Mathematica 1

Shared by: MR
On: 2015-08-12 11:17:13
Updated by: InkBlot
On: 2023-09-15 10:44:24
Rating: 10.00 Clarus out of 10 (1 vote)
Rate it: 12345678910

(There's no video for Mathematica 1 yet. Please contribute to MR and add a video now!)


What is Mathematica 1?

Mathematica is the most impressive single science/engineering application available for the Macintosh. While many of its capabilities, such as equation-solving, symbolic math, and graphing, are available in other applications, no other program currently on the market approaches Mathematica's scope and level of integration. It is, without exaggeration, simply amazing.

It's also not for everyone — this is a serious research product that assumes you are familiar with programming and with mathematics beyond calculus. Mathematica will revolutionize production of Ph.D. theses throughout the sciences, but if you have never heard of the confluent hypergeometric function or tensor analysis, you may not w’ant all the resources of this giant program. And if you own a stock (1-megabyte) Macintosh, you can’t have them anyway, unless you upgrade.

With some exceptions noted below; the Plus and SE are employed mainly as terminals, running Mathematica as a front end in universities and research labs to communicate with a remote computer (a Cray, one hopes). The program was refined on Sun workstations with abundant memory, and it needs a math coprocessor for speed in most contexts, notably graphing. The expected target hardw'are in the Macintosh world is therefore a 4MB Mac II. Nonetheless, the program itself, despite hardware demands, is actually a bargain, providing in one package facilities that would cost thousands of dollars to acquire piecemeal.

The Wide World of Mathematica

Mathematica’s declared aim is to automate all types of mathematical calculation, just as calculators automated arithmetic.

It does this through a special, objectoriented, interpreted computer language that offers dozens of unique features. First, it performs calculations symbolically. Commands operate on algebraic symbol strings, and return algebraic rather than numeric answers ... Second, these algebraic answers can then be evaluated numerically to arbitrary precision. If you want 40 significant figures in a decimal fraction, you can have them. Finally, the language itself apparently includes everything its designer, Stephen Wolfram, has found useful in the course of his meteoric career. It offers the command equivalents of all the capabilities of BASIC and FORTRAN, explicit commands for the special functions of mathematical physics (about 120 of them), LlSP-like commands for list processing, symbolic and numerical matrix manipulation, commands for pattern matching and operations on sets, and a library of plotting and display-control commands ...

The results of these symbolic calculations, taken as objects, can further be manipulated by the command set. In practice this means that four or five well-chosen command lines can correspond to pages of code in a traditional language. The program, for example, contains a surprisingly small set of statistical functions, because most of these can be programmed in one or two lines using other Mathematica commands. You can also expect to spend considerable time getting to this level of language mastery.

After spending a few minutes invoking TrigReduce to simplify trigonometric expressions, or calling up Integrate to solve all the indefinite integrals you don’t remember anymore, or inverting a matrix with polynomial elements, you begin to see the compelling logic behind Mathematica's everything-and-the-kitchen-sink inclusiveness. Using this program, you can analyze any problem that can be formulated symbolically or numerically — every standard tool, and nearly every esoteric one besides, is available to you in convenient, automated form. Mathematica is, as claimed, nothing less than a system for doing mathematics (not just calculation) by computer.

Math on the Mac

Mathematica’s Mac implementation is command-line oriented, and initial setup is fairly clunky. The programming language is also unforgiving and fussy about punctuation and capitalization. The most Maclike features of the program are its use of standard Mac cut-and-paste editing techniques, and hierarchical menus for formatting. Individual calculation elements called Cells are organized into Notebooks (workfiles for a particular problem). Notebooks can contain a mix of calculations, text, and graphics, and the Clipboard allows exchange of material between Notebooks.

It’s easy to organize a logical approach to a research problem in the Notebook scheme, and the developers of Mathematica hope that Notebooks become a standard method for informal communication of research results among mathematicians and scientists.

Mathematica thoughtfully implements PostScript graphics (there's a special provision for designing presentations and posters used in technical meetings) and also supports PICT and bitmapped graphic output. The program features a gigantic online help system; this is a summary of appropriate parts of Wolfram’s text, Mathematica: A System for Doing Mathematics by Computer (Addison-Wesley, 1988), rather than a beginner's how-to guide.

For acceptable speed on numeric calculations of any complexity, this program demands a 68020/68881 combination. On an SE with 2.5MB RAM, it will function properly with an 020/881 accelerator board from Novy, Levco, or Radius (the Radius board, using its own implementation of SANE, gives near-Mac II performance with the Plus/SE version of the program). Mathematica contains its own communications facilities so that its computational core, or keniel, running on more powerful hardware (from Mac IIs through supercomputers), can serve a set of 1MB Macintoshes as interactive terminals.

The Last Word

Mathematica is the ultimate in computing sophistication for Mac science applications, and it calls for sophisticated hardware to match. If you simply want to investigate symbolic computation (approximately through the undergraduate science/engineering level), the new program Milo from DynaComp looks promising and will run on a standard Plus or SE. Likewise, if you need numerical problem-solving and simple graphing, Borland's Eureka can handle a wide range of applications. But if you want a professional computing environment that can handle any task you are likely to encounter, Mathematica is the only choice at present.

Seiter, Charles. (December 1988). Mathematica 1.03. Macworld. (pgs. 174, 176).

Download Mathematica 1 for Mac

(1.1 MiB / 1.15 MB)
System 6.x - Mac OS 9 / compressed w/ Stuffit
200 / 2015-08-12 / 2c5600c8bc5ba43c940ce7ee862acb8eb00d76b6 / /
(370.99 KiB / 379.9 KB)
/ BinHex'd, use Stuffit Expander
15 / 2021-11-12 / 243e5c7d10959e408fb0fc12b290345c5e1d6c73 / /


Motorola 68K

Compatibility notes

Minimum Requirements

  • Macintosh Plus
  • 2.5 MB RAM
  • Hard disk drive

Emulating this? It could probably run under: Mini vMac

To date, Macintosh Repository served 3031101 old Mac files, totaling more than 610349.9GB!
Downloads last 24h = 1337 : 251425.2MB
Last 5000 friend visitors from all around the world come from:
Candy Bar Azul (Mac OS 8)
Let's chat about old Macs!