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Offline 007.000  
#1 Posted : 26 August 2018 04:25:21(UTC)
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Over the next couple of years I will be reporting here regarding how my experience with sMath compares to that of the products which it substitute for from my perspective as a 34 year old re-entry electrical engineering student.

Presently, I'm familiar with Matlab (I will not be all caps-ing that products name), and just getting familiar with Mathcad Prime 4.0.

After only using Mathcad Prime 4.0 for two days it hurts my fingers where Smath never did. I'm constantly having to look down at the keyboard to insert operators or subscripts with up to 3 or four key combinations and I think sMath did that much better and more fluidly. For instance subscripts:

sMath: period
Prime: cntrl & -

Although for me, more lines of code I try end up working in Prime 4.0 and that is why I personally need it, because of the time it saves me... although my approach of banging my head against the wall of software by permutating my code instead of asking for help is probably why I wasn't as successful with sMath.

I'm not at all sure that Prime 4.0 is anything but a handicapped Mathcad 15 with a different font. PTC who makes it might not be either. According to google trends PTC is dropping the ball majorly...



The corporation is generally difficult to deal with in my experience. Contacting PTC four times regarding two simple questions was necessary before I felt comfortable paying them. My question was whether the $200 Electrical Engineering pack of 457 worksheets would work with the student edition and if I could get the current student edition, which is now 5.0 in a perpetual student license. They found all manner of dissuading me to pay them, from not forwarding emails, ignoring messages, absurdly useless chat sessions, to my local representative Mr. Julian Lockwood, who invariably misspelled my name, expertly furnished erroneous information regarding his product. It took them two months to get me answers and half of the information provided was downright false. For instance I asked if I could get this stupendously cheap 10 Euro perpetual license of Prime 4.0 in English and if Prime 5.0 was available?

http://store.ptc.com/sto...909&ThemeID=21925700

After sending them the link I was told that perpetual licenses aren't offered. Out of fear the perpetual license links would be taken down I bought an English perpetual student license for Prime 3.0, the most recent I could find, from a different link for $105 then got the courage to try the German site for the update which worked. PTC was not at all helpful and in fact Mr. Lockwood told me he was "sorry [I] made the purchase that I did" when I bought Prime 3.0 first first. He continued to say "[t]here is nothing that I or PTC an do for you at this point... we don't provide any refunds"...

The reason I chose sMath first was because I didn't want to get into backwards compatibility issues with a companies software. I like having the confidence that I can open my file in any version of the software without locking myself out to the file on a terminal with an older version of the software. For instance I used the trial version of Mathcad Prime 5.0 for less than 24 hours and everything I did was incompatible with the Prime 4.0 version I bought the next day. I can't even open those files now...

For that reason, and the proficiency of the participants, sMath's forum is fundamentally stronger than the PTC corporations because it is not contaminated by version conflicts. Additionally, people are amazingly eager to help on this forum which another one of the best things about sMath.

My intended use for this type of software is as a CAS and expect to do things at least as easily as in Casio Classpad Manager but in a more sophisticated and capable manner. Prime is less user friendly but more reusable than Casio. At this point Classpad is still my gold standard for usability with respect to the few functions I need regularly... solve, systems of equations, and quick impromptu calculations. They even have this new thing which I have no experience with but the Company might be trying to scale it up into sMath type tool. I know of noone who uses it and Casio's support is wishy washy as well. Mr. Charlie Watson is the companies greatest resource beyond the classpad.
https://classpad.net/us

Edited by user 26 August 2018 05:07:39(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline 007.000  
#2 Posted : 26 August 2018 19:17:16(UTC)
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When buying perpetual licenses I like to look at the revision history to see if my purchase is going to be superseded in the near future by an imminent release and what type of updates are being done. In order from best to worst

Matlab details release notes concisely with expandalle section where more details are revelaed. Compatability considerations are even highlighted with an exclaimation mark.
https://www.mathworks.com/help/m...ing&searchHighlight=

