February 28, 2007

Graphing Calculator 4 preview

If you are currently actively using Graphing Calculator version 3.5 for Mac OS X and would like to preview a preliminary build of version 4, please read this.

November 08, 2006

Big screens

The visual interface to GC is designed to focus attention on the math with a minimum of distracting window dressing. The graph and equations are in the same window to keep them tightly coupled in the users mind, that they are both just different representations of the same underlying objects. Now that wide monitors are common for viewing DVDs, I've added the option shown below to make better use of space with wide but short windows.


It needs a better descriptive name for the preference, though. Anyone have any suggestions?

November 07, 2006

Discontinuous functions and C++0x

On the Graphing Calculator Users List, David Craig pointed out an interesting bug.

"A formula for a conic section in polar coordinates is r=A/(1+Ecos&theta) where A and E are constants. E is the eccentricity. When E is increased past one so that the section is hyperbolic, GC 'crosses' the hyperbola. This is distracting."



The bug occurs because GC samples the function at discrete points and connects them with line segments. Where the denominator goes to zero, the function is not continuous, but GC does not notice and blithely connects points sampled on separate branches of the hyperbola.

Continue reading "Discontinuous functions and C++0x" »

August 08, 2006

Breaking into Apple

Larry Osterman comments on The Graphing Calculator Story

It's an "interesting" story, and I have to say that I was aghast when I read it.  And my jaw dropped even further when I read the Digg comments about it....

For some reason, the people reading the story actually thought it was COOL!

Now think about it.  These people were so dedicated to their product that they were willing to BREAK THE LAW to get it into Apple's OS....

Apple CANCELED their project. Apple made an executive decision to not produce the product.

And the developers decided to override it by BREAKING INTO APPLE.

There are a bazillion other ways they could have handled it: Building it on their own and trying to convince Apple to put it in the product, etc.  But no, they chose to STEAL from Apple.  And the policies of Apple were sufficiently lax that they let them get away with it.

The discussion going on the comments on Larry's blog is a fascinating consideration of the ethics of the situation. I find myself largely sympathetic to his reaction. He is not wrong.

Continue reading "Breaking into Apple" »