I have been an avid MathCad user since I was introduce at work in 1988 (Hughes Aircraft Company) to MathCad version 3.0 on an Apple Macotosh.
Since then, I have used various newer MathCad versions at work, which were just fine, once I got use to the new features ("bugs!").
Although Hughes is now Raytheon Company, I continued using MathCad as my prime tool, while the company force me to use Matlab, which I am proficient but hate it.
I retired from the aerospace industry in 2010; and was given an old copy of MathCad (CD Version 7) to use at home for hobby purposes.
I was quite surprise to find an ad, where I could download a free MathCad from PTC (What happen to MathSoft?).
I am practicing now with Prime 3.0; and, of course, it is a new learning curve to get use to the "features" (bugs!).
A problem with Prime 3.0 is that it definitely requires I upgrade my computer system. I will send the present setup using PTC Quality Agent.
My question: Is there a version for hobbyist (or retirees like me) similar to the student version? I will gladly purchase it!
Retired Aerospace Test Engineer
If you have a license for Prime then you can also install Mathcad 15, which will be closer to what you are familiar with (and more powerful than Prime). You can download it here: http://www.ptc.com/product/mathcad/free-trial/thank-you
If your computer needs an upgrade to run Prime (or Mathcad 15) it must be an extremely old computer. What makes you think you need an upgrade?
Sorry, but there is no hobbyist version. There is a nice piece of software called SMath Studio that is similar to Mathcad, although not nearly as powerful, and completely free. You can get it here: http://en.smath.info/ Maybe it will do what you need.
I'd recommend to use the old MathCad; i.e. MathCad 15. PTC's new product line of matcad Prime is neither as functional nor as easy to use as MathCad 15.
The good news is that along with Mathcad prime comes a MC 15 package. Stick with it.