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Mathcad 15 - Future Use

Cornel
18-Opal

Mathcad 15 - Future Use

Hello Dear Friends,

1) How long or how many years from now do you think that Mathcad 15 (not Mathcad Prime) can still be used?
2) And how long do you think that Mathcad Prime will outperform Mathcad 15 in terms of functionality and performance?

Thank you.
Best regards.

19 REPLIES 19
LucMeekes
23-Emerald III
(To:Cornel)

1) Prime 7 is planned to be able to convert without requiring a simultaneously installed Mathcad 15. If PTC delivers this with Prime 7 (History has shown that PTC does not always deliver what they plan), they could stop delivering and supporting Mathcad 15 very soon after Prime 7 release (Which is planned for March 2, that is next tuesday!).

2) Prime outperform Mathcad 15 ? Considering the rate of Primes's 'development' over the past 10 years, it will take PTC about 100 years to have Prime match Mathcad 15 in every respect. But note that Prime does have some features that Mathcad 15 doesn't and that were wanted for many years. Those features are:

Mixed units in arrays,

No static unit checking.

 

Luc

I believe PTC will probably stop selling Mathcad 15 and all versions of Prime except version 7 after 2021.

Effective January 1, 2022, the only version of Mathcad available for subscription will be Mathcad Prime 7 and future versions of Prime.

tselvan
4-Participant
(To:VladimirN)

Werner_E
24-Ruby V
(To:Cornel)


@Cornel wrote:

Hello Dear Friends,

1) How long or how many years from now do you think that Mathcad 15 (not Mathcad Prime) can still be used?
2) And how long do you think that Mathcad Prime will outperform Mathcad 15 in terms of functionality and performance?

Thank you.
Best regards.


ad 1)

That depends. If you are lucky and have acquired a perpetual license in the good old days, you may run Mathcad 15 as long as new OS releases will support it or as long as an old computer with an old operating system will make it. Luc still happily runs MC11. You may also try to transfer MC15 to a virtual machine as long as that is still possible.

If you don't have a perpetual license, then the end of MC15 is soon, I guess. You may be given the option to renew the license for a few years, but it will probably be in five years at the latest that you will not be able to use MC15 any more.

 

ad 2)

I also don't think that Prime ever will live up to real Mathcad, but when in a few years there only are a handful of people using MC15 and knowing about its potential - who cares. PTC didn't care right from the start although they  promised that Prime 3 would have the full functionality of Mathcad 14 (an I guess this wasn't meant as a joke ...)
And yes, Prime sure has a few features I like and would have liked to see in real Mathcad, too. Apart from the ones mentioned by Luc this are so simple ones like the handling of the input of matrices (on the other hand scrolling in matrices is implemented in a horrible way) and the Ctrl-J feature when writing programs.

But the list of missing features in Prime and badly implemented features is almost endless.

But sooner or later the question of whether Prime is as good or even better than Mathcad will no longer arise. It will be about whether Prime is a useful tool (maybe when working with Creo) and / or whether it can keep up with the competition. The latter, however, must be doubted according to the current status. But then, I may be wrong. Maybe once again the intuitive whiteboard interface as a unique selling point is the trump card in the talon.

1- How does mathcad prime 6 compare to mathcad 15(M050)? As an enginerring student which one would you recommend me to use, or do you think I should avoid mathcad altogether and go back to Matlab?

 

I have used a bit of both(prime 6 and m050) and it seems that prime 6 is more user friendly in terms of editing equations and defining functions. For example you can use '..' instead of ' ; ' when defining a range. The graph quality of prime 6 is also significantly better than m050.

The reason why I switched to mathcad from Matlab is that: it is easier to make .rtf documents and submit it for homework etc. Matlab uses a high level programming language which need things like ' / ' for divide and ' ^ ' for power, this frustrates me because it can get very hard for big functions and that is why I came to mathcad. 

 

2- Do you think prime 7 will be the game changer, what are your hopes?

 

How does mathcad prime 6 compare to mathcad 15(M050)? 

