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MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

(OP)
I have still been using MathCAD 12 (I think, very old version that works just fine).

So far my initial impression is unfavorable, but I don't know how much of that is due to Express' limitations. Also, this is my first time trying Prime, so some of these issues may have been around since they changed to the MathCAD prime format.

1. Is there a way to change the interface to 'Classic MathCAD' (auto detect text or equations, use the '.' for subscripts, etc.). If I have to learn all new keystroke shortcuts, I may as well use MS equation editor and do the calculations by hand.

I'd like to keep this thread open for future questions/discussion if possible.

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

MP Express IS essentially a WYSIWYG calculator. My recollection is that M12 was a particularly bad version of MC, as that was the start of the re-write of the code of MC, and it really took until M15 to fix everything functionally to the level of M11.

I'm personally still using M15, and it's unclear whether I'll ever switch over.

There was a controls template that one could hack to change things like units and shortcuts in the older versions of MC, but I don't know if the same applies to MP.



TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

(OP)
I'm going from recollection, my version might be quite a bit older even than M12.:)

Point is, it seems to work great, even in Win10, and I'm not seeing, so far, a reason to go with the new version, but I don't think I can get an old version at my new job. :/

It's not terrible, but if I have to relearn everything, it's really going to slow me down for a while.

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

I am still waiting for Mcad Prime users to say it is safe to upgrade to Mathcad Prime.
I stopped upgrading at MC13. MC14's symbolic solver wasn't as good as MC13's.
I think PTC owned MC when the upgrade to MC14 was made. They broke the solver.

@IRStuff, does MC15 work with Windows 10?
I must run my MC13 on a WinXP virtual machine.

I still use MC13 a lot. I have a lot of files ( history ) using MC. I have about 800-1000 MC files. I am slowly converting the most important files over to Python if they are math intensive. The symbolic problems I have converted to Mathematica. Mathematica was only able to solve about 1/3 of the symbolic problems that Mathcad couldn't.

I have downloaded the trial MCP and tried it. I am not impressed with putting lipstick on a pig. I bet that PTC doesn't have any engineers/programmers that really understand MC so that they could improve MC's internals.

MC has a few severe faults. wxMaxima and Mathematica will allow symbols to represent formulas. There is are operators that allow separating a symbols left hand side of the equals from the right hand side. Basically, symbols that represent formulas can be manipulated. There isn't as much cutting and pasting in wxMaxima and Mathematica as there is using Mathcad.

Mathcad will always display a-b as -b+a. I hate that.
Mathcad does not optimize recursively. Many times I must copy a sub-expression and optimize it separately then substitute it for the original sub expression.
The Mathcad minerr routine is poorly documented and doesn't work very well. I can provide the same initial guess and get different answers every time I hit control F9.

I have been using Mathcad since version 3. There are many time people post MC files that I can't open so I can't help. I probably have a good example.

MC is good but has never been ready for prime time.

Peter Nachtwey
Delta Computer Systems
http://www.deltamotion.com
http://forum.deltamotion.com/

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

Well, bear in mind that M15 is nearly 7 years old, and it is indeed a wonder that it actually does run in Win10, although, I'm not a power user like Peter, so I can't attest to EVERYTHING working.

For whatever reason, Mathsoft, and the PTC, collectively decided to make the Prime file format incompatible with the original program; not unlike block chain splitting, I guess. After the debacle of the code rewrite for Mathcad, I think PTC decided to take the slooooooow approach to re-writes, to avoid the previous catastrophic releases. I think that MP5 supposedly was planned to be the equivalent of M15 in functionality, but MP5 was supposed to beta-test near the end of last year, and release this year. I don't know if I'm out of that loop, or it's just that nothing's happened. A likely possibility is that the slow-roll of MPx caused a lot of users to bail, and there's insufficient revenue to justify making the next release.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

Since PTC took it over, the work stopped and customer service decreased...

Dik

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

They cranked out at least 3 versions of MP after the acquisition on their own, over a span of 7 years, so not exactly a work stoppage. Certainly, they've gone into glacial progress mode in the last 3 years, so there's that. I think most of the original Mathsoft personnel have left the company, and there may no longer be a highly-placed product advocate at PTC anymore, such as Razdow.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

None of the new versions have been anything to write home about... the company was far more dynamic before PTC.

