If we put Mathcad and Excel in a boxing ring, toe-to-toe, who would come out victorious? What can you do in one, and not in the other? What can you do better in one, and not the other? Why do you like one over the other?
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Ready? Let's get it on!! [ding ding]
Dan,
I can't believe you have said that......
It would be like the Maywheather vs Hatton fight.
Mike
On a more serious note I would have to say the Microsoft product really EXCEL'S (Sorry about that, couldn't resist) in producing tables which are ascetically pleasing.
Mathcad ability to handle units is it's main attribute in my opinion. The fact I can embed Excel tables into Mathcad, Mathcad win's hands down.
Mike
Really? It's that close?
Really? It's that close?
Ok, Pacquiao vs Hatton.
I am a vivid Mathcad fan and have succesfully converted two long time Excel users to Mathcad, so I'm in Mathcads corner.
Mike
Saw this tweet this morning, http://twitter.com/#!/arclight/statuses/54410403043737600
@arclight
@Stamps1337 I'll take MathCAD over Excel for auditability. The important thing for us is to show our work so it can be verified.
The first two rounds go to Mathcad
The first two rounds go to Mathcad
On the rope I would say.
Mike
DanMarotta wrote:
If we put Mathcad and Excel in a boxing ring, toe-to-toe, who would come out victorious? What can you do in one, and not in the other? What can you do better in one, and not the other? Why do you like one over the other?
A very smart, very technically capable engineer (who excercized, wrote, and modified some highly sophisticated computer codes on a daioy basis) has stated that if he had to he could do everything using EXCEL.
That said, other programs make things a lot easier to understand and follow and error check.
I too like and use the unit-checking and handling of Mathcad.
The right tool for the right job!
A very smart, very technically capable engineer (who excercized, wrote, and modified some highly sophisticated computer codes on a daioy basis) has stated that if he had to he could do everything using EXCEL.
That is correct, but why use Excel when you don't have too?
Mike
Mike Armstrong wrote:
That is correct, but why use Excel when you don't have too?
Mike
You shouldn't.
My point is that EXCEL is an extremely powerful program. It has the advantage (being a Microsoft program) of being well-connected to the computer operatinng system.
While Mathcad is powerful, versatile and (fairly) easy to learn it's missing some things. Multiple sheets, the ability to split the window, the ability to reference a single answer from another sheet,
the list goes on . , ,
I'm nearly the only user of Mathcad at work. If I post a mathcad sheet my boss can't read it; I have to print it or copy it to Word as rtf so he can view it. (Since it's standard math notation (mostly) he can understand it once he can read it. But a live, working Mathcad File? Now, an EXCEL file; that's something we ALL understand!
Everybody reading this forum likes and uses Mathcad. But how many don't have EXCEL on their computers too? And use it?
Fred Kohlhepp wrote:
Mike Armstrong wrote:
That is correct, but why use Excel when you don't have too?
Mike
You shouldn't.
My point is that EXCEL is an extremely powerful program. It has the advantage (being a Microsoft program) of being well-connected to the computer operatinng system.
While Mathcad is powerful, versatile and (fairly) easy to learn it's missing some things. Multiple sheets, the ability to split the window, the ability to reference a single answer from another sheet,
the list goes on . , ,
I'm nearly the only user of Mathcad at work. If I post a mathcad sheet my boss can't read it; I have to print it or copy it to Word as rtf so he can view it. (Since it's standard math notation (mostly) he can understand it once he can read it.
The most vastly useful, under-pushed and under-developed aspect of Mathcad - it really should be doing a lot more in this area to advance its cause.
Multiple sheets, the ability to split the window, the ability to reference a single answer from another sheet,
Yes.
the list goes on . , ,
Alleluia!
Now, an EXCEL file; that's something we ALL understand! But how many don't have EXCEL on their computers too? And use it?
(all done used named regions .... shame you can't show the formulae in some neat way along with the results, unlike Mathcad - I have seen some Really Badly Up-Messed spreadsheets, where major faults went undetected because obvious formula errors weren't visible. OTOH, shame you can't format tables as well in Mathcad)
Everybody reading this forum likes and uses Mathcad.
Well, I like M11, and there are bits of M13..M15 that I would happily retain (eg local functions, but not SUC! and the dismal way they handle recursion - SUC is THE prime reason I still do most of my development in M11 and try to write M11-compatible worksheets), even some bits of Prime are OK (eg, no SUC!). You will, however, note that M12 does not make it into my top-twenty all-time favourite maths applications.
Now, an EXCEL file; that's something we ALL understand!
Really? If I give you an Excel file that does a long, complex engineering or scientific calculation or data analysis how long would it take you to understand it?
