19 November 2015

If you do not first succeed; try, try again...

and yet again.

I'd written a bit about attempting to learn "R" and then move from that into some of the online free courses involving data analysis using R.  And commented about a week later that it was not going well.  I sent off an eMail detailing my attempts to retrieve data files to the instructor of this archived exploration course, a remedial introduction to R; he's a professor in Sweden who happens to love all things R~related.  I hadn't heard anything from him, but I am not surprised.  There are a multitude of possible reasons he hasn't responded to my plea for assistance, by explaining what I might be doing wrong.

Then came SSsssssinusssss Sssurgery.  Mucking about in R didn't seem to be a priority during the first week of recovery, since my brain was not functioning at its best and I'd already been having issssssuess with R.  But then today, I decided to give it another whirl.

I'd downloaded "Data for the Life Sciences" textbook and started to read through the preface, which is prior to the forward, which is before the introduction.  Good thing I did; although most folks skip all that ~~ THIS is exactly why I do not.  There is a reason authors, editors, and publishers include these things; generally there is information included in there that is not explained elsewhere ~~ like what sorts of knowledge you should already have and if you do not have them, then where to find them and become familiar with them.

In this case, since this textbook is meant to be used for a specific online course, it has helpful hyperlinks that connect you to those resources, along with directions in what to do once you get to that site, what and how to download, and other suggestions.  So I added the RStudio, rTools, and an assortment of packages {data sets} to what I'd already downloaded a few weeks ago.

One of those tools is "swirl".  It comes with all sorts of lessons on how to do this and that AND the other thing in R.  It's step by step format, offers encouragement {"excellent job!"}, correction {"not exactly what I was looking for; try this instead..."}, and examples of what else you might want to try.  It's just my speed at the moment and I think this will nicely dove tail what some of the other instructional videos cover.  So I'm back in R.  sorta.

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