Mathmatica tell you the month of the release and a nice synopsis of what has changed:
https://www.wolfram.com/mathemat...ck-revision-history.html

Maple provides less detail than Mathmatica but still a nice consice summary of chages.
https://www.maplesoft.com/products/maple/history/

Mathcad as far as I can tell has no such page. An unhealthy indication of obfuscating an apparent lack of development. As of this writing the closes thing I could find is a 12 day outdated page detailed what's new in the previous version 4.0 on a "Compare PTC Mathcad Licenses" page. And a separate page detailing that enhanced plotting control is what changed in version 5.0. Wikipedia seems to have the only version history of this PTC product and an undetailed one at that. It is almost as if PTC doesn't know what is on their servers and I wonder how long it will take for this page to reflect the current version:

https://www.ptc.com/en/products/mathcad/comparison-chart

After the ubsurdly misinformative product information from the PTC representative Mr. Lockwood, the outdated product comarison page in lieu of a revision history I am not surprised that the perpetual student license I bought is accompanied by a thank you page which instructs:



After promptly sending them the verification of my student status in the form of my Summer school class schedule (after purchasing, downloading, installing and activating my perpetual license by the way) I receive this the following day from the specified email address:



This is the same response I received when initially asking about their product. Their vendor who's contact information is specifically given wont even forward the information to the company itself. PTC is laughable and I Digital River is really accommodating their dysfunction... It's like PTC doesn't want to maintain it's market share in the first place I'm sure Digital River would rather deal with a company that is more concerned with it's sales than PTC is about Mathcad.

Edited by user 26 August 2018 19:49:07(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline 007.000  
#3 Posted : 26 August 2018 20:10:06(UTC)
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Wow...

After trying the second email address I was provided I am still unable to furnish my information to the corporation. They rejected my attempt again and redirected me:



This company is inundated with nincompoopizm...
Online Jean Giraud  
#4 Posted : 27 August 2018 00:05:55(UTC)
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You seem confused with Mathcad
PTC Mathcad is what they could have saved from former Mathcad/Mathsoft
after PTC acquisition [April 1 2006].

=====================
Mathcad 11.2a
© 1986-2003 Mathsoft Engineering & Education, Inc. All rights reserved. Mathcad is a registered trademark and Mathsoft, MathConnex, QuickPlot, Live Symbolics, IntelliMath and the Collaboratory are trademarks of Mathsoft Engineering & Education, Inc. U.S. Patents 5,469,538; 5,526,475; 5,771,392; 5,844,555; and 6,275,866. International CorrectSpell software © 1993 Vantage Research. MKM (MathSoft Kernel Maple) © 1994 Waterloo Maple Software. Microsoft Internet Explorer © 1995-2003 Microsoft Corporation. File Filters © 1986-2002 Circle Systems, Inc. HTML Help © by Microsoft Corporation. Portions of the Mathcad Solver © 1990-2003 by Frontline Systems, Inc. PDEFIT © 1995-2003 Dr. Klaus Schittkowski. Microsoft, Windows, and the Internet Explorer logo are registered trademarks and Windows NT and JScript are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

The decreasing trend PTC Mathcad explains by itself, i.e: no user of PTC version(s) has the faintest
insight of what was Mathcad/Mathsoft. Numerous web sites went to the drain whereas PTC Mathcad can't
read any of the Mathcad/Mathsoft. Typical: my Web site 100 MB work sheets 11.2a is dead too.

The Mathsoft Collaboratory was as gorgeous as the SMath
On the click for a question ... click back answered so to speak, from the forum members
and from Mathsoft staff [Paul L. ,,, Steven F. ...]

MCD 11.2a and earlier subscript same as Smath.

In short PTC Mathcad does not read Mathcad/Mathsoft [an illuminati gun shot in the head].

Offline 007.000  
#5 Posted : 27 August 2018 00:51:17(UTC)
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I think that you are right about the trend. But I don't think I'm wrong about PTC. Even Google trending "Mathcad Prime" still reflects the company is driving the software into a decline over the past five years.