 

Mathcad 15 still has a number of capabilities that Prime (even 6) has not yet achieved.

 

Which one would you recommend me to use, or do you think I should avoid mathcad altogether and go back to Matlab?

 

If you are just starting out, I suggest that you keep fluent in MatLab--that software is very powerful and pervasive.  The rate of development of Prime has been very disappointing; PTC's intent seems to be to attach Mathcad to their 3D design programs as a calculator.

 

 It seems that prime 6 is more user friendly in terms of editing equations and defining functions. For example you can use '..' instead of ' ; ' when defining a range. 

 

You are confusing editor changes with capability.  There have been several major changes in editors in Mathcad's history and each one was painful.  In Mathcad 15, a subscript is achieved with a simple period, Prime requires "cntrl -".  Any change must be adapted to.  I agree that the Prime editor will probably outlast the older one.

 

Do you think prime 7 will be the game changer, what are your hopes?

 

PTC's track record with revisions has not been encouraging, and their boast/success ratio is not good.  If you move to Prime 7 and discard 15, your best hope should be that the new, embedded conversion actually works, or a lot of good engineering math will be lost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is disappointing to hear. Its a shame that mathcad has gone downhill since m050, it could have really become a world beater if PTC continued to work and develop the mathcad 15. However, this is has not happened. Let's hope prime 7 can improve upon prime 6. Maybe you can tell me why mathcad prime versions are not up to m050 standard? 

 

I have 'matlab' also installed in my computer becuz my university has purchased it for all us students. I will keep working on it as per your advice. I normally use mathcad 15 m050 and then convert it to prime 6 if required. For homework purposes I would save the Mathcad file as rich text format and submit it. My university teacher was using mathcad 15 before, like his lectures slides all have mathcad 15 (sometimes octave) but now he is also telling us to use Matlab. So you are right, matlab is gaining popularity and with frequent updates to sort out any bugs. 

This is disappointing to hear. Its a shame that mathcad has gone downhill since m050

 

It didn't go downhill; it fell off a cliff!  Prime 1 was horrible, virtually unusable.  Prime 2 wasn't much better,  Prime 3 was finally good enough that useful work could be done.  Prime 4 was better yet.  Prime 5 (I think) introduced an absolutely atrocious add-in rather than improving the built-in plotting functions.  Prime 6 introduced a new symbolic engine that is challenged to do as well as the (very old) version of MuPad that needed to be licensed from the owners of MatLab.  PTC has been slowly addressing the performance gaps with questionable improvement.

 

Now Prime 7 is coming, and PTC will no longer support Mathcad 15 or the earlier versions of Prime.  Version 7 has (according to PTC press releases):

  • An improved symbolic engine
  • A built-in converter for version 15 files.  (Note that it may not convert earlier versions, version 11 files may simply disappear!)

How far up the cliff has PTC climbed?


@AS_9824434 wrote:

1- How does mathcad prime 6 compare to mathcad 15(M050)? As an enginerring student which one would you recommend me to use, or do you think I should avoid mathcad altogether and go back to Matlab?


I have a problem in answering this question. I like Mathcad very much but its a dead end.  Soon you will not be able to buy a subscribtion for MC15 and there will be no support whatsoever. If you don't have a perpetual license for MC15 this sure forbids beginning to use MC15.
On the other hand I cannot in good conscience recommend to use Prime. The current state of this program and PTCs way of "developing" this program do not allow a recommendation in my opinion.

MatLab sure is a good choice as its very capable, provides much more functionality and is kind of a standard for engineering calculations. It also provides a symbolic engine - its a more modern version of the engine built in Mathcad 15 and Prime up to version 6 (muPad) and its owned and supported by Mathworks.
But as you probably know, MatLab's approach is completely different to Mathcd/Primes whiteboard interface. MatLab is more a programming language and sure less suitable for creating a documentation.

So I would advice to stay fluent in the handling of MatLab as chances are high you will need that knowledge in your future profession. If you are happy with the abilities of Prime, keep using it for quick modelling or documentation. I won't suggest digging into MC15 as you will be disappointed in a few years when you are not able to use it any more.

