Evolution of a Computer Application

Tips for Reading this Article

This article is intended to be read in conjunction with a computer application that is accessible on the Internet.

  1. The Groups32 Web page contains instructions for accessing Groups32 via Telnet and also includes some written material. I use this site with students. This way of making software available has the advantage that students can use it at home with any computer or operating system. The instructor can add material during the course. The Telnet version is not programmable. It does not require knowledge of a programming language.

  2. I include with this article, for readers who would like to experiment with programming, a ZIP file containing executable versions of an early (1990) version of the groups program and the current version. These executables will run only under Windows 95 or later.
    1. Groups16 was written in 1990.  I include it for paleontological purposes.
    2. Groups32 is the current version. I have used it in courses in abstract algebra at the undergraduate and beginning graduate level and for REU projects.

Unless you are unusually well endowed with extremely good eyesight and a very large monitor it is neither realistic nor necessary to have both the article and the software visible at the same time. It is enough to have them running in separate windows that you can switch between quickly.

  1. Start the Groups32 software (either via Telnet or using a downloaded version on your own computer). Run the software in a large window.

  2. Start the article (using Adobe Reader for the PDF version or your favorite browser for the HTML version) in a separate large window.

    The PDF version of the article is intended to be read without scrolling. Its pages fit comfortably within a large Adobe Reader window. Make sure the view is set to "fit to width" and the window is as large as possible. Use the navigation arrows on the top toolbar and navigation links in the article to move from screen to screen. If you are reading with the Adobe Reader inside a browser window, you may need to hide some of the browser toolbars.

  3. Switch back and forth by using whatever method your operating system provides for switching between windows.  (In the case of Windows you can switch using the buttons on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen.)

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