2021-03-28 02:28:13 UTC
Edinburgh invented a twist of the abacus, the Napier Bones.
With a set of 10 square bones (or rods) of wood engraved with a system
of numbers and enclosed in a carrying case complex calculations
(especially multiplication and division) could be done in a fast and
reliable way .
In another effort to simplify computing Napier later discovered the
logarithmic function immediately being tabulated by the Oxford
mathematician Henry Briggs and further refined by the London professor
Gûnther in many types of sliding rulers (e.g. for calculating projectile
Napiers discovery was something of a leap and Briggs to Napier expressed
his astonishment - ”why nobody else found it out before, when, now being
known, it appears so easy”.
Tables and sliding rulers now ruled (sic!) among architects, engineers
and in latin-schools until numeric, even programmable calculators became
reasonable in the mid 1970's (say half of a students monthly expenses :)).
Symboloc math (read calculus) still had to be done by hand for another
decade until calculators type the TI89 entered the market, able to
integrate and solve differential equations.
And now in 2021 we are offered powerful Computer Algebra Systems for
free, where e.g. Xcas/Giac (1.7) run beautiful on classic 32bit Slackware.
It is written by the french mathematician M. Bernard Parisse and M.
Renee De Graeve is author of an English 1000 page manual.For 32 bit
Xcas/Giac must be compiled from source according to the "Install" advisory.
Personal comments is: math apps. need the basic 100Mb TeXLive
SlackBuild. The present PARI build and installs fine, MFPR and MPFI do
it as well, the FLTK SlackBuild is great, for speedy computation
Atlas3.8, Lapack3.6 and BLAS3.6 is installed on my system, ntl-10.5.0
was configured with $ ./configure NTL_GMP_LIP=on, and static libraries
(libclicquer.a and libnauty.a) was build from compiled .o files with the
ar command (e.g ar res libnauty.a *.o) and copied to usr/local/lib. The
corresponding header files had to be copied to directories
/usr/local/include/nauty respectively /usr/local/include/clicquer.
In the end ranlib (indexing) must be applied to the static libraries,
and ldconfig executed to make Slackware reckognize the new libraries.
Well - an evenings work - and centuries of collected mathematical
knowledge to explore at your fingertips!