[IAEP] wolfram's mathematica

Edward Cherlin echerlin at gmail.com
Tue Sep 30 14:50:41 EDT 2008

On Tue, Sep 30, 2008 at 8:30 AM, Robert Myers <rmyers7 at mindspring.com> wrote:
>> wolfram's mathematica page says:
>> *Mathematica* has been ported to the OLPC "$100 laptop"
>> http://www.wolfram.com/products/mathematica/analysis/content/MathEducationSoftware.html
>> I can't see it on the activities page - does anyone have information about
>> this?

I have e-mailed Wolfram Research to ask what their plans are. I
interviewed Wolfram in 1989 at an APL conference.

While we are on the subject, is anybody interested in Sugarizing
Maxima and rewriting its X interface xmaxima for Sugar? It is much
less capable than Mathematica, but also much smaller. It's fine for
the basics.

%i2) integrate(1/x,x);
(%o2)                             log(x)
(%i3) integrate(1/(1+x^3),x)

    2 x - 1
                                                    log(x  - x + 1)
    sqrt(3)    log(x + 1)
(%o3)                                             - --------------- +
------------- + ----------
  sqrt(3)          3
Maxima 46M
xmaxima 995K

> Mathematica is available for Linux so I'd assume that you could load and
> run it on an XO in a windowing environment.
>  From the Mathematica site>>>
> Linux x86
>        Linux 2.4 or later      32-bit, 64-bit
>        Mathematica 6 has been fully tested on all major Linux distributions
> based on the 2.4 Linux kernel. On newer Linux distributions, additional
> compatibility libraries may need to be installed.

Curious. They should do better than that.

> What are the minimal hardware requirements of Mathematica?
> Mathematica adapts very well to a variety of environments and is capable
> of taking advantage of whatever resources are made available to it. The
> minimum requirements are very small and so Mathematica should be able to
> run on any of the supported platforms.
> Mathematica requires very little memory to start up, but once you start
> performing large calculations, the memory requirements can grow quickly.
> The exact memory requirements cannot be provided since it depends on the
> problem being tackled. Simple calculations require very little memory,
> but large calculations such as large matrix operations and graphics may
> require more. Keep the problem to be solved in mind when choosing a
> computer on which to install Mathematica.
> The following table represents a good place to start for beginning
> calculations in Mathematica and should allow small- to medium-sized
> calculations to be carried out without any problems.
>     Download Size      500 MB*
>     Minimum Memory Requirement 256 MB
>     Recommended Memory 512 MB or greater
>     Hard Drive 3.0 GB*
> Please note that the required hard drive space reduces to 1.5* GB if you
> delete the downloaded installer and the copy that the installer creates
> of itself in /Wolfram Research/Downloads after you have successfully
> installed Mathematica to your machine.
> Most computers purchased today easily meet these requirements so minimum
> system requirements should not be a concern in most cases.
> * Size requirements vary from one file system to another.
> <<<
> It is commercial software though, and so you're not likely to ever find
> it on the Activities page.
> What are the minimal hardware requirements of Mathematica?
> Great software, but I'd say it plays to an audience older than OLPC's
> target. Also, at Wolfram's price of $140 for a student license, it's
> likely to be way out of the price league for the typical OLPC target.
> The original version ran on 16MHz 68020 Macs with a math coprocessor. It
> would be interesting to explore if Wolfram would be willing to allow a
> free or low-price version based on an earlier version of the software.

I'll check, and ask whether they would be willing to GPL and Sugarize
an earlier version.

> Bob
> _______________________________________________
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
> http://lists.sugarlabs.org/listinfo/iaep

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