[R] two questions for R beginners

Keo Ormsby keo.ormsby2 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 2 00:21:59 CET 2010

Patrick Burns escribió:
> * What were your biggest misconceptions or
> stumbling blocks to getting up and running
> with R?
> * What documents helped you the most in this
> initial phase?
> I especially want to hear from people who are
> lazy and impatient.
> Feel free to write to me off-list.  Definitely
> write off-list if you are just confirming what
> has been said on-list.
Perhaps my biggest problem was that I couldn't (and still haven't) seen 
*absolute beginners* documents. It took me about six months to start 
using R for my everyday data analysis, and now I can't imagine life 
without it!
My problem was that I knew some programming (Java) and had never used a 
command line for statistics. All my statistical needs had been 
accomplished through the graphical interface of SPSS or similar software 
(even Excel!). I have a feeling that almost all "Introduction to R" 
documents are made for making the switch from SPSS and SAS scripting, to 
R. But I have had a very difficult time using R as an *entry level* 
statistical scripting language to help my colleagues (none of us are 
either programmers nor statisticians, mostly biology PhDs and a couple 
of MDs).
I would love to see a text oriented towards someone who has never used 
anything but Excel, but realizes that to do science today you have to go 
beyond the "Data analysis" toolbar from Excel.
(Plese tell me if you know of any)
Best to all,

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