I’ve been using Octave as an alternative to Matlab for about 4 months. For my engineering analysis class, we have been using matlab programming to solve our problems. Matlab is provided to us in a computer lab on campus but its really inconvenient to program there. All on campus computer labs are always hot and the computers are always slow. I didn’t want to buy a copy of Matlab to use at home so I decided to use Octave.
Octave is a free open source alternative to Matlab. Nearly all the functions found in Matlab are the same in Octave. So far the only function that I’ve not been able to use in Octave is xlsread. Octave by itself is basically just a shell. Where you can enter in commands and outputs are displayed. By installing a front-end program such as QT Octave you get the whole environment that you would in Matlab.
At first I wasn’t confident that the two programs would be compatable so I always checked to make sure my program would work on Matlab. After having all my projects work flawlessly between Octave and Matlab I’m confident that my code will execute on both programs.