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Re: Performance of student version of Mathematica?

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  • Subject: [mg682] Re: Performance of student version of Mathematica?
  • From: dm5579 at (Demetri Mouratis)
  • Date: 10 Apr 1995 00:58:03 GMT

In article <3m6s57$r2f at>, jburne at (John Burnette) writes:

|> In article <3m55ub$gm7 at>,
|> Kale Beckwitt <kaleb at> wrote:
|> >I am going to purchase the Windows version of Mathematica and I can get a 
|> >VERY good deal on the student version of the software through the store at
|> >the student store at my university. Unfortunately, this version does not
|> >utilize a math-co-processor. I was wondering if anyone has any experience
|> I suppose it is a matter of opinion whether to capitalize the "VERY" in 
|> your post. I personally think it is absurd to force the non-use of an FPU 
|> for MATHEMATICS software!! As we move into faster processor chips 
|> (particularly the powerpc) will we get pushed into the absurd situation of 
|> being forced to run the software in emulation mode? The NeXT academic 
|> community used to get the software INCLUDED with their computers however 
|> when they paid for "upgrades" suddenly their multiuser programs (the 
|> point of UNIX computing) suddenly had code inserted to force it to be 
|> single user.
|> Deep breath.... I guess my point is I have severe philosophic problems 
|> with a company who intentionally cripples their software before selling 
|> it to educational organizations.  In my opinion if Wolfram wants to sell 
|> less for less to education, I would BEG them to consider selling full 
|> speed software with smaller libraries.  I'd say most, by far, of the 
|> academic users of Mathematica could get away with 25% of the capability 
|> of the program.  I personally believe they would get far more market 
|> penetration in this manner.
|> Back to your particular question, after using the PowerPC native version, 
|> there is NO WAY I would go back to a non-FPU version of any kind. It has 
|> to be 5-10 times faster.
|> just my $.02
I have to say, your response to Kale's question has some problems.  Most of them are in the second paragraph.  

To start, the Student Version of Mathematica is not what is sold to "educational orgainizations".  In fact, universities typically own an enhanced versions site license for a mix of platforms.  This is the case at the University of Illinois. The Student Version, as its name implies, is marketed towards the student.

To claim that Wolfram Research has "intentionally crippled" the student version is absurd.  The decision was to offer a lest costly product so that students, typically college ones, could afford the software.  The lower price means lower performance.  In this case, lack of coprocessor support.

"I'd say most, by far, of the academic users of Mathematica could get away with 25% of the capability"  Again, I disagree.  I, as a student, find myself using 50-60% of the packages on a regular basis.  I have probably loaded closer to 80% of the packages, but rarely used some of them.  To reduce the number of "libraries" doesn't make sense since they are readily available to any Mathematica user.  

You were right in one respect.  The enhanced version is faster.  5-10 times faster, I don't think so.  4 times, in intesive calculations, probably. The student version will give the same results as any other version.  Is it worth it to buy the student version vs the enhanced?  I don' know.  How impatient are you and how much do you have to spend? 

Your PowerPC is a great machine.  Try running the Student Version on it, you'll be surprised by the results.  

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