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Comment Re: Missing the point a bit? (Score 1) 121

If you're really only doing symbolic algebra, there's very little mathematica can do that isn't commonly available as free software. This seems more like a solution looking for a problem. Even if this were necessary for some reason, you could locally emulate an ARM machine with qemu; it's not like mathematica can magically detect whether it's really running on a raspberry pi. (This would violate the license, but otoh, as it currently stands, running raspberry pi mathematica on a pi zero also violates the license.)

But really, one should probably either learn how to use Sage or fork out the $240 for a stand-alone mathematica license (or download it from a premier educational institution like The Pirate Bay).

Comment Re:Missing the point a bit? (Score 3, Interesting) 121

i'm really curious about what could possibly be the use case for this. it seems like a giant pain-in-the-ass way to do symbolic algebra, so i'm trying to figure it out. apparently you need to regularly perform symbolic derivations which mma can do, but the free alternatives (octave, sage, etc.) cannot; however, your uptime and latency requirements are low enough that you are willing to deal with a duct-tape ssh solution. i really have no idea why anyone would want to do this. care to enlighten me?

Comment Re:Everyone gets to keep what they bought? (Score 1) 61

Yes, they do "get to keep what they bought". Some of these things are significantly less useful without the service they subscribed to, but it is hard to say what the actual damage of that is, especially since I'm sure it was in the fine print of the EULA that the service could be shut down at any time with no implied liability. iTunes will start supporting the devices eventually, at least for long and just well enough to stave off a class action suit.

Comment Re:I remember a time... (Score 1) 478

Well, PCs have been well overpowered for most "work" for well over a decade, since most of the "work" done on an average computer is office apps. The past two decades of home computer progress have been mostly for aesthetics (you have to do a lot of computation to get computers to feel responsive and look pretty) and video gaming. Now that the improvements on those fronts are yielding rapidly diminishing returns, and battery technology is picking up, it only makes sense to go for portability.

Numerical computation and programming are pretty rare work. If computers were bought and sold just for that, the market would be far smaller.

Comment Re:The real issue (Score 5, Informative) 363

The curriculum in a math class like this one is rarely determined by the book. Introductory Diff Equ and Linear Algebra haven't changed in, like, 40 years. The topics are always the fucking same, every book covers all of them. Frankly, more variation in topics covered comes from the professor, than from the textbook used.

Your point about seniority is, sadly, correct, but let's not pretend there's a good reason for it. It's just graft and ego-stroking.

btw, Associate Professor is not a low title. In North America, the ranking is usually: Adjunct, Assistant, Associate, Full. Even as a lowly adjunct, I had say in choosing my own textbook; this probably had something to do with the department chair not having written the incumbent textbook. Frankly, to not allow an Associate Professor to select their own textbook is quite insulting to everyone. If they are so incompetent as to not be able to choose their own classroom material, then how the hell did they become an Associate Professor?

Comment Re:The real issue (Score 1) 363

I can't even respect this as an evil scam. The book is published through Pearson-Prentice Hall, which means Goode and Annin are pulling in peanuts in royalties while basically doing all of the dirty work.

If they weren't lazy bastards, they could have just self-published, charged $50, saved their students money, and still gotten out ahead! But no, that would be almost like real work, and would detract from their precious pontificating time. Typical third-tier academics with their heads up their asses.

Some people have a great ambition: to build something that will last, at least until they've finished building it.