On 4/23/2021 4:05 AM, ClutterFreak wrote:
> In a usenet forum that people interested in physics frequent, a few
> tools should be available. One is of course ability to type text and
> show that text to others. But discussing physics is more than typing
> poetry for each other or writing anecdotes and reminiscences from
> decades earlier. Or worse, throwing links at each other, which
> essentially shoots the reader out of the discussion and into somewhere
> else on the wide world of internet. I think this lack of additional
> tools that physics discussions need has eventually caused those who knew
> some physics and had interest in it to gradually leave, and the forum be
> left filled with idle talk or wacky nonsense and pure crap. If you can't
> effectively talk physics, crap will eventually replace it.
> Tools we need:
> 1- We need to have an easy way to type clearly readable formulas and
> math in general for each other, using familiar notations. Without it no
> discussion of physics would go beyond unproven nonsense blabber.
> Do you guys remember Mathcad 2 ? It worked on DOS OS and out of what was
> available on your funky screen of those years it could create and depict
> sufficiently readable and convenient formulas for any discussion or
> explanation of a physics problem and/or concept. Couldn't someone
> implement that capability in usenet messages? The software, by the way,
> is now free to download from internet. Is considered freeware (back in
> late 1980s I paid more than $200 for a 2nd hand copy of it plus a manual).
> 2- We need to show graphs to each other. Writing math and physics
> equations doesn't do all the job. Visual checking of results are often
> needed. Both 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional graphs.
> Mathcad 2 did that also nicely. It could even solve many equations for
> us itself. Even some differential equations. And it created the graphs
> to show results in a nice visual way using what little was available on
> monitors of those years. I think there should be a way to include this
> capability inside usenet messages, so message be sent along the
> necessary information added by Mathcad, then when message is downloaded
> by readers, their newsreaders would show the message as well as using
> the Mathcad additional information accompanying the message to create
> identical results on readers' screen. All that's required seems to me is
> a newsreader that has Mathcad 2 built into it.
> Can't this be done? I mean after all these decades, why someone hasn't
> taken the trouble of creating a newsreader that has the free Mathcad 2
> built into it? Should the entire usenet just blabber texts and nothing
> else? If it started by military's money, why should it continue like a
> bland limited military tool of some sort? Decades after decades!
> 3- We need a way to show pictures! How can one discuss physics without
> showing a picture of something?? This ability should also be built into
> the right newsreader.
> 4- Often we need to show animation of movements and changes in
> configuration of something in our physics messages. And sometimes clips
> of videos. I think this ability should also be built into the newsreader.
> To close this talk, we need a "physics newsreader" to become available
> that can bring its Mathcad 2 up and let the user create all the texts,
> formulas, equations, and graphs that he needs, then add to it any
> animations, pictures, and/or videos that helps, then convert the whole
> package into a file that news-servers around the world can handle just
> like text; and vice versa, receive the news server messages and convert
> them to what Mathcad and other features in the newsreader can process
> for the reader. Is it asking too much? No. Does that newsreader turn all
> scientific newsgroups alive, active, informative, and fruitful? Yes. Can
> schools and universities put it into good use? Absolutely.
> Clutterfreak Incarnate
The only free version is Mathcad 2, the DOS version. You can get it
together with anything DOS you'll ever
need. I remember it worked fast on DOS machines, but when you use it
inside a virtual DOS environment on your win10 it slows down
considerably. But still usable for casual inquiries and even light
computations. It's just a jewel of a software, kudos to those forgotten
fine old men up there in MA.
Using it requires a period of learning. That's why its users manual was
I think %90 of the price of the package (even in a consignment 2nd hand
store) back in late 1980s. But a physics major does it in a jiffy before
enjoying the heck out of the software.
I don't want to get a DOS machine again just for that although the
thought of it is tempting. Better perhaps to blow some of the earned
dogecoin money and get the current version! Mathcad Prime 7. On dogecoin
I'm already up about $2500, but this last version could be way more
expensive than that!
They have divided Mathcad versatility and power into many separate
libraries, sold separately, I think about $600 each. Each library deals
with a specific area of physics. This might suit "engineers" who stick
their heads into their own asses and stay there happy for the rest of
their lives, but might not be a good development for physics majors.
Especially the free spirited ones playing with it for personal reasons
and inquiries and as a hobby.
That jewel of a software, mathcad 2.5 for DOS, light yet comprehensive,
everything in one, might work well enough for a hobbyist. But requires a
fast DOS machine. Yet one more computer. So I'm undecided.