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Friday, May 1, 2009

OU MST121 / MS221 software

Some minor out-points for the Open University.

Included are among others MathCad 2000i and OUStats. MathCad 2000i is as old as the name implies and as can be predicted does NOT work with Vista. The buglist errata which comes with the package is impressive. Why MathCad while other software is powers of ten times better? Think of Mathematica, Maple or even the free Open Source SAGE? I suppose it is because MathCad is 'British'. Well, I borrowed a copy of MathCad 14 which at least does work with Vista so that I could make the required printouts for the TMAs. No need to say I do all calculations with Mathematica.

Next piece of software is OUStats. And this program does not work outside the Britisch isles. At least not in countries where they use a comma for the 'decimal point'. Well, at least there are no mandatory printouts required. More than enough alternatives to do some simple stats. My advice would be to drop MathCad and switch to SAGE or to the Student Edition of Mathematica. The OUStats package is ok, but it should be fixed so that it will work in Europe as well. Well, they drive left too and carry pounds instead of euros. At least their Open University has a mathematics department.

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