October 12th, 2004

krazy koati

Together in electric dreams

Ooh, so, the faculty is determining how many of which software licenses they need. The list of possible programs -- most with OS X versions installable on my own personal computer -- include some that are obviously useful, for me, like Matlab, Mathematica, and Maple.

Matlab is a nifty numerical computations program, including great tools for generating pretty pictures. Mathematica and Maple are symbolic mathematics programs capable of doing high school and undergraduate mathematics problems. Mathematica is the brainchild of slightly mad scientist Stephen Wolfram, who thinks he's overthrown all science for some John Conway Life-style computer games. Tch. If you accept his user-interface concepts it fits together elegantly. Maple was designed by chance, so its syntax has no end of anomalies, but it copes better with odd demands from the user, which (going against type) I make often.

They also offer programs harder to justify requesting -- Photoshop, notably. The times I need to use it for work-related purposes are rare, but do exist ... so is it fair to ask for it?

By the way, have the Atlanta Braves choked yet? Baseball's not much covered here.

Trivia: The Saint Paul Winter Carnival began in 1886 as response to an Easterner's description of the city as ``another Siberia''. Source: ``A Tale Of Twin Cities: Minneapolis and Saint Paul,'' Thomas Abercombie, National Geographic November 1980.

Currently Reading: The Riddle and the Knight: In Search of Sir John Mandeville, Giles Milton.