Scientific American CD: BE CAREFUL


 

BE CAREFUL before you buy this.

 

I bought an original Scientific American Amateur Scientist CD from Scientific American when it first came out and it has never worked. It still doesn’t work. There is a bug in the program. I do not know what the Surplus Shed is selling but if it is what I have it is useless.

 

As a former Microsoft employee I can definitely confirm the problem is not with something I was doing, the various PCs I tried it or, or the numerous versions of Windows I tried it with. It is browser based so I also tried it with several different brands of browsers.

 

I tried it again tonight. Now Java insists it can’t be trusted and will not open the home page (home.html) or home.exe. I doubt the Amateur Scientist application has anything to do with Java but I get the same error in IE and Chrome. I am able to manually click my way down the directory structure to a specific month in a specific year and run individual html pages but some of the graphics are place holders in the article that comes up and you have to view them separately in your web browser.

 

IIRC it was $49.95 when it came out. I can indeed confirm that Amazon Book Sellers are asking $200 and more for it. Is it worth $20? I would ask the Surplus Shed to confirm their version works (and exactly what environment they used), then decide. If it works then it is probably worth $20. If it doesn’t work then you decide for yourself what the hassle is going to be worth to get to an article in a do-it-yourself fashion.

 

For the record I have had a subscription to SciAm from 1956 to 2011. I stopped subscribing 2 years ago when it became no better than Popular Science. I should have stopped wasting my money 5 years earlier but I kept hoping it would turn around. John Rennie, presided over its disasterous decline and did irreversible harm to a venerable institution. I’m sure he doesn’t deserve all the credit, others must be to blame as well.

 

Dennis Tillman

 

PS: I would appreciate someone passing this along to the HP_Agilent_equipment group after confirming this CD has a major flaw as I described.

 

 

From: Of Daniel Koller, Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 1:37 PM
To: hp_agilent_equipment@...; TekScopes@...
Subject: [TekScopes] Re: [hp_agilent_equipment] Re: Lightning Track Scope

 

  On the other hand, I thought folks here might be interested in the following link to a discounted copy of the Scientific American Amateur Scientist CD, which is available at Surplus Shed.  The CD has its limitations, in format mainly, but it is a complete collection.  I've seen it recently for $200 on Amazon (used, as it is discontinued), but it's really not worth that much in my opinion.  $20 however, is a good deal, and I would like to see Surplus Shed (no affiliation) stay in business.

 

  Dan

 

(I don't know why it doesn't point directly to Surplus Shed, but it does appear to be an on-line link to the current deals there).

 

 

On Tuesday, September 10, 2013 5:33 AM, William <willard561@...> wrote:

 

The display is kind of like the Lear Omniscope Bill Lear developed in the late 50's. It used a CRT to display the bearing to the VOR, if there was no signal it displayed a round circle. When it dot a signal from a VOR the radial/bearing to the VOR was a pip to the outside of the circle, and it's length depended on the signal strength.
Bill Higdon


--- In hp_agilent_equipment@..., David Byrne <kapnkid1977@...> wrote:
>
> For those curious about the subject. I hope the attached file schematic comes through.


>

 





David DiGiacomo
 


On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 8:11 PM, Dennis Tillman <dennis@...> wrote:
I bought an original Scientific American Amateur Scientist CD from Scientific American when it first came out and it has never worked. It still doesn’t work. There is a bug in the program. I do not know what the Surplus Shed is selling but if it is what I have it is useless.


It appears that worst-case, you would have to edit the top level index.htm file.  Dennis, could you give this a try?


 

On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 4:11 AM, Dennis Tillman <dennis@...> wrote:

As a former Microsoft employee (...) the numerous versions of Windows I tried it with
DOS-based windows (95-Me) ignored case in paths. That's why it worked there.

What Windows version does the CD jewel case say it's compatible with?

D.


Don Black <donald_black@...>
 

Hi Dennis,
                    I bought this CD a little while ago but just opened it now (in sealed wrap). I found it couldn't find the file path when I tried to run the Open 1st_windows.exe file but when I right clicked on the home.html file and opened it with Firefox it came straight up and a test search for vacuum found lots of links that seem to run fine. Perhaps more use will throw up some problems but it seems OK so far.
I tried running the supplied search engine but couldn't get it to open, it seemed to flash up some DOS panel for a split second, that's all. However Firefox seems fine.
I just tried opening it in IE8 and while it took a while did open. however I'm having problems with my IE at present and it might normally open quickly. A bit clunky but seems to work. I'll try it later in Linux when I get it set up.
I copied it from CD to Hard drive and it now seems to open OK from 1st+windows.exe .

Don Black.
PS anyone able to try it on a mac?

