Stephen Wolfram Q&A

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Some collected questions and answers by Stephen Wolfram

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August 17, 2010

From: Interview by Uses This

What software do you use?

By far my #1 tool is Mathematica. Which, of course, I built so I could have it to use! These days I use it not just to compute, but also to keep notes, to create presentations, and to do all sorts of other things. Partly, I figure that the more I actually use Mathematica, the better we’ll make it work. But most of the time it just works really well… and I’m left wondering, “How on earth would anyone do this stuff without Mathematica?”

I get to use a lot of software that “doesn’t yet exist”. I get several branch builds of future Mathematicas installed on my machines every day. I use both the current Wolfram|Alpha, and versions running on our hierarchy of development and test systems. (Rather often, I’m using versions of Wolfram|Alpha that are less than an hour old.)

These days I use Firefox as my primary browser, Adobe Connect for webconferencing, ShoreTel for telephony (I’m a stickler for audio quality), and a horrific calendar system that I’ve been trying to get us to replace for ages. Within our company, we’ve built lots of custom internal utilities, often based on Mathematica and webMathematica. I’ve also had systems built for me personally. One of the more important is my archiving and searching system, which includes 25 years of email (and 20 years of keystroke data), as well as searchable scans of all my archived paper documents.

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