Some of the legacy file content will run in Prime. There is a button in prime called "XMCD, MCD converter" which lets you try and convert files over. It worked for a simple solve block I made earlier but I do read online that people complaining that it is not comprehensive enough. I'm not sure what the motivation was for PTC to try and reinvent the wheel with Prime ,but whatever it was, it seems to be a bygone impetus.

I think that their documentation and service is so bad because they outsource part of their algorithms. For instance I've read that Prime uses a subset of the Maple symbolic manipulation capability. From the graph directly above one could surmise that they are increasingly inclined to not purchase more algorithms for Prime or keep a consolidated revision history. PTC has a road-map which ends at 5.0 which is the current version. I haven't encountered a newer road map. Perhaps they will imminently stop letting Prime continue to dye its slow death and shoot it in the head too Good

"This mailbox is no longer being monitored"... What? How hard is it forward customer emails? I'd image perhaps as easy as it is to configure an automated reply. Declining interest, end of the road map, licensing complacency, damn near giving the product away (10 Euro for a perpetual student license), non-nonsensical sales representatives. What else can PTC do to tank another product. It will be exciting to see... I imagine that the inside of PTC's corporate headquarters is a circus or carnival like.

Edited by user 27 August 2018 01:06:44(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline 007.000  
#6 Posted : 27 August 2018 03:15:09(UTC)
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PTC seems solvent enough, publishing excel spreadsheets of their finances and the last years graph of their stock price which reflects a doubling in price on the NASDAQ...

https://investor.ptc.com...709-275804105.1534508378

Somewhere I read that their install base is 250,000. I don't anticipate being one after college because I feel insecure with the strictly subscription model. It seems like companies can brick more and more stuff now a days remotely, your Tesla, iphone, headphones (nuraphones), and all manner of other things increasingly. My engineering tools should not be one of those things... especially, especially not under PTC's oversight!

Offline omorr  
#7 Posted : 27 August 2018 09:40:20(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: 007.000 Go to Quoted Post
Over the next couple of years I will be reporting here regarding how my experience with sMath compares to that of the products which it substitute for from my perspective as a 34 year old re-entry electrical engineering student.


Hello,

I am sorry, but after reading your recent lengthy posts I really do not see what was your point. You described your inconvenience with PTC and licensing procedures, put some stress on PTC' customer support and its general activities. Why did you do that regarding this thorough analysis?

Regards,
Radovan
When Sisyphus climbed to the top of a hill, they said: "Wrong boulder!"
Offline 007.000  
#8 Posted : 27 August 2018 15:09:41(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: omorr Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: 007.000 Go to Quoted Post
Over the next couple of years I will be reporting here regarding how my experience with sMath compares to that of the products which it substitute for from my perspective as a 34 year old re-entry electrical engineering student.


Hello,...

Why..?

Regards,
Radovan


Don't be sorry Sir. I appreciate your engagement...

Of the $105 (Mathcad Prime 3.0 student perpetual license) + $200 (electrical engineering 457 worksheet pack) + $11.62 (Mathcad Prime 4.0 student perpetual license) I spent on PTC's product the day before yesterday I've received in exchange great difficulty with the licensing which is still not resolved. Comparatively, sMath's licensing is absolutely worry free which is worth a premium to me. I would say that is a strong "donating" point...

Why then did PTC get $316.62 and sMath $10?

Why did Mathworks get $100 for one year of Matlab and Simulink student license?

Why will Mathmatica get $155 and Maple get $100 for their student licenses?

The ultimate take away from this thread, to me, as I transition from being an automotive technician to becoming an electrical engineer is "what separates sMath from Prime for instance", which is a corollary to "why use sMath". Queries whose answers determine the rate at which people donate to the project and consequently how meaningfully "future development [of sMath is]... support[ed]". As an up-and-comer in the world economy it behooves me to characterize these tools for my own specific purposes with respect to their ability to serve me as my needs change and progress under market forces...