If you give your boss a pdf of your Mathcad file he can understand it, but not change the input numbers. If you give your boss an Excel spreadsheet he can change the input numbers, but not understand it! Unless he spends a week working out all the dependencies of the various cells, and reconstructing complicated math formulas from the text string formulas using a pencil and paper. Yes that's right, use Excel, and if you want to understand what someone else has done, or possibly even what you did yourself last month, you are reduced to using a pencil and paper. That is so 20th century!
I agree that not being able to give the worksheet to someone else so that they can change the input numbers is a real problem though.
Richard Jackson wrote:
Now, an EXCEL file; that's something we ALL understand!Really? If I give you an Excel file that does a long, complex engineering or scientific calculation or data analysis how long would it take you to understand it?
If you give your boss a pdf of your Mathcad file he can understand it, but not change the input numbers. If you give your boss an Excel spreadsheet he can change the input numbers, but not understand it! Unless he spends a week working out all the dependencies of the various cells, and reconstructing complicated math formulas from the text string formulas using a pencil and paper. Yes that's right, use Excel, and if you want to understand what someone else has done, or possibly even what you did yourself last month, you are reduced to using a pencil and paper. That is so 20th century!
I agree that not being able to give the worksheet to someone else so that they can change the input numbers is a real problem though.
I once had the misfortune to look at a big workbook (created by a Big Name international company) that justified the use of a particular numerical integrator in its simulation. Unfortunately, the author and the previous reviewers had become so number blind that they didn't notice the obvious fact that the RK4 integrator was badly under-performing against a simple Euler! A mind-numbing review of the workbook revealed several interesting anomalies that when corrected restored reality. (I say mindnumbing because some of the errors weren't simple systematic 'copy/paste' or 'lost track' errors, but affected single cells with consequent knock-on effects)
And whilst many company standards call for the detailed and exhaustive documentation of two line BASIC programs, very few (if any?) call for even the most cursory documentation or review of spreadsheets and any associated code (eg, VBA). In fact, few of the companies I've worked for or been involved have anything like a decent process (or process, in some cases), and some major decisions are made using complex spreadsheets developed in a fairly ad hoc way - scary.
Stuart.
If I give you an Excel file that does a long, complex engineering or scientific calculation or data analysis how long would it take you to understand it?
A very long time. In fact, I will often export numbers to Mathcad to check some of the calculations, especially when the EXCEL equations contain strange looking numbers that turn out to be unit conversion constants.
If you give your boss a pdf of your Mathcad file he can understand it, but not change the input numbers. If you give your boss an Excel spreadsheet he can change the input numbers, but not understand it! Unless he spends a week working out all the dependencies of the various cells, and reconstructing complicated math formulas from the text string formulas using a pencil and paper. Yes that's right, use Excel, and if you want to understand what someone else has done, or possibly even what you did yourself last month, you are reduced to using a pencil and paper. That is so 20th century!
I agree that not being able to give the worksheet to someone else so that they can change the input numbers is a real problem though.
EXCEL is difficult to follow and reverse engineer; but we all can do it when we must. And Stuart (previous post) is right, a lot of mistakes go unfound because it's easy to bury a mistake in a formula if it gets a believable answer.
EXCEL is difficult to follow and reverse engineer; but we all can do it when we must.
Or when we get paid a sufficient amount of money to do it!
Fred Kohlhepp wrote:
EXCEL is difficult to follow and reverse engineer; but we all can do it when we must.
True. And if I got my leg trapped under a rail and a train was rapidly approaching, I'm sure I could chew my leg off to escape ... doesn't mean I want to though or enjoy the experience.
And Stuart (previous post) is right, a lot of mistakes go unfound because it's easy to bury a mistake in a formula if it gets a believable answer.
Which, on occasion, only goes to show that people will believe some pretty unbelievable things.
The problem with looking at numbers is that they're often not very good narrators when they all speak at once and even plots can get treated as abstract art rather than conveyors of blindingly obvious information ("x is alwas postive, right?", "um. Yes.", "So why has nobody picked up on the fact that the plot crosses the y axis?", "um. .... um")
Stuart
Fred Kohlhepp wrote:
EXCEL is difficult to follow and reverse engineer; but we all can do it when we must.True. And if I got my leg trapped under a rail and a train was rapidly approaching, I'm sure I could chew my leg off to escape ... doesn't mean I want to though or enjoy the experience
That's a walk in the park compared to using Excel.
Mike
Mike Armstrong wrote:
That's a walk in the park compared to using Excel.
EXCEL is easy to use.
It's hard to troubleshoot.
It's next to impossible to reverse engineer.
But it's easy to learn and use.
Sorry for the delayed response.
EXCEL is easy to use.
It's hard to troubleshoot.
It's next to impossible to reverse engineer.
