Although Matlab™ has become widely used for DSP system design and simulation, Matlab has two problems: 1) it's expensive, and 2) it costs a lot. Fortunately, there are alternatives: Free Clones. Whatever else you can say about them, these Free Clones offer two significant advantages: 1) you don't have to pay for them, and 2) they're free.
The major Matlab clones are Scilab, Octave, Rlab and SciPy. None are true "clones", because none offer 100% compatibility with Matlab's "m-files".