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    I found the online version useful today. A friend wanted me to double-check a calculation of theirs for percent change in productivity. They already had the formula written out – it was simple but long. Rather than painstakingly executing the calculation on their scientific calculator, I went to mathics.net and typed up this document, even without knowing Mathematica’s syntax:

    old = 392/( 1.5(5)(16)(40)+(2720)(10)+1500 )
    new = 420/( 1.5(6)(16)(40)+(2790)(10)+1500 )
    (new-old)/old * 100
    

    I was able to quickly confirm that my friend had the correct answer.

    If I hadn’t been working straight from a formula, though, I would probably have been better using Instacalc. I used Mathics only because it supported the 1.5(5) notation for multiplication, which the formula used. But of course, Mathics is far better at heavyweight calculations like differentiation than Instacalc.

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      It seems like wolfram alpha can do nearly everything this can do, excluding more computationally intensive procedures which wolfram alpha times out on. Does this (particularly the web version) provide any other benefits over wolfram alpha, other than being open source?

      Also, it seems like since it’s written in python, it might be sort of slow, although i know that numpy etc make it somewhat faster, since they can use BLAS libraries. Have you seen problems with that?