Dik

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

(OP)
I don't have any issues getting it (MCP 4.0) to run on Win10. I just hate that they completely changed the keyboard interface and none of the 'normal' mathcad keys work to write equations. I really only use MathCAD for basic algebraic stuff and rarely need anything more advanced than a simple 2D graph.

That said, since the main reason for using MathCAD is to make the equations look right when I paste them into my reports (and it's nice that the calculations are there), there's not much point in using even the free version, much less getting my company to purchase another license.

Time to start learning MS Equation Editor. :/

Thanks for the input.

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

Last I heard, MP4 still comes with MC15, which was the last version prior to the interface change. As mentioned earlier, I'm still using MC15, which was, and is, perfectly adequate for anything I do.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

or have a look at SMath Studio

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

I am under the impression that soon enough MC15 is going to no longer be supported, and therefore I might as well start converting my files over to Prime as soon as possible. I suppose there is a converter but I have not used it as of yet.
I am not a power user of any Mathcad with about 100 Mathcad files and have only recently switched over to Prime 4.0. My first impressions are that things like the page ruler and print settings are very minimal, but for the most part if you do straightforward code formulas (ASME BPVC, AISC 360, etc.) the Prime version will likely be sufficient for most of your needs. I have yet to use it for evaluating equations for specific variables, as I had used MC15 to do for some flat plates in a few Timoshenko books, so I'm not sure how it will work just yet.
This sort of reminds me of when Ansys rolled out their Workbench front end, which looked "pretty" but was limited compared with what APDL could do, or when Solidworks came out with DesignModeler which was limited compared with what CosmosM could do. I may be off base here with my analogy, but after using Prime 4.0 for a few hours that's the feeling I get.

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

mathcad prime can open mathcad 15 files directly. it converts it to prime format, and you may lose some functionality. I have not had any issues, even with my more complicated sheet, with conversions.

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

My recollection is that it was a separate and one-way process. MP essentially uses MC15 to open the file and then transfer the contents to MP, so not exactly a transparent live file conversion.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

I'm running Mathcad Prime 2.0, and I can confirm that it shipped with a separate utility for converting MC15 files to Mathcad Prime format - but they may have integrated that function into later iterations of Prime.

In my case, almost none of my MC15 worksheets translated cleanly - but again, they may have expanded the library of supported translated functions in later versions. I can't recall whether my problems were because of the functions I was using not being supported (I do use quite a lot of Mathcad curve-fitting and surface-fitting functions, for example), or if my syntax was unusual, but I am not enough of a Mathcad guru to think I would be doing anything particularly elaborate.

In the end, I gave up trying to translate my old worksheets across to Mathcad Prime, but I generally use Prime for "quick and dirty" simple calculations.

http://julianh72.blogspot.com

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

If we're collecting Mathcad stories, here's mine...

I have tried the free Mathcad prime from PTC and I find it too limited even for many rudimentary tasks (eg. vectors).

I have a copy of Mathcad 13 that still works and I expect I will continue using it until my OS stops accepting 32-bit programs. Since this is a program I have personally bought, using it at work causes some issues. At one workplace, they were willing to buy a license of Mathcad for me but the approval process took almost a year and then they installed it on somebody else's machine instead of mine. So until I left that place, I would occasionally use my personal copy of MC for calculations. Where I work now, the computers are "locked down" and without administrator privilege, I can't even install MC13 on my work PC. But I can get SMath Studio to work, it is sufficient for my more typical needs, and it doesn't need to be licensed when used for work, because it's freeware. I find the file conversion process a bit buggy, and some graphs don't come in at all. I may commit to using more of SMath long-term, which means that won't be concerned with backward compatibility with the XMCD format. I have already made a donation to the developer.

STF

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

I use MathCAD 2000 Pro... and it seems to function OK. More recently, I'm using SMath more and more...

Dik

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

(OP)
Thanks for the tip on SMath. I'm going to send the link to the IT guy and see if he has any objections to me installing it on my work machine. That seems a better option at this point than trying to get an expensive license for software that's just annoying me.

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

I have no problem with IT... I do nearly everything on my laptop... Our IT department is a profit centre, and, they can be more profitable if they do not supply up to date equipment. Starting at the same time, I can be working on my laptop before the logon screen shows itself on the office desktop.

