Computable Document Format

Many of the documents in the archive (over 5000 files) are in the “.nb” format of the Mathematica program, the flagship software product of Wolfram Research. Kurenniemi was interested in the ideas of Stephen Wolfram. Wolfram, a physicist turned cosmologist, is fascinated by simple structures and rule systems can generate complexity in nature. Mathematica is a kind of mathematician’s sketchbook, a free-form notebook where equations can be entered and then executed like a computer program. While the software is proprietary (and relatively expensive to purchase depending on your use), there is a free (as in freeware) CDF Player.

Checking the archive for .nb or .cdf format files revealed that Kurenniemi made much use of Mathematica for making all kinds of records, the find command returns 5104 .nb files (possibly including duplicated files).

A glimpse through Kurenniemi’s mathematica files (some “demo”/example files authored by others and some clearly created by himself) seem to cross many aspects of his life from
mathematica interests:
./Kurenniemi/CD_archive/arkisto_QRZB/Function automata/Function automata 7L.nb
research questions:
./Kurenniemi/Homecomputer/-Work/-Theory/RCA/RCA97/Digital Spacetime/DS1.nb
music / DIMI:
./Kurenniemi/CD_archive/QRZB030610/Music/Dimi/Dimi 3.nb
personal relations:
./Kurenniemi/CD_archive/ME/naiset01/Anne/Anne at her best 1.nb

Looking at the files, it seems that Kurenniemi used the program simply as a structured noteook and outliner, cataloging his collected notes from a lecture, or cataloging a collection of images of a lover. Kurenniemi also seemed to cut and paste material (from the web?) as a means of archiving interesting material. From the CDFPlayer application, there seems to be no export formats, other than indirectly by printing, then saving this as a PDF file. Fortunately, looking at the “raw” files reveals that they are generally speaking simple text files, with minimal structural markup.

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