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PTC has ruined MathCad!

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PTC has ruined MathCad!

Hi - I have been using MathCad since ~2002. Over the years, I have grown to love the program and have resulted in literally hundreds of sales of the product now that I am a professor. I (used to) require my students to purchase it for my classes. I continued that practice this semester. Our copies of MathCad 15 ran out in the book store, so I just told them to get the latest and greatest. We ordered 100 licenses of the completely garbage Prime 2.0.

I am sorry, but the fact that I can't use over a decade of prior work is a complete joke. I have many licenses of MathCad, but apparently not the right one to even convert my perfectly good files to the garbage Prime 2.0.

I have tried to find someone to help me, but there is no useful help that I have found.

Unless I get help today, I am going to have my bookstore return the 100 copies of this garbage program and never allow my students to use it in my classes.

Seriously, you have taken THE best engineering calculation software and ruined it.

Sincerely, Bill

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42 REPLIES 42

Re: PTC has ruined MathCad!

As a follow up to this thread. I challenge anyone to navigate how to effectively get help on this, or any other issue. When you try to contact someone at PTC, you will find approximately 40 pages of obfuscation to confuse you into not bothering them. If you stick with it, you will ultimately get a phone number to a customer service center that then asks for your service account number, which of course you probably don't have.

I have instructed my students via email to not purchase this program ever! I will no longer require MathCad for my classes. I have talked to the other professors who use MathCad in my department. They agree and will do the same.

Is there any legitimate alternative to MathCad <= 15.0 functionality and presentation? If anyone knows of another program, please let me know. Otherwise, I guess I will keep using my older versions until someone comes up with a program to fill the gap that MathCad left.

I am completely baffled that a company would do this. Amazing...

Re: PTC has ruined MathCad!

Bill,

When your students purchase a copy of Mathcad Prime 2.0, they also get a copy of Mathcad 15. The same license works for both versions. If they don't see Mathcad 15 directly, they can download the trial version from http://www.ptc.com/appserver/wcms/forms/index.jsp?&im_dbkey=41685&icg_dbkey=482 and apply their license to it.

You can convert your Mathcad 15 worksheets to Mathcad Prime 2.0 or if you or your students prefer, you can continue to work in Mathcad 15, which is fully supported by PTC. In fact, we are releasing a maintenance upgrade to Mathcad 15 later this year.

You can go directly to http://www.ptc.com/support/mathcad_supportCenter.htm for support.

We have a site for education; http://www.ptc.com/company/community/schools/mathcad.htm

with links to free tutorials for Mathcad.

I hope this helps,


Mona

Re: PTC has ruined MathCad!

So, how exactly do they apply the same license file? What is the name and where would the file reside? I am trying to go through that exact process myself and have had no luck.

Re: PTC has ruined MathCad!

Bill - I worked with your bookstore to get the licenses for your students, and can help you out with Prime 2 and Mathcad 15. Feel free to email me at -.

Ned

Re: PTC has ruined MathCad!

Bill, I fully agree with you. I am an electrical engineer professor and I work professionally with Mathcad since about 1995/Mathcad 6. I joined all the years and I will keep on going, but never ever with Mathcad Prime - and none of my colleagues will. There are man-years of investigations in my worksheets - and ...

Mona, converting professional Mathcad 15 worksheets to Prime 2 is entirely impossible - its not a matter of preference. I use e.g. global definitions, DLLs, VBScriting, components and much more which is not implemented yet in Prime and - as I see it - will not be done soon - and when its done, it will hardly be compatible. Just look at the list PTC published to show the differences.

I know about having Mathcad 15 with my licenses, so that is not my problem, rather the still missing or buggy functionalities (e.g: storage limitations to 1GB, crashes every second time I leave it and much more). Developing the classical Mathcad series from actually being a good product to an excellent one - and by then by far dominating e.g. Mathematica or MatLab - would cost PTC less than 10% the effort making unnecessary Prime, which is a toy essentially on the level of year 2000 or before - at least for those things I use it - computing theoretical physics problems.

Re: PTC has ruined MathCad!


I have been using Mathcad since v6 myself and like the rest of you have grown quite a large library of Mathcad files that I reuse again and again.

My question is what warrants doubling of the price from MC14 (of which I bought 3 SU licenses) to Prime 2.0? I cannot find a single characteristic that made it two times better. All the comments I read damn Prime without exception (this thread being one). I missed v15 because I was happy with 14.

