You can use all three systems as a calculator. For example, Maxima (note that at this stage I'll quit Bill Shelter's book mode and switch directly to the Maxima buffer):

(C1) 23 * 11 - 252.52; (D1) 0.47999999999998977And now the same in Maple:

> 23 * 11 - 252.52; .48 >and in Mathematica:

In[2]:= 23 * 11 - 252.52 Out[2]= 0.48 In[3]:=

Mathematica and Maple sensibly round the result to give the same number of decimal digits as used in the input. Maxima, interestingly, shows you the whole truth, i.e., you can see the rounding error that always accompanies floating point computations.

Factorials: Maxima first:

Now Maple:

and Mathematica:

In Maple and in Mathematica we can now factor this very long integer as follows:

Maple:

and Mathematica:

In all three systems, the percent symbol, %, brings back the last computed expression.

Maxima, unfortunately, does not provide a precooked function for doing this.
In general,
although Maxima does provide some support for number theory, it lags behind
her two sisters in a few places.
But
watch this space!
You are going to address this shortcoming and write `ifactor` for
Maxima yourself at some stage!

In Maple the expression obtained by `ifactoring` 200! can
be put back into a single number with

because

When it comes to arithmetic all three try to compute things as accurately
as possible, i.e., they will try not to convert results of integer division
and other algebraic operations into floating point numbers, unless specifically
requested. This is Maxima trying to compute
:

Maple does much the same:

Mathematica returns a result, which looks different, but only because it used one of the 3-s in the denominator to move downstairs: