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Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

After a LONG wait, Mathcad 3.0 Prime is now available from PTC: http://www.ptc.com/

Since I am still running Mathcad 8 (vintage 1994) and it isn't completely happy on a Windows 7 machine, I decided to bite the $1550 bullet and upgrade. I didn't think Prime 1.0 and 2.0 were quite ready for prime time (pun intended), but it looks like Prime 3.0 now has sufficient functionality for what I do and in some areas much more functionality than I really need. Also, you get a copy of Mathcad 15 for backward compatibility.

There are two files to download, but PTC doesn't tell you what the second file is for. It's a download manager, but right now it's stuck on one of the files (Mathcad PDSI viewer, whatever that is). I am also hampered by not having received one of the two emails I need from PTC to complete the process. I have my order number but not my customer number and I need both for registration.

The trials and tribulations of trying to install software late on a Friday afternoon.

"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

Now Mathcad Prime 3.0 is running via the download manager and resetting my password from the one PTC happily accepted earlier today. I haven't gotten Mathcad 15 running yet (still need to work on that), but did discover that Prime 2.0 is also included.

"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

I was already aware that Prime is not backwards compatible. Fortunately, that doesn't pose any problems for me since I'm coming from Mathcad 8 and anything in Mathcad 15 that is still missing from Prime 3.0 isn't on my radar. I also have Mathcad Prime Express, but it's not robust enough for anything serious (e.g. no solve block), so I have nothing important to migrate from there.

I am pretty sure that Prime 3.0 will read Mathcad 15 files just like Prime 2.0 will. If so, there doesn't seem to be a reason to have included Prime 2.0. Regardless, I plan to migrate my Mathcad 8 files to Mathcad 15, then to Prime, as I have the time.

"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

Prime 3 won't read MC15 files directly nor has Prime 2 done so. Ir incomprehensible and in my opinion a sign of incompetence that the software won't read files in older format directly in a transparent way. You have to convert them first and then open that converted sheet. To be able to do the conversion you need a full fledged current release of Mathcad 15 installed on your machine - thats what i call amateurish. Most converted sheets would need post-editing and only sheets using primarily most basic features woul convert painless and without errors.

Anyway, it applied to Prime2 and still aplies tp P3: the best thing at Prime is that you get Mathcad 5 for free with it. So you have something for serious work.
The sad thing is that Prime is the future and whether we like it or not we will have to get used to it or switch to another software. Most older, valued sheets will have to be abandonded in both cases.

RE: Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

That's correct; MP3 can only read MP sheets. MP3 comes with a file converter utility, just like for MP2, that converts MCD and XMCD files, using M15. Seems silly to me to do this round-about encapsulation of the conversion function into a separate utility, that could easily be directly incorporated into the main program. But, that seems to PTC's MO.

Hopefully, they will recognize the their idiocy and bring that functionality back, just like they did with global definitions in MP3, which they now claim as a great improvement to Mathcad, even though that functionality had been in Mathcad for decades:

Oh, and they've also just announced that MP3 can do TEMPLATES! Yes, another wonderful advancement that no one (except for Mathosoft) ever realized:

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RE: Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

As somebody wrote at the PTC community forum:


What we see now is the result of using advertisement instead of engineering.

Some other "new" features:
  • we can highlight math regions "now"
  • math can be place in text regions
  • user DLLs (with the vers same old interface as in "old" mathcad
  • ...
All those highly praised features we had in Mathcad already for decades.

There is a very small list of things we have in Prime and didn't in Mathcad, like better integration of units in matrices and odesolve and better possibilities to edit matrices.

But then there's the list of whats still missing compared to MC15, beginning with plotting and apparently interminable, let alone the handling speed and ease of use of MC15 compared to Prime. Sometimes it looks like the goal in Prime was that everything you want to achieve should require twice the keystrokes and mouseclicks as it used to be.
Shame on PTC for ruining a good piece of software!

RE: Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

Can someone give me a rundown on what prime is supposed to do over mathcad.

At the moment I'm still using m13. I started on m6, moved to m9 and then to m13.

What is the big difference between prime + mathcad, besides the lost functionality :)

RE: Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

The issue, most likely, was the legacy code inside of Mathcad. It was probably not that compatible with the current versions of Windows, and possible incorporated patches and workarounds that no one really understood. BTDT, a new crew of programmers will invariably prefer to write new code, rather than to try and understand, patch, and repair old code.

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RE: Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

The main difference is the UI. Code is now based on dot net 4 which may be partly responsible for the slow performance. The math under the hood hasn't changed that much. It looks to me that PTC had heavily underestimated the task and the resources necessary.
Moving to Prime might be a good idea as you get MC15 for free to work with and Prime3 to take a look what the future would look like.
Apart from the missing features I don't like the new interface as its very slow and much more cumbersome, most tasks would need more keyboard strokes and/or mouse clicks which slows down working speed significantly.
But form your own opinion and give P3 a testdrive. Without MC15 you won't be able to convert older sheets (which will work painless only for sheets using basic features) but at least you get the look and feel.

RE: Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

rmix22, with that "thumbs up" review I suspect I'll be staying right where I am :)

RE: Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

IMHO the best choice, but judge yourself. Download the tesversion of P3 (which is identical to the full version - the difference is just the license file) and see if you like P3. After the first month you still can use the version in express mode to play around with - "advanced, premium" features like symbolics, programming, solve blocks will be disabled.

RE: Mathcad Prime 3.0 is now available

I have yet to even look at Prime, but from my decades of experience with other PTC products I hold out no hope for them to make a new logical unified user interface. They started out to do that with Pro/Engineer Wildfire. 5 releases later the job was still only half finished. Then they decided to rebrand Pro/E as Creo and bodged that. I don't think they can buy a clue.


The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

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