Recently I have left the academic environment and the (very big) company I work for doesn't have Mathcad Licenses, now I have to persuade people to buy it (probably floating) for me but I find it very difficult persuading even myself if it is worth my effort to persuade them.

Re: PTC has ruined MathCad!

It looks like you have/had two issues. First, getting support via the web. Second, the inability to convert all of your prior version worksheets to Prime 2.

Regarding the first problem, I have always been pleased with the fast response from PTC, once I finally Log a problem. Yes, I do have to have my service number handy to do that, but that kind of information is routinely needed for software companies (e.g. Norton), so I have those numbers written down. I must say that the knowledge base, which I try first, hasn't been of much use, but it could be the kinds of problems I've had. After Logging in a problem, someone has called me, usually within an hour. This was happening before I started blogging on the PlantetPTC site, so it wasn't any special treatment.

Regarding the second problem, this is where PTC made a HUGE error...releasing a product with deficiencies as if it were an advance from a previous version (MC 15). They should have released it as a beta release, asking for user feedback during their development. Fortunately, I saw comments by users and even by a PTC employee that Prime 1 was not equivalent to MC 15, and that full capability wouldn't be present until Prime 3 or later. Therefore, I have stayed with MC 15 for now. Unfortunately for you, you didn't happen to see that warning because PTC continues to push Prime as if it were a competitive product.

I see that PTC is offering help to get your MC 15 program working, if you want it. It should allow your previous worksheets to work. I hope you get the help you need, because the life of Mathcad depends upon professors using it in their classroom.

I think the reason for Prime (so they say) is that they needed to make the program look like Microsoft Office programs so it would attract students. In the long run, that strategy may work, but it is not welcomed by us old timers who know the MC 15 and earlier interfaces well. For us, the focus on that effort has delayed progress on some math functionality needed and discussed elsewhere on this site.

There is hope that the functionality may eventually arrive. PTC is helping build the Mathcad 15 links to a physical properties database with flash and separator routines. If you happen to be a chemical engineer, that might be some incentive for staying with Mathcad 15. If not, it still is an indication that they are listening to their customers. Sometimes, though, things fall through the cracks and the customer has to really speak up, like you did. I hope things work out for you.

Re: PTC has ruined MathCad!

I'm an electronic circuit designer that has used mathcad for over 12 years. I would often look forward to the next release and encouraged my engineering associates to use mathcad in their design process. No more! I am dissappointed in two ways: (1) PTC removed access to an excellent Mathcad Resource site that had accumulated many years of completed mathcad files. In was a very useful site for learning from mathcad experts who up-loaded completed mathcad sheets on to the site. Now...Gone! The PTC Mathcad forum is a site for beginners to ask questions, but not what I need. I prefer a reservoir of completed mathcad sheets catagorized by discipline (elec engineering, mech engineering, etc). (2) I agree completely with previous replies that PRIME 1 and 2 is a step backwards. The Prime release is not seamlessly backward compartible with old files. This alone is reason to stop using Mathcad. Very disappointed.

Re: PTC has ruined MathCad!

PTC has contacted me several times and has been extremely helpful with the issues that I have been having with regard to installation. I appreciate the effort that have put forth on this and have resolved all of my installation issues. Thanks.

With regard to Prime 2.0. - My students are giving it a shot. There are many things I can't imagine there was a reason to change. For example - to use a subscript in 15.0, you simply hit a period which is quick and painless. In Prime, to use a subscript you must hit CTRL_ That is about the equivalent of Microsoft changing CTRL C for copy. Why make a change like that?

In Prime, the programmers seem to like right clicking the mouse, then moving and clicking to the new selection. I am not a fan of that type of operation, so I recommended mouse gestures to them. They liked that suggestion.

In Prime, getting rid of QuickSheets is a major problem. MathCad is starting to recreate them, but those were critical to my learning of the original program.

I have decided that most of the changes are well intentioned to make it easier to use for the novice user and dinosaurs like me are just going to have to get used to the new methods in Prime, or move out of using it. I am going to develop my new stuff in the Prime platform and see if I can stand it. Right now I am struggling, but that is just my own history with MathCad standing in the way of progress. For a new user, most of my issues would not be an issue at all.