One thing I forgot to mention in my last post about Mathematica problems is the fact that operating the program with Num-Lock on tends to cause all sorts of problems (it is no longer possible to select a single cell, among other things). Why any mathematical program (even one that deals largely with symbolic mathematics) would be unable to handle have the number pad engaged is utterly baffling to me. Like the window resizing error, this one really makes me wonder about the professionality of Mathematica.

Edit: Wolfram responded to my post, as I describe here.

## Tuesday, June 30, 2009

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## 3 comments:

I haven't noticed any numlock issues on my copy of Mathematica, but I can sympathize with your dislike of the software. I also think that it's extremely unintuitive. Undoing is one thing. The selection behavior is irritating as hell, too. It's great for symbolic things, as well for some plotting related tasks, but for all other things it's so cumbersome that I rarely use it.

Yeah, plotting is one thing it actually seems to do quite well (I think better than MATLAB in a number of ways), and the symbolic stuff is fairly nice. If I had a choice, though, I would not be using it... unfortunately, most of the network analysis techniques I'm working with have already been developed in Mathematica by the Ph.D. student I am working with (so I am mostly just working to extend them) so it is what I'm stuck with for now.

Have you ever used Maple? I have heard fairly good things about it, although I've never used it myself. I also don't know how widely used it is outside of Canada.

Never used Maple. It's not common around here, but it's largely a matter of personal taste.

I think the new Matlab has completely new symbolic manipulation capabilities, but I haven't checked it out.

I'd do anything I can to get out of an unproductive language. I can't stand Mathematica and if I had to use it it would drive me nuts.

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