[R] CDs for R?

David Whiting david.whiting at ncl.ac.uk
Wed Nov 17 00:18:46 CET 2004

(Ted Harding) <Ted.Harding at nessie.mcc.ac.uk> writes:


> There's something of a hidden assumption that R users
> can readily download whatever they need from CRAN.


> What I'd like to suggest, for consideration, is that along
> with the stirling work done at many centres to set up and
> maintain mirrors of CRAN, some might consider offering also
> the service of burning CDs on request, for a reasonable
> charge. The difficulty, of course, is that it's going to
> take someone's time om something which may well not be
> their proper business.

I have been in a similar situation a fair bit in the past and
understand your position.  Now I'm back in the UK and have a
reasonably fast broadband connection at home I'd be willing to help
out now and then. I guess that to make this work more generally we
would need to work out how to make sure that only the CDs get burned
and not the prospective "customer" or "supplier". 

As for charges, I think I'd only be interested in covering costs of
the CDs and postage. I don't have industrial strength hardware so I
could not get into mass production.

Perhaps we could establish informal groups of "R buddies" where, for
example, I help you and a small number of other people out each time
there is an update and we establish some kind of trust between
ourselves, rather than new people coming to me each time. People could
sign up to be "suppliers" and be allocated or choose a group of people
they provide the service to.

I would feel comfortable with something like this working for people
who have been on the R-help list for a while and have some recgonised
identity, and something to lose in terms of reputation if they take
advantage. But, it is possible that new users might need it the most
and, by definition, we might not feel comfortable dealing with new


David Whiting
University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

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