Chapter 0: General Notes

Section 0: General Notes

Computer experiments

Essentially all the computer experiments for this book were done using Mathematica running on a standard workstation-class computer, and later PC (initially on a 33 MHz NeXTstation, then on a 100 MHz HP 700 running NeXTSTEP, then on a 200 MHz P6 PC running Windows 95, and finally on 450 MHz, 700 MHz and faster PCs running Windows 95, and later Windows NT—with a Linux fileserver). For some larger searches earlier in the project, I wrote special-purpose C programs connected to Mathematica via MathLink. (Increasing computer speed and greater efficiency in successive versions of Mathematica have gradually almost eliminated my use of C.) In some cases I have run programs for many days or weeks, sometimes distributed via MathLink across a few hundred computers in my company's network. So far in my life the primary computer hardware systems I have used have been: Elliott 903 (1973-6); IBM 370 (1976-8); CDC 7600 (1978-9); VAX 11/780 (1980-2); Sun-1, 2, Ridge 32 (1982-4); CM-1 (1985); Sun-3 (1985-8); SPARC (1988-91); NeXT (1991-4); HP 700 (1995-6); PC (1996- ). The primary languages have been: assembler (1973-6); Fortran (1976-9); C (1979-~1994); SMP (1980-6); Mathematica (1987- ). (See also page 899.)

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From Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science [citation]