 


I have used a bit of both(prime 6 and m050) and it seems that prime 6 is more user friendly in terms of editing equations and defining functions. For example you can use '..' instead of ' ; ' when defining a range. The graph quality of prime 6 is also significantly better than m050.

 


I tend to disagree with both, but I am sure biased as I am using Mathcad for quiet a long time and for me it feels "natural" and more convenient to make just one keystroke (;) instead of two (..) 😉
Graphing capabilities are more powerful and feature rich (formatting options) in MC15, especially when you look at the 3D plots. But Mathcad sure is rather old and would need a new modern code base and look - PTC promised to do just that when it announced the development of Prime, but in my opinion failed doing a decent job.

 


The reason why I switched to mathcad from Matlab is that: it is easier to make .rtf documents and submit it for homework etc. Matlab uses a high level programming language which need things like ' / ' for divide and ' ^ ' for power, this frustrates me because it can get very hard for big functions and that is why I came to mathcad. 

Quite understandable. The whiteboard interface (along with the ability of dealing with units in a natural way) is an ingenious unique selling point of Mathcad/Prime.
There is one kind of Mathcad-Clone and thats the free SMath-Studio. It has a few features which I would have loved to see in Mathcad, but it has also a lot of limitation. But its free and so you can give it a try. A big advantage of the program is that deficits are often remedied by add-on modules from various programmers. The disadvantage is of course that due to the many add-ons, hardly two SMath installations are identical and you have to test and decide which add-on you'd like to install.

 


2- Do you think prime 7 will be the game changer, what are your hopes?

 


I would like to be taught better, but PTC's approach so far gives me no hope

I concur and endorse Werner's comments, but there is one thing I'd like to add.

 

PTC did one thing right (or didn't mean to!)  If you download an "evaluation" copy of Prime (any edition) it is a full version for 30 days, then defaults to "Express."  Express will open and display a worksheet built in "full" Prime including the premium features that are disabled in Express; they are visible until the document recalculates.  So you can see the original document; I think PTC meant this as a "Mathcad Reader,"  "You can see it but you can't change it."

 

But Express is a fairly powerful program as it stands.  (Since I've retired and can't justify the cost, I only have Express.)  And there is a fairly strong underground effort to "extend" Express to cover some of the "premium" features.  There is no symbolics; but symbolics was never a strong suite and the new one (to be the ONLY one in Prime 7) is worse (I'm told!)  I think as a basic engineering scratchpad calculator, Express could be used quite well.  

 

So, as Werner says, MatLab is probably going to be the reigning mathematical software package; but for simple, quick calculations Prime will suffice.  And Express is free!

@Werner_E@LucMeekes@Fred_Kohlhepp, @VladimirN 

 

And how will you choose?
How will you handle this change, this "paradigm" shift?

Will you use Mathcad 15 as much as your hardware and software will allow in parallel with Mathcad Prime 7 (until more features are introduced that will bring Mathcad Prime closer to Mathcad 15 in terms of functionalities, and possibly in the near future to surpass it) or will you switch entirely to Mathcad Prime 7 or will you set aside Mathcad, be it in any other later version of it, and choose another math software package for the future ??

What would be the best option to opt for?

LucMeekes
23-Emerald III
(To:Cornel)

My choice:

I will use Mathcad 11 as long as I can keep my PC's running. And I'll continue to use Prime Express to help out others on this forum. I'll (probably) never buy Prime.

 

Luc

Werner_E
24-Ruby V
(To:Cornel)


Will you use Mathcad 15 as much as your hardware and software will allow


Yes

 


in parallel with Mathcad Prime 7

No. Prime "usage" just out of curiosity and to help others here in the forum.
For professional usage a switchover to other software packages seems to be the order of the day.

Switching to MatLab is certainly a major paradigm shift, but I have no more hope that PTC can come up with something similarly useful.

Fred_Kohlhepp
23-Emerald I
(To:Cornel)

And how will you choose?
How will you handle this change, this "paradigm" shift?