For me, point number one on that list of attributes would be worry free, no hassle, simple, perpetual licensing with complementary updates... In this way sMath is superior to it's competitors. For instance, I have a Matlab subscription student license I use for my classes because that is what the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) dictates undergraduates must know. And even though my license is good for one computer it was exceedingly cumbersome to license the install on both the Microsoft Windows and Fedora Linux partitions of my Fujitsu T726 laptop. After repeated attempts, under the guidance of support emails I gave up on it. So even though perpetual licenses are available for Matlab the process of activating a dual boot was godawful.

Let me be explicit about this, I am substituting in Prime for sMath and not the other way around. I first tried to incorporate sMath into my workflow for 6 months with mixed results. So mixed I'm trying something else. I am willing to pay thousands of dollars for a tool but it needs to be handy. Presently, I'm still actively looking and learning about which one or more are suitable and what issues permeate my experiences within the array of substitute goods...

Edited by user 27 August 2018 15:13:58(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Online Jean Giraud  
#9 Posted : 27 August 2018 17:09:34(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: 007.000 Go to Quoted Post
Let me be explicit about this,
I am substituting in Prime for sMath and not the other way around.
I first tried to incorporate sMath into my workflow for 6 months with mixed results.
So mixed I'm trying something else.


Smath is not a clone of any other CAS.
Start by refreshing the two Smath documents I have doctored.
What do you think Smath has to do with Prime ?
Answer: nothing
A good way to explore/appreciate Smath, download all "Samples"
That will keep you busy for a while, while steeping your learning curve.
SageMath is far from being the gear of the Century.



Offline omorr  
#10 Posted : 27 August 2018 17:58:42(UTC)
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Hello @007.000,

Just to make some additional comments...As you could see regarding this Forum, lots of us here (especially the long time users) would have liked that SMath would have been better. Unfortunately, SMath has its flaws (in spite of so many years of its development) that we still do not like. How long would this take in order to make it much better, nobody knows. To make long story short - the fact is that you could simply try it without any consideration about paying, licensing etc. I think that nobody can answer the question what would happen if there could appear a significant financial investment in SMath. However, If you find it suitable you can just use it and try to contribute in some way. Otherwise, you could stop using it and try something else.

I think we did not say anything new here regarding free and non-free software, and we just have to accept the way it is.

Regards,
Radovan

Edited by user 27 August 2018 18:03:49(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

When Sisyphus climbed to the top of a hill, they said: "Wrong boulder!"
thanks 1 user thanked omorr for this useful post.
on 28/08/2018(UTC)
Offline ElSid  
#11 Posted : 31 August 2018 20:45:54(UTC)
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Look at the top of the web page. Feel free to donate "pay" for the wonderful time that the developers spend on this "free" program for us to use. This is how these other companies develop. It's the closest thing to Mathcad that I've seen (I remember Jean and Alvaro from Mathcad forums in the day) and Prime is no where near where Mathcad is at. You will also notice, with a search on topics, that there are several structural, mechanical, and instrumentation engineers on this forum. Use, ask, learn

Sincerely,
Ruben
Offline Razonar  
#12 Posted : 31 August 2018 23:19:58(UTC)
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Hi ElSid. A hug.
Alvaro.
Offline 007.000  
#13 Posted : 02 September 2018 09:45:43(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Jean Giraud Go to Quoted Post

...PTC Mathcad can't read any of the Mathcad/Mathsoft. Typical: my Web site 100 MB work sheets 11.2a is dead too.


I stumbled on this guide Sir:
https://community.ptc.co...me_4_Migration_Guide.pdf
Online Jean Giraud  
#14 Posted : 02 September 2018 13:36:35(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: ElSid Go to Quoted Post
I remember Jean and Alvaro from Mathcad forums in the day


Thanks Ruben from the old days ... Jean
Online Jean Giraud  
#15 Posted : 02 September 2018 14:24:57(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: 007.000 Go to Quoted Post
I stumbled on this guide Sir:


Thanks, interesting to see by how much PTC freaked Mathcad/Mathsoft.
Their double line program is the horror of the Century ... one line for each eye ?

