If money were no object – what Maths software would you use?
I’ve not really done this before out of fear of the possibility that no one would reply but I’m going to do it anyway and ask my readers a question or two.
If money were no object – what Maths software would you use? Why? Are there any commercial maths applications that you wouldn’t use – even if they were free?
Update (20th August 2008):Some people have questioned my motivation for asking this question so I guess it’s only fair that I lay all of my cards on the table. I do not work for any software company but I do work for a University that has site licenses for almost all of the applications I mentioned above. Furthermore I am the campus representative for many of these site licenses so I am responsible for getting them from the supplier to our users and I am sometimes involved in site license negotiations.
Back when I was a PhD student of physics (at a different university) I sat on the other side of the fence and was a user of Mathematica, MATLAB, the NAG libraries, Fortran, C++ and, occasionally, Mathcad. All of them have strengths and weaknesses but, of course, my point of view was limited only to what was useful to me at the time. I have strong opinions in some areas (I love Mathematica, I hate Mathcad and I respect MATALB for instance) that have been shaped by my own experiences but I like to have my opinions challenged whenever possible.
So, the reason for my question is simply professional and personal interest. The only agenda I have is to learn more and seek people’s opinions. I am not selling anything and I do not aim to promote any particular company. People who disagree with me are especially welcomed to comment.