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MathGroup Archive 2007

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Which Mathematica product should I get?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg74504] Which Mathematica product should I get?
  • From: "David Rees" <w3bdevilREMOVE at THISw3bdevil.com>
  • Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2007 19:10:25 -0500 (EST)

Hi,

Currently being a Calculus student and my antique Ti-83 is really reaching 
the limits of where it can help me (no pun intended) so I'm looking for some 
high-end symbolic calculation software to help me through my course.

Mathematica 5.2 looks attractive, I've installed the demo and it looks 
powerful enough, but I'm a little put off by the frontend's interface. Right 
now I'm using MathType to typeset my equations and I'm not keen on returning 
to LaTeX-type command-lines. I know Mathematica has "whiteboard-style" 
expression support but I haven't seen how far that support goes. Is it 
anywhere near as flexible as MathType?

So if Mathematica is for me, which Mathematica product do I want? There's 
"Mathematica for Students 5.2", "Mathematica CalcCenter for Students 3", and 
"Calculus WIZ", each of them are similarly priced (£80, £70, and £50 
respectivly)

I hear Calculus WIZ can integrate with Mathematica (as well as being 
available as a seperate standalone product), is the extra £50 worth it?

I'm confused about the differences (and virtues) of CalcCenter over 
Mathematica, the price difference is only £10 (and I'm not going to buy 
both). Can anyone clear this up?

Finally, I've got a question about licensing and front-ends. I've been 
toying with the .NET/Link SDK, can you link to a Mathematica kernel running 
on another machine or via some kind of IPC? (i.e.can the Kernel run under a 
desktopless session (i.e. as a Windows Service or Daemon)?) I'm wanting to 
create an uberized version of the WITM proxy for Mathematica (since Wolfram 
still refuses to port Mathematica to the PocketPC/Windows Mobile platform), 
that's all.

Regarding licensing, is it on a per-user or per-device scheme? I've got 
three computers I use regularly (my desktop workstation, my TabletPC, and my 
Terminal Server) and I don't want to have to shell out for Mathematica three 
times over.

Thanks 




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