On 21-Nov-13 2:11 PM, Dennis Tillman wrote:
 

BE CAREFUL before you buy this.

 

I bought an original Scientific American Amateur Scientist CD from Scientific American when it first came out and it has never worked. It still doesn’t work. There is a bug in the program. I do not know what the Surplus Shed is selling but if it is what I have it is useless.

 

As a former Microsoft employee I can definitely confirm the problem is not with something I was doing, the various PCs I tried it or, or the numerous versions of Windows I tried it with. It is browser based so I also tried it with several different brands of browsers.

 

I tried it again tonight. Now Java insists it can’t be trusted and will not open the home page (home.html) or home.exe. I doubt the Amateur Scientist application has anything to do with Java but I get the same error in IE and Chrome. I am able to manually click my way down the directory structure to a specific month in a specific year and run individual html pages but some of the graphics are place holders in the article that comes up and you have to view them separately in your web browser.

 

IIRC it was $49.95 when it came out. I can indeed confirm that Amazon Book Sellers are asking $200 and more for it. Is it worth $20? I would ask the Surplus Shed to confirm their version works (and exactly what environment they used), then decide. If it works then it is probably worth $20. If it doesn’t work then you decide for yourself what the hassle is going to be worth to get to an article in a do-it-yourself fashion.

 

For the record I have had a subscription to SciAm from 1956 to 2011. I stopped subscribing 2 years ago when it became no better than Popular Science. I should have stopped wasting my money 5 years earlier but I kept hoping it would turn around. John Rennie, presided over its disasterous decline and did irreversible harm to a venerable institution. I’m sure he doesn’t deserve all the credit, others must be to blame as well.

 

Dennis Tillman

 

PS: I would appreciate someone passing this along to the HP_Agilent_equipment group after confirming this CD has a major flaw as I described.

 

 

From: Of Daniel Koller, Sent: Wednesday, November 20, 2013 1:37 PM
To: hp_agilent_equipment@...; TekScopes@...
Subject: [TekScopes] Re: [hp_agilent_equipment] Re: Lightning Track Scope

 

  On the other hand, I thought folks here might be interested in the following link to a discounted copy of the Scientific American Amateur Scientist CD, which is available at Surplus Shed.  The CD has its limitations, in format mainly, but it is a complete collection.  I've seen it recently for $200 on Amazon (used, as it is discontinued), but it's really not worth that much in my opinion.  $20 however, is a good deal, and I would like to see Surplus Shed (no affiliation) stay in business.

 

  Dan

 

(I don't know why it doesn't point directly to Surplus Shed, but it does appear to be an on-line link to the current deals there).

 

 

On Tuesday, September 10, 2013 5:33 AM, William <willard561@...> wrote:

 

The display is kind of like the Lear Omniscope Bill Lear developed in the late 50's. It used a CRT to display the bearing to the VOR, if there was no signal it displayed a round circle. When it dot a signal from a VOR the radial/bearing to the VOR was a pip to the outside of the circle, and it's length depended on the signal strength.
Bill Higdon


--- In hp_agilent_equipment@..., David Byrne <kapnkid1977@...> wrote:
>
> For those curious about the subject. I hope the attached file schematic comes through.


>

 








This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.



Don Black <donald_black@...>
 

I ran it on Windows XP SP3.

Don Black.

On 21-Nov-13 11:10 PM, cheater00 . wrote:
 

On Thu, Nov 21, 2013 at 4:11 AM, Dennis Tillman wrote:
>
> As a former Microsoft employee (...) the numerous versions of Windows I tried it with

DOS-based windows (95-Me) ignored case in paths. That's why it worked there.

What Windows version does the CD jewel case say it's compatible with?

D.





This email is free from viruses and malware because avast! Antivirus protection is active.



 

The version of Windows shouldn't matter since it is all HTML.
The CD is Copyrighted (C) 2000.
They made it browser based so it could work on a MAC or a PC.

As I reported in my follow up post (Wed 11/20/2013 9:28 PM, Scientific
American CD: BE CAREFUL; Windows Solution) the developers made a pretty
amateur mistake that caused all the trouble: they were not consistent in the
capitalization of the paths the indices were located in. They also couldn't
spell the plural of index properly - its indices, not indecies.

Dennis Tillman

-----Original Message-----
From: cheater00 ., Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 4:10 AM

<snip>
What Windows version does the CD jewel case say it's compatible with?

D.


 

On Fri, Nov 22, 2013 at 3:03 AM, Dennis Tillman <dennis@...> wrote:
The version of Windows shouldn't matter since it is all HTML.
That HTML is served from a file system, which is part of Windows. It
plays an important role in the functioning of the whole system.

Cheers,
D.