Foreword. About the number in the title of the book

What can be added to forewords of the previous books (see

http://twt.mpei.ac.ru/ochkov/mc8Pro.book/FOREWORD3.htm

http://twt.mpei.ac.ru/ochkov/mc8Pro.book/FOREWORD2.htm

http://twt.mpei.ac.ru/ochkov/mc8Pro.book/FOREWORD1.htm ).

A suggestion was to title the book Mathcad for Dummies. But that was rejected for two reasons, formal and real. Title Mathcad for Dummies is a trademark of publishing houses John Wiley & Sons (www.wiley.com) and (in Russian version) Dialektika (www.dialektika.com). The real reason − such title as this is not quite right for the mathematical tool. On the contrary, Word, Internet or Excel as well as Windows: to use those even dummy parts is impossible without studying dummy bases of Windows. Moreover, Mathcad for Quick-Witted fits the book better as it was written for users who not only solve technical or educational problems but also like intellectual games. Somebody completes a level in a shooter, the other solves a sophisticated problem in Mathcad, discovers new features concealed even from developers. Besides, title for Students and Engineers can be considered unregistered (for the present moment) trademark of the author.

Author wanted to title the book simply Mathcad for Students and Engineers, without mentioning number of the version but the publisher altered it as he cares about marketing more. Author agreed with that because he tested all the beta-releases of Mathcad 12 and knows the program from within. It is disappoint that new Mathcad releases are produced very often and the book with number of release in the title has no time to be published and appears at one time with next version or even later. In that case, the number of version works against commercial success of the book. Author hopes that the book will not be usual shine of extinguished star. Frankly speaking, it is not connected closely to Mathcad 12 but directed to general Mathcad values.

What is about Mathcad 12?

At first, what force the creators to issue new versions and users to buy it?

The main reason for creators is to earn an income − they work in trading companies not in charitable foundations. The other reasons are:

        To adapt a new version for changes in hardware and software which have took place or just about to come.

        To rectify revealed mistakes and revise the current version.

        To add capabilities by creating new functions, operators and menu commands and to integrate greatly with other applications.

And what force users to buy new versions of a program or to make upgrades to that current? The reasons are the same as listed before except for the first one. But some new are added.

        The reasons followed from well-known principle: not to be worse than the others.

        To use somebody elses files created in a new format.

        An ordinary curiosity, wish to test new features of the release to tell the students about it (if you are an educator).

A reader can analyze the new features of Mathcad 12 using above-stated or his own model. It is listed below:

1.      New Engine (stability, reliability)

2.      Saved results

3.      New graph formatting options

4.      Secondary y-axis

5.      XMCD (XML) file format

6.      Worksheet properties (metadata for the document)

7.      Compressed images

8.      New and improved documentation

9.      Enhanced functions

10.  Namespace operator

11.  Setting preferred units for simplification

12.  Local functions

13.  Re-introduced until function

This book is not a user guide of the twelfth version of Mathcad although all it improvements are considered. New features of versions 2000, 2001 and 11 are discussed too as the author have had to jump over it. Mathsoft Company release so-called Mathcad Application Server to transport calculations from workstations to the servers. This modern tendency of information technology is considered in chapter seven.

The author extends circle of the people to thank for their help in creation of the book. The author expresses sincere thanks to Julia Chudova, Mona Zeftel, Beth Porter and Thomas Christoffersen.

November 2004

(Editing by Stuart Bruff stuart@stuartafbruff.flyer.co.uk )