Google ... mathengjmg

Cheers ... Jean


Offline 007.000  
#16 Posted : 29 November 2018 18:08:41(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Jean Giraud Go to Quoted Post

A good way to explore/appreciate Smath, download all "Samples"



Looking back at my Smath files, I downloaded 61 examples, many of which were way over my head mathematically, programatically and scientifically.

As I continue to use PTC Mathcad Prime I am helped greatly by a almost 600 page textbook entitled "PTC Mathcad Prime 3.0". I'm sure SageMath is at least equally as rich in it's capability count and I myself would personally benefit from such a publication on the software.

Is this the most comprehensive book on Smath?
"Smath for Physics" (2015)

Edited by user 29 November 2018 18:17:55(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline alyles  
#17 Posted : 29 November 2018 19:39:39(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: 007.000 Go to Quoted Post


Is this the most comprehensive book on Smath?
"Smath for Physics" (2015)


Thanks for sharing. I'll be sure to check this out.

Do note there are some other resources. Martin Kraska publishes a German Language PDF Handbuch. This was last updated in October this year.

Additionally, he also publishes an interactive handbook in English that I find very useful. If not already installed in your SMath Studio, you can install by clicking on Tools -> Plugins-> Interactive Books-> Local Storage -> Online Gallery and choosing Interactive SMath Handbook. This has many already completed examples.

Untitled.png
Feel free to join the SMath Studio Users Discord Channel: https://discord.gg/PayZpJW
Online Jean Giraud  
#18 Posted : 29 November 2018 20:25:17(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: 007.000 Go to Quoted Post
Is this the most comprehensive book on Smath?
"Smath for Physics" (2015)

I couldn't open the PDF "Trajectory".
For those interested Cannonball is a pretty good lecture.

Maths Cannonball.sm (30kb) downloaded 36 time(s).

Offline 007.000  
#19 Posted : 03 February 2019 14:46:48(UTC)
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I'm trying to find a software that will let me evaluate what I guess it thinks is an over-determined matrix. It seems most software interpret simultaneous equations as a matrix and they want the system to be square with an equal numbers of unknowns and equations. Please look at page 2 of this document where I am able to perform a calculation with limited success on my Casio on the top half of the page where it is not doing all of the substitution for whatever reason. That is the calculation I would prefer to do.

After doing some of the substition manually Casio is able to proceed to a numeric solution on the bottom of page 2 of this file, where my Casio Classpad seemingly solves an overdetermined system. I failed to achieve a similar result from sMath, Mathcad Prime, Mathcad 15, Matlab, Maxima, and Mathmatica... Each seemingly only accepts square matrices Sad even if the matrix is overdetermined, they are loathe to return anything but every unknown. Unlike Casio, I can have a rectangular system, overdetermined, with 14 equations and solve for as little as 2 of them...

Might I be able to perform such a calculation in sMath? I've used the syntax for "Solve" from the interactive handbook plug-in but couldn't get it to run. I'm sure I'm missing something, likely in each of the programs I trialed for this purpose; nevertheless, I would hit the roof if Smath could do this similarly to my beloved Casio... Thank you in advance good Sirs...

P.S. It is just so easy, clean and efficient doing this calculation on a Classpad all in one shot, with nothing declared outside of the system of equations. What Mr. Watson doesn't show in the video is that the process works on overdetermined systems like the one on page 2 of my Smath file here.:



overdetermined simultaneous equations.sm (337kb) downloaded 12 time(s).

Edited by user 03 February 2019 14:48:20(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline Ber7  
#20 Posted : 03 February 2019 18:06:00(UTC)
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After a simple numerical substitution, we solve a system of three linear equations.
Primer.sm (15kb) downloaded 27 time(s).
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