Alternative to Mathematica15 Dec 2014
Mathematica is a great solution to some computing problems. However it has only one disadvantage: it is very expensive. Any other way to avoid the fee? No, I am not talking about swithching to R, Python, etc.
Firstly, consult the university if being a university student. I found that many universities in United States provide Mathematica to their staffs and students, allowing them install it on their personal computer. I am not sure what will happen after the student graduate. But at least students could buy the product cheaper after graduation.
Secondly, use WolframAlpha, an official “free alternative” by Wolfram, the company behind Mathematica. It supports natural language input and some not-complex Mathematica commands. It is really helpful! One more thing, Wolfram provides a free seperate Integral Calculator!
Thirdly, use Mathics, a free online interface “simulating” Mathematica, which is supported by Python. It is even open source! It is not fast, but yet helpful, and it support some “standard” commands from Mathematica, unlike WolframAlpha. I always combine it with WolframAlpha.
Lastly, after some researching, I believe sometimes time is money. In fact, Wolfram provides WolframAlpha Pro and Mathematica Online, which are very portable and useful especially when urgent. Its monthly subscription model and online technology guarantee that we can pay for and use it when needed, and avoid the fee other time.
If you read this post, hope my post is helpful.