Monday, April 16, 2012

eText, eText, where fore art thou, eText?

I'm sorry to say it, but, online Calculus texts are just not ready for prime time! My school just purchased the latest edition of our favorite text with the understanding that my students would get etexts and the other classes would get hardcovers. Just look at my beat-up text pictured above (c) 1995 and you'll see why it was time to get a new book! So, I get the etext and it turns out that its only for one user and has to be reregistered each year??? This is outrageously expensive! I don't get the problem. I also teach Computer Science and have been using etexts for those classes for several years now without a problem. 

For my Computing classes, we simply bought a class set of each text and got a pdf version for free! Now, I just upload one chapter at a time to That's all I'm asking for. The eText can easily be identical in content to the printed book as most authors and publishers generate pdfs now-a-days anyway! I don't need any extra digital content, I can create my own. If you want extra digital content, more power to you, but it will take longer to create the books and these books will be far from free.

Here's the books I use in my Scientific Computing track:
1) Computer Math (Discrete Mathematics and Python):
1) published eText: MathAndPython

2) AP Computer Science (Object Oriented Programming and Java)
2) published eText: BigJava

3) Calculus Research Lab (Calculus and SAGE):
3a) Calc1 = Derivatives
3a) free eText: calc1-sage
3b) Calc2 = AntiDerivatives
3b) free eText: calc2-sage
3c) Calc3 = Differential Equations
3c) free eText: DiffyQ

4) Computing Independent Study (Linux Clusters and openMPI)
4) published eText: BuildingParallelPrograms

Generally Speaking,


  1. That book looks like it's been through a few natural disasters!

  2. Yes its ben through Hell and back again. I love the authors though! Demanna Waits Finney and Thomas are great! In fact when I took Calculus myself as a High School Senior in 1979 I used an old text by Thomas!