Dik

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

While that sounds more efficient, you are subsidizing your company's business with your own money/assets. Whenever you buy yourself your next new laptop, will you be buying it for yourself, or for your job? This question depends on if you're a full-time employee or a contract employee, of course.

STF

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

It's peanuts in the scheme of things, in my opinion. In another thread people are claiming to routinely work 10 hours a week of unpaid overtime. That's a top of the range laptop every 2 weeks!

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

True enough, there are some very generous employees out there.

Quote (Greg Locock)

FWIW Mathcad 5+ won't run on W7, but will run in the XP emulator box on W7.

You reminded me, for the first time in YEARS that I once set up a virtual machine on my home computer for EXACTLY that purpose.
Tonight I fired it up, clicked on Mathcad 5+, and wow - it still works :)
Jeez now you got me going, and it's rainy tonight, I'll have to have a DosBox session and play some space invaders.

STF

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

My mathcad 2000 pro works on Win 7 pro.

Dik

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

I agree that it's a bit of a subsidy... but, it eliminates my own frustration with inferior hardware... well worth the lack of aggravation. To make matters worse, the IT department charges $5 for each hour of billable time. I can copy a CAD file to USB stick and view it on my laptop using Bricscad faster than I can load it in the Autodesk viewer. Using my laptop is a no-brainer.

Dik

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

(OP)
Prime 4.0 won't copy/paste into Word. Glad I got the free version first. I guess I'll be uninstalling this from my machine. Now to go find a feedback form in case they care. :)
I still use my old version on my own machine, but this new version is like learning a completely different software and it just doesn't seem worth it.

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

(OP)
On the plus side, SMath works just like the 'old' version of MathCAD, so thanks again for that tip. I had never heard of that software before.

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

It's been around for a LONG time, but the author is located in Russia, I think, since my company blocks the URL based on country. So, if you're in a DoD aerospace company, there might be an issue with getting SMath approved.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

(OP)
SMath equations copy into word as images, which is at least easy to deal with.

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

What changed? Back in the old days of Mathcad 5, circa 2002, I was able to paste directly into MS Word, and the calculations were still ALIVE. Meaning I could edit them and subsequent numbers in the Word document would update themselves. Graphs were clunky, but that functionality was fantastic.

STF

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

IRS: Nope...don't know about Word... use LibreOffice at home.



The attached was a page of an 8 page calc in SMath. It was copied and pasted into LibreOffice and printed using DoroPDF as a printer driver. The *.pdf was converted to *.png using Paint.Net, and the *.png file was loaded to the forum.

Dik

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

I also really like the number of decimal places and trailing zeros feature of SMath... noted in the above 'cut and paste'... For projects, I use SMath calcs and print them to doroPDF printer, in append mode, and it creates a neat, good looking, set of design notes. I didn't realise you could cut and paste notes into LibreOffice until mentioned above. I can convert the *.pdf into *.png using paint.net and post them into the forum.

Dik

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

Quote (Worldtraveller)

I have still been using MathCAD 12 (I think, very old version that works just fine).

That, or maybe Mathcad 13 was the last of the MathCADS before PTC took over... My Mathcad 2000 seems to work fine, but, am using it less and less.

Dik

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

13 was still under the Mathsoft banner.

STF

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

Sparweb... thanks,

Dik

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

PTC screwed up the symbolic solver in Mathcad 14. Mathcad 13 had the last decent symbolic solver but not quite as good as Mathematica. I doubt PTC has fixed the symbolic math solver.. I now use Mathematica for symbolic solutions.
I also use Mathcad to fit equations to data. My record is 15 variables for a non-linear differential equation. Mathcad 13 does a decent jobs but sometimes Mathcad13 exits too soon before the minimum ( optimum ) solution is found.
I am starting to use Python for simulations and fitting data to equations but Python is slow relative to Mathcad13.

smath looks good but I wonder if it has a minerr or optimize function like Mathcad, Scilab or Python.

Peter Nachtwey
Delta Computer Systems
http://www.deltamotion.com
http://forum.deltamotion.com/

RE: MathCAD Prime Express 4.0

Somewhere along the way, Mathsoft and Maple's symbolic engine parted ways and they went to muPad; so not broken, per se. My impression is that muPad just isn't as capable as Maple was.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

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