Nopecraft - was Re: OT: learner kits

Tapley, Mark mtapley at
Sun Jun 21 19:01:52 CDT 2015

Christian et al,
	sorry for the somewhat off-topicness:

On Jun 21, 2015, at 5:56 PM, Christian Gauger-Cosgrove <captainkirk359 at> wrote:

> The RPi comes with a free full version of Mathematica? That intrigues
> me; I've never used it before but I hear it's similar to MAPLE? (Then
> again in terms of CAS's I'm quite happy with the one on my TI-89
> Titanium.)

I believe the version of Mathematica is a full version. It did not come bundled, but here’s the Wolfram page describing it and pointing to the Raspberry Pi foundation (but not to the correct link for downloading mathematica):

Our Raspberry Pi came with a flash card containing NOOBS, which allowed us to download and install our choice of several operating systems. We chose Raspbian, then downloaded and installed Mathematica. We solved a pretty small amount of trouble getting the icons to show up on the desktop, then I downloaded my largest and most complex Mathematica notebook which ran (well, crawled) without modification.

Hm, on investigating, I think it actually is included in Raspbian now. If not,

may help.

FWIW, Beaglebone Black is rumored to have a Mathematica port in the works:

Mathematica is similar to Maple from what I hear. I have not used Maple, though.
In addition to the TI CAS’s you are familiar with, here is another option:

Free, runs on Windows/Linux/Mac/Android and source is available. I have tested briefly on my Mac OS X.9.5 and on my Moto X cellphone on Androiod 4.2, no problems so far. Likely not as powerful as Mathematica, but certainly has many of the same building blocks, so if you want to test computer-based CAS with little cost/hardware investment, this might be useful.

> The mod that does FORTH on a 6502 is a bit dead. Right now the "best"
> you can get is Lua. Yo uneed an obsolte version of MineCraft to use
> old RedPower 2 (which has the 6502 and FORTH interpreter). I think
> V1.4.6?

Hm. Lua is still interesting. Will also has a TI-Nspire calculator which will run Lua as well as its own CAS system. That might be a really neat tie-in.

(Back on topic)

> Have you tried setting him at a PDP-8 or PDP-11 simulator yet? Much
> more productive than Minecraft, and if you can find a simulator that
> also simulates a front panel…

Sounds fun, but I’m a bit nervous about putting in that effort if it attracts him no more than Cardiac in Java did. But I’ll keep the suggestion in mind! I do have a pair of TRS-80  Color Computers and an assembly language cartridge; he showed not much interest there, so I’m not confident the PDP simulations would do much better.

												- Mark

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