-bit versions of Mathematica.
> Sincerely,
> John Fultz
> jfultz at
> User Interface Group
> Wolfram Research, Inc.
> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "a evans" <aeospam at>
>> To: mathgroup at
>> Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2011 5:24:42 AM
>> Subject: [mg117253] $MaxNumber
>> I would be grateful if someone could help me to understand why my
>> $MaxNumber is seemingly much lower than it should be. I am running
>> modern equipment (quad-core 64bit) with windows 7 64-bit and
>> Mathematica 8.0. The $MaxNumber according to my machine is :
>> 1.233433712981650*10^323228458. According to reports at the URL below
>> the $MaxNumber on 64-bit machines in Mathematica 6.0 is up to
>> 2.093117322269914*10^646456781. This is also the number given in the
>> wolfram documentation. Any information on how to resolve this I would
>> kindly appreciate.
>> MaxNumber-on-a-64-bit-Computer
>> Many regards,
>> Arthur

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