[R] Same code on Mac?

Robert Baer rbaer at atsu.edu
Thu Sep 1 17:30:18 CEST 2016

On 9/1/2016 9:44 AM, Sarah Goslee wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 4:25 PM, Tom Mosca <tom at vims.edu> wrote:
>> Using a PC I have written the R code for my elementary statistics students.  One of the students has a Mac.  Should the same lines of code work on a Mac?
>> Where can the student find support for R on her Mac?  I don't know anything about them, and have never used one.
> There's an official FAQ for Mac, just as there is for Windows.
> https://cran.r-project.org/faqs.html
> There's also a Mac-specific email help list.
> https://www.r-project.org/mail.html
> Most R code will run as well or better on Mac. All of the OS problems
> I've run into tend to be problems with Windows. It's a bit harder to
> get some geospatial stuff working on Mac, but that's unlikely to be a
> problem with your elementary stats students.
Sarah has pointed you at some Mac support, but some additional advice as 
to the student audience.   [I live in a Windows world most of the time 
and a Ubuntu world the rest of the time, so I have minimal knowledg of 
OSX].    Having students install RStudio has really helped because it 
brings cross-platform commonality here and there.

The biggest problems I've run into with beginning statistics students 
are the issues related to getting them connected to our network and/or 
reading in textbook datasets located on that network.  Differences in 
handling of line endings on text files. However, if you do ground work 
to show them how to do some basic basic things early, they can support 
themselves with these things. The commands will work the same

For text files I often have (Windows) students copy data to the 
clipboard and use a command like  x <- read.table(file = 'clipboard', 
sep = '\t', header = TRUE)  so we can work through some statistical 
tests or graphing.   This won't work on a Mac.  An equivalent 
formulation that is helpful on the Mac is x <- read.table(file = 
pipe('pbpaste'), sep = '\t', header = TRUE)

Other than that, I think you'll find R extremely OS agnostic in a 
teaching environment.


Robert W. Baer, Ph.D.
Professor of Physiology
Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
A T Still University of Health Sciences
800 W. Jefferson St
Kirksville, MO 63501
660-626-2321 Department
660-626-2965 FAX

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