Per Christensen

2021-03-28 02:28:13 UTC

In 1617 the Scottish nobleman and hobby mathematician John Napier of

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

trajectories).

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!

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

trajectories).

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!