Way back when I purchased Mathematica in the hopes that it would help me decipher Algebra.

It didn't work.

It boiled down to not understanding the explanation or not knowing enough to adequately enter or

interpret the answer.

Now, I have a raspberry Pi for which Wolfram has been kind enough to make available - Mathematica.

So, mathematical incompetent that I am, all these years later, I figure I'll give the same goal a go.

As an example, I figured, reducing polynomials (or factoring, or solving) - see, all these years later,

I still can't tell you what a polynomial is, or, if it IS defined somewhere, that definition makes little sense to

me. I can look at this example:

http://www.algebra-net.com/math-help-1/algebrator-trial.htmland understand how it works, why it works

but, of the examples I've seen in Mathematica, I'm not sure how to arrive at the same point / place

in mathematica.

Is:

a^4b^6-x^8 / a^2b^3+x^4

the same thing as presented at the link above?

If so, to arrive at a comparable solution as in the link above, would that be:

NSolve, Solve, Factor, Reduce (or something else)?

I've tried NSolve, Solve, and Reduce and if any of those is "correct", they don't

look or behave (at least to my eye) anything like the process in the link.

Am I just ignorant (a given here) and not adequately understanding the answer,

or, am I doing something wrong and should be using a different method or process

to arrive at the same answer OR is it just not possible because of what Mathematica

is designed to do and how it does it?

by comparison,

I tried:

Solve[2x+y = 13,x]

and that answer made perfect sense to me.

To say that mathematics is not my strong suit is a gross understatement here.

Please factor that into your answer.

Thanx