 

For me, it's simple: it was time to retire!  Now I puddle along using Prime Express (version 4 doesn't have the flag diagonally across the page, just a footnote.  The difference between version 4 Express and version 6 Express is nil!   And there are, on this forum, some really ingenious extensions that can be added to Express; it feels a lot like Mathcad did in 1985, when I started.)

 

What would be the best option to opt for?

 

The answer to this question depends on you.  If you're doing fairly simple engineering math and need to distribute the results in a format that non-users can read fairly easily, then Prime will probably be sufficient.  (If you happen to be using PTC's modeling software the fact that the Prime interface is built-in is a plus.)  If you need to do fairly sophisticated mathematical gymnastics then a primarily symbolic package (like Maple) may be a better choice.  MatLab, while not easily read by non-users in native form, is probably the most versatile and powerful choice.

@Werner_E@LucMeekes@Fred_Kohlhepp 

But what would be the most critical (not necessarily critical but in general) disadvantages to Mathcad Prime compared to Mathcad 15, from your experience so far?

What would you like to see implemented in Mathcad Prime so that you can say that it is an important player comparable to Mathcad 15 and the other competitors of math software on the market, and finally be satisfied with Mathcad Prime?

albertschepers
5-Regular Member
(To:Cornel)

An interesting conversation. If I may, I use M15 extensively, upgrading earlier worksheets as needed, and have several hundred templates for various calculations, nothing extreme but some complexity. There are features I use which have not been carried over to P7, scripting and objects for instance.

 

If you are starting out it does not matter what you use as you will become comfortable with the program. Prime is a simple tool that can be used and adapted for many calculations which used to be done on a calculator and slide rule (the latter died in 1975). So, starting out do not try to compare rather try Prime to see if it suits your needs. Try Prime express though, as P7 fully functioning is inadequate for complex engineering use.

 

I suspect PTC bought up MathCAD for the user base so they could promote their other products, Prime was a created to interface with their other software, in hopes of luring M15 users to their other products. The abandoning of MathCAD on the premise of licensing is bogus, for what PTC charges for P7 the licensing costs would be easily covered. This is a business decision controlled by profit only.

 

I have now fully tested P7 in my work practice and though I can make it functional, the cost to convert my templates alone is over a thousand hours. I will use M15 as long as possible and cycle to another piece of software.

that is my problem also. switching to something else requires a lot of work. by switching, i mean from classic Mathcad to something else. There is a new product on the market. I created a post about it, to get others thoughts and PTC deleted the post without saying anything to me. I guess they don't want us talking about other products on here. Once Mathcad 15 no longer functions on Windows, I will be forced to switch. But it definitely won't be to Prime.

That is my problem also. switching to something else requires a lot of work. by switching, i mean from classic Mathcad to something else.

 

When I retired my corporate license disappeared and I lost full function Mathcad Prime and Mathcad 15.  As many have discussed, I went to Smath, a free look-alike that many said was a viable replacement.  For me (at least) the learning curve was too steep.  

 

I've moved to Prime Express.  (Don't shoot the messenger!)  Prime, despite the truly strange and slow GUI, works very similarly to "real" Mathcad.  Figuring out how to do something is (for me) far easier to do in  Prime than Smath.  (Never figured out how to graph a function in Smath--always had to create plotting matrices.)  So my learning curve in Prime has been easier if still frustrating.  Now, Express is free; you download an evaluation copy of Prime, it comes with a 30 day trial license.  After 30 days you're a proud owner of Express.  And Express is frustrating:

  • You can't write a program.
  • Symbolics is disabled.  (It never was a strong point, apparently even less so in 7.0.)
  • There are a lot of "premium features" that don't work, and the selection is baffling. ("Re", "Im", and "phase" don't work for imaginary numbers, "mean", "stdev", "median" don't work.)  It's a fun challenge to write you own functions to replace the "premium" ones that you need!

Express is still a very powerful calculating entity.  If you've been using "real" Mathcad for a long time it may still be the best alternative.

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