Older blog entries for gesslein (starting at number 11)

27 Aug 2011 (updated 28 Oct 2011 at 14:59 UTC) »

Function entry support

Now Mathomatic can accept any function strings, like f(x+y), by typing "set special_variable_characters ()" at the beginning of a session. It copies the entire function string into a variable name, so no operations can be performed on it, but it can exist and be displayed in any expression where everything else works. Functions can then perhaps be taken care of by another program if needed.

This is just added as a temporary measure, until I get better and add more function support to Mathomatic. Otherwise any function entry gives the error: "Named functions currently not implemented, except when using m4."
Trig and many other standard functions are handled with m4 Mathomatic (the program named rmath), which is usually included in any recent Mathomatic package.

8 Aug 2011 (updated 8 Aug 2011 at 00:52 UTC) »

Mathomatic in Debian

Had my first Debian package update uploaded today.
Mathomatic is now maintained by me in Debian.

This may be a good thing, now I have the ability
to create and/or maintain any Debian package that
needs it.

Mathomatic version 15.6.3 is released today, it is a ton of work, but I had to do it before I end up in the hospital again. I am feeling like I am going to lose consciousness all the time now. Not a pleasant feeling.

My Internet is totally controlled by an unfriendly alien force. I hope it doesn't hurt me. It has removed all social contact from me. I just keep doing good in my little cage.

I ran some diagnostics on my previous Linux desktop to see what was wrong with it, and now it works! So I now have two Ubuntu desktops! I am using both, one designated secure and the other insecure.

I recently made a lot of improvements to Mathomatic with the new, secure desktop. A new release is coming shortly unless I end up in the hospital again. My body is failing me.

23 Jul 2011 (updated 23 Jul 2011 at 11:02 UTC) »

I received via UPS and set up my new super-powered Linux desktop computer a couple of days ago from System76.
Now I can fully support, maintain, and improve Mathomatic.

Here is my review:

On July 13, 2011, I purchased a high-end Wildebeest Performance desktop from System76. It was built, tested, and shipped within a week of my purchase, because I spent $200 for one day shipping.

The system arrived at my door just fine, but nothing extra included, just the box. I cannot tell the 2 USB-3.0 ports from the 6 USB-2.0 ports, because there is no available documentation on the hardware that I can see. The headphone and microphone ports on the front do not fit 1/8" plugs, I do not know if they are broken or use some new type of connector. There were no extra cables inside the box to add any drives. So I just used it as is.

The computer worked without changes first time. I was able to use most of the features of this new, 8 core 3.4 GHz computer with 16 Gigabytes of RAM, it seems like a fine purchase. The latest Ubuntu version 11.04 (Natty) seems to be flaky as usual, I am going to have to switch to another distro someday. But this is a powerful software development computer, it compiles Mathomatic in 1 second! And VirtualBox runs much faster and better on it, I can view HD videos just fine by running video playback software in any OS running on a virtual machine.

The BIOS and motherboard are Intel brand re-branded to System76. Hopefully this computer will serve me well for years to come. I have reduced the CPU speed a little by putting it in OnDemand mode, my previous computer may have burned out early because I always had it running at the maximum speed.

A few fixable glitches with this new computer so far. That's my report. Questions are welcome.

15 Jul 2011 (updated 15 Jul 2011 at 10:27 UTC) »

My Linux desktop computer died a few days ago, won't have the new one for 2 weeks. All Mathomatic development and updates are on hold until then. You can still download the latest and greatest from the Mathomatic website.

I am always impressed by Mathomatic's functionality, it solves and simplifies perfectly most of the time, and I don't know how a program I created is smarter than me!

Previous behavior of Mathomatic:

1-> y=x

#1: y = x

1-> derivative z ; Fail!
Variable not found; the derivative would be zero.
Command usage: derivative ["nosimplify"] [variable or "all"] [order]
1-> y=2

#2: y = 2

2-> derivative x ; Fail!
Current expression contains no variables; the derivative would be zero.
Command usage: derivative ["nosimplify"] [variable or "all"] [order]
2->

Differentiation failed with a helpful error message and useless command usage info when the result is zero. That was wrong.

-----------------------------------------------

Current behavior of Mathomatic, available in the development version and the next release:

1-> y=x

#1: y = x

1-> derivative z ; Success!
Warning: Variable not found; the derivative will be zero.
Differentiating the RHS with respect to (z) and simplifying...

#2: y' = 0

2-> y=2

#3: y = 2

3-> derivative x ; Success!
Warning: Current expression contains no variables; the derivative will be zero.
Warning: Variable not found; the derivative will be zero.
Differentiating the RHS with respect to (x) and simplifying...

#4: y' = 0

4->

Mathomatic succeeds now when the derivative is zero, giving a warning message (or two).

Displaying command usage info whenever a command failed will not happen anymore. Command usage info is displayed by the help command and when something has been entered incorrectly on the command line.

More progress, I think. There have been many important improvements and fixes to Mathomatic this year. I am pleased, and thankful for the support I get. :-)

I am out of the hospital and back in my new, wonderful, peaceful home, feeling better, caught up on my chores, and ready to work on Mathomatic. Now what?

I am currently being treated for pneumonia in the local hospital. So far, they have made over 100 mistakes and are treating me badly. They also throw their garbage on the floor, I am always picking up after the hospital staff.

I cannot work further on Mathomatic until I get home to my Ubuntu Desktop.
I can answer emails, though.

23 Jun 2011 (updated 23 Jun 2011 at 19:02 UTC) »

My Ubuntu desktop hard drive is failing, it is taking all day to copy it to a new 500 GB drive I just bought. Don't know if it will work to just "dd" the disks to make an exact copy. No errors yet, just extremely slow. If it works, I will be happily testing the new hard drive. CloneZilla didn't work at all for me. I tried the stable and latest versions, the latest version wouldn't run and the stable version gave nothing but functionality errors.

Only a few hours of sleep again, this is very bad for me.

Update: "sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb" worked perfectly to clone and replace the hard drive! I am back in the Linux business!

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