I’ve been planning to do some software updates to my web server for a while. Over the last couple of days I’ve been slowly doing bits and pieces – slowly because I had an operation for carpal tunnel syndrome and can’t use both hands. So far I’ve done the following:
Years ago I worked for Ross Ihaka at on the R project, a free software statistics environment that has become pretty popular (if you visit the website you can see my name in the contributors list – though my contributions were not exactly central to the project!). R has now featured in a New York Times article entitled R, the Software, Finds Fans in Data Analysts. There are some great quotes:
“R is really important to the point that it’s hard to overvalue it,” said Daryl Pregibon, a research scientist at Google, which uses the software widely. “It allows statisticians to do very intricate and complicated analyses without knowing the blood and guts of computing systems.”
It’s nice to see a great piece of free software recognised like this, and kind of cool for me to have something I worked on getting that kind of publicity. I’ve asked someone in NY to send me a copy of the print edition from that day, so hopefully I’ll have a memento to keep.
We spent Christmas staying in a cottage in Cornwall, as Mim’s grandparents and Aunty & Uncle live down there. Mim’s parents and sister joined us from Cirencester. Joshua’s still a bit young to appreciate actual Christmas presents, though he was fascinated by the bubbles produced by the bubble gun Ruth (Mim’s sister) gave him. He absolutely loved the wrapping paper though, and was immensely happy to sit in the middle of a big pile of paper rustling through it all.