[R] Rcmdr and Macintosh

John Fox jfox at mcmaster.ca
Tue Sep 30 02:27:28 CEST 2003

Dear Aniko,

At 10:21 AM 9/29/2003 -0600, Aniko Szabo wrote:
>Hi everyone!
>I am planning to use R and Rcmdr in a basic stat course. I have no access 
>to a computer lab, but I can expect all students to have a laptop. Of 
>couse, I have no control over their OS and in my experience several of 
>them will have Macs. I have Windows. My question is the following: can I 
>expect them to be able to install R, Tcl/Tk and Rcmdr (i.e. does anybody 
>has experinece with it?) Are there any installation 
>tricks/tips/instructions you can help me with?

I was hoping that a Mac user would pick up this question, since I have no 
direct experience using the Rcmdr package on a Mac. I've been told by 
several people that the package works fine under OS X. You do need to have 
the tcltk package installed, and of course Tcl/Tk.

I've been using R with the Rcmdr package in an introductory social 
statistics class this fall. Remarkably, every one of the approximately 50 
students in the class has a Windows computer. I distributed a Windows 
CD/ROM with a pre-installed copy of R that runs from a batch file and loads 
the Rcmdr package on startup. The CD also contains the Windows R installer, 
all of the contributed Windows binary packages on CRAN, all the data for 
the course, and complete installation instructions. I told students that 
they could run the software from the CD/ROM, but that it would perform 
better if installed on their computers, and as near as I can tell, most 
seem to have installed it successfully. So far, everything seems to be 
going smoothly.

I've prepared an introduction to the R Commander that's specific to my 
class but may be of more general interest; you can find a copy at 
<http://socserv.socsci.mcmaster.ca/jfox/Courses/soc3h6/R-Commander.pdf>. I 
plan eventually to revise this document to make it more general.

I hope that this helps,
John Fox
Department of Sociology
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4M4
email: jfox at mcmaster.ca
phone: 905-525-9140x23604
web: www.socsci.mcmaster.ca/jfox

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