[R] The book: S Programming

Bill.Venables@CMIS.CSIRO.AU Bill.Venables at CMIS.CSIRO.AU
Mon Jan 1 02:18:15 CET 2001

Mike Meyer writes:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Michael M. Meyer [mailto:mikem at salter-point.com]
> Sent: Monday, 1 January 2001 7:58
> To: Andrew Criswell
> Cc: r-help at stat.math.ethz.ch
> Subject: Re: [R] The book: S Programming 
> The Synopsis on Amazon.co.uk seems to refer to the book "Modern Applied 
> Statistics with S-Plus, but otherwise these are the same two books.  
> The US price of 59.95 converts to about 40.16 UK pounds (using a recent 
> exchange rate).  Thus, except for the cost of mailing, it would seem 
> that the US price is slightly better.  I would suggest you explore the 
> shipping options (both price and delivery time) for the two sites and 
> make a choice based on that.  My guess is that the US site will have a 
> slightly lower shipping price and slightly faster delivery.

I hate to mention this now, but for some odd reason before Christmas
amazon.com had S Programming on a special price of ...  US$17.98, a 70%
reduction on the normal price. I was quite depressed about it at the time
but now it is back to its normal (= exhorbitant) price I don't feel quite so

I kept an eye on it while it was at its low price and its rank shot up from
around the 50000 mark to about the 5000 mark, so they must have shifted a
few before Christmas.  That's my reason for mentioning this: if anyone is
thinking about buying it now

(a) kick yourself for missing the 18 buck price, and
(b) get in quickly since supply is probably getting a bit low.

It is now back down to the 22000s and sliding so I suspect things are (not
surprisingly!) slowing down a bit.

I agree entirely with Brian that trying to get the message across either to
publishers or online booksellers is a totally futile business.  I speak from
bitter experience as well.

While I am on the Amazon business, I have to say the reviews are not always
the most sensitive and perceptive around, too.  The first one for S Prog
says, in effect, "I was looking for an introductory book on this subject.
This is not one and does not claim to be one.  Nevertheless I went ahead and
bought it anyway and, you know what, I found it very tough going...
Therefore it's crap.  Buy something else."  I loved it.  I can't work out
why so many customers did not find it useful... :-)

> You (or perhaps Brian Ripley or Bill Venables) might want to contact 
> Amazon.co.uk and suggest that they correct their catalog.  
> Unfortunately, I don't have much influence on these matters.

No one has much influence on these matters.  What you are observing is the
purest form of random process this side of quantum physics.

My best wishes to everyone for a happy new year.

Bill Venables, CSIRO/CMIS Environmetrics Project
Email: Bill.Venables at cmis.csiro.au
Phone: +61 7 3826 7251
Fax:   +61 7 3826 7304
Postal: PO Box 120, Cleveland, Qld 4163, AUSTRALIA
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