But it's easy to learn and use.
Yes, agree with all you have said.
Another plus is the formatting within Excel, but we can embed Excel into Mathcad
Mike
Fred Kohlhepp wrote:
... Now, an EXCEL file; that's something we ALL understand!
Oh yes? Did you realise that Excel gives a unary minus higher priority than raising to a power? This means that, for example: 1 - 2^2 (= -3) is different from: -2^2 + 1 (= 5 in Excel)! Most people who claim to be familiar with Excel are surprised to learn that, in my experience.
Incidentally, it isn't a bug - just a poor choice of operator precedence!
Alan
AlanStevens wrote:
Oh yes? Did you realise that Excel gives a unary minus higher priority than raising to a power? This means that, for example: 1 - 2^2 (= -3) is different from: -2^2 + 1 (= 5 in Excel)! Most people who claim to be familiar with Excel are surprised to learn that, in my experience.
That's a gret example of "hard to troubleshoot, impossible to reverse engineer"!!
Yeah, and if I HAD to, I could do everything with pen, paper and a slide-rule - but that doesn't mean I am going to give up my computer, or Mathcad, or Excel any time soon!
I try to use the best tool for the job from my available toolbox - and sometimes, that means I actually do use a pen and paper! (But I'll admit - I don't own a slide-rule any more.)
My simple view is "know your products". This applies to both MathCad and Excel.
Try the simple statement:
if(0.1+0.1+0.1=0.3,"True","False")
in both Mathcad and Excel. Use the correct syntax in each.
The expression style is available in each software and is readily visible and auditable in each.
Each product therefore does have its uses and its limitations. You really just need to know in detail sometimes what they are.
Rather use Mathcad than Excel for ease of auditing and arithmatic power.
Mathcad is let down a little in headers/footers and page setup compared to formatting abilities on a spreadsheet.
Cheers.
Try the simple statement: if(0.1+0.1+0.1=0.3,"True","False")
Yes, but you wouldn't usually construct it this way in Mathcad. You would change the numerical values to pre-defined variables.
Rather use Mathcad than Excel for ease of auditing and arithmatic power.
Mathcad is let down a little in headers/footers and page setup compared to formatting abilities on a spreadsheet.
Mathcad is limited compared to the formatting capability of Word and Excel and that's why Embedded Excel components are being implemented into Prime 2.0.
Mike
Tezza2010 wrote:
My simple view is "know your products". This applies to both MathCad and Excel.
Try the simple statement:
if(0.1+0.1+0.1=0.3,"True","False")
in both Mathcad and Excel. Use the correct syntax in each.
The expression style is available in each software and is readily visible and auditable in each.
Personally, I don't think such a simple example illustrates very much. I can work out the answer in my brain as fast as I could type it in. It's when the examples get more complicated that the differences show themselves. If you want to look at columns of numbers and dates, for example accounting figures, Excel is a better tool. If you want to do scientific or engineering calculations Mathcad is a better tool (apart from the fact that your boss doesn't have a copy of Mathcad and therefore can only view a pdf of the worksheet).
Mathcad is a better tool (apart from the fact that your boss doesn't have a copy of Mathcad and therefore can only view a pdf of the worksheet).
You've just hit the nail on the head. If a calculation is set up correctly and clearly in Mathcad a pdf should be sufficient, as long as the person reading/checking the calculation is competent
Mike
Richard Jackson wrote:
(apart from the fact that your boss doesn't have a copy of Mathcad and therefore can only view a pdf of the worksheet).
Any boss who doesn't have a copy of Mathcad on their PC probably won't understand the worksheet anyway.
Cut and paste the graphs to a Powerpoint presentation. It will give them something to doodle on while you talk.
Enclosed is a little file: Mathcad vs Excel prizefight.
Reply to Mike Armstrong: It uses all defined variables not numbers this time.
Reply to Richard Jackson: It is a trivial problem you could do it in your head. A reviewer of PDF would.
I repeat it is wise to know your products well? A reviewer may not even if it is in PDF or MathCad.
if(0.1+0.1+0.1=0.3,"True","False").
Try it in MathCad and Excel with variables.
Enclosed file does it with both an Excel component and Mathcad using variables in the same MathCad worksheet.
One of them gets it wrong even if you could get it right in your head. It reads right. It looks right. It is auditable. That is a possible danger.
But I repeat - you need to know your products. The reason is not a bug. Might be very hard to spot buried in a complex problem... and I provide a serious real life example for you.
I believe the ARIAN space rocket program costing several billion dollars once lasted a few seconds in flight and you may like to research why?
I again state I do prefer Mathcad. And we can learn from the above trivial example as Mathcad users. Version used is 14 M020.
Cheers
Tezza.