2006/02/23

Maple fun.

I like Maple. I like Maple a lot. I _don't_ like it $129 a lot, though; feeding my family is more important. It is a fun tool, and I'm sure that coding it was a bear. Here's the problem: I need to use Maple for a project in my Calc II class. The instructor assumes (mostly correctly) that the students can just go to the lab and use the networked copy there. I, however, don't have the luxury of being able to spend hours at the college library.

So, I'm left trying to get to my 6:00 class early so that I can get as much done as possible. I tried just doing the graphs and complex stuff and then cutting and pasting into Word, but some of the symbols don't copy correctly. It's very frustrating.

Because the college licenses Maple for their site, any student can use it while plugged into the network. When you start the application, it checks for the license server, contacts it, and gets the OK to start. So, I dopped the executable onto my laptop and ran it. This was an improvement to using the lab because I could at least print the worksheet from my computer to a PDF. Unfortunately, I still had a lot of editing to do.

At the end of class, I hibernated my laptop and didn't boot up again until this morning. Lo and behold, I had left Maple running! So, until I close it, I should be able to keep working on my project and actually make some progress. Legally it might be a little grey, but morally I think it is OK. It's not like I can use the app willy-nilly. I didn't reverse engineer or crack anything. I'm not using it for commercial purposes. One way to look at it is that my computer is a part of the college network, I've just lost connectivity for a little while =).

It would be nice if Maple was a little more flexible with their licensing. They could probably talk me into maybe $15/quarter while enrolled at a qualifying institution or something like that. $129 is just too steep for a working student with a family.

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