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  • 07/07/12--16:52: What I’m up to
  • This will be a short post, just to keep me in the habit. I found two new blogs I want you to know about: Normal Deviate and Econometrics by Simulation. The week after next PolMeth XXIX is in town and Gary King is speaking on Friday, July 20, talking about robust standard errors. I'm going. [...]

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  • 07/13/12--16:40: Pushing circles around
  • Occasionally, a need comes up for drawing a circle. Say you have a scattershot of points that follow a bivariate normal distribution, and you want to illustrate being within a given radius inside that scattershot somewhere. You will want to draw a circle so you can use its functional form to isolate the dots that [...]

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    How do you update your R? I mean the whole thing, not just the base packages. R comes with a library folder where packages go -- both the base packages and the user-written ones you install over time. I'm not entirely sure what would be the best place for this folder so updates to all [...]

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  • 09/15/12--14:00: My MOOC habit
  • I can't seem to stay away from all this great online education, and the problem worsens as supply expands and prices fall. Back in 2008 I was paying NC State about $400 a pop for some CS courses that I took online there. Now there's Coursera, edX, Udacity, P2PU and Caltech, all free. For some [...]

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  • 10/17/12--14:19: Benchmarks
  • I went googling for some examples of quadratic programming done in Mata, and stumbled across a fairly recent Statalist discussion. The original question is here and the official response, typically prompt, is here. I tested Patrick Roland's code on my own machine (2011 MacBook Pro Core2 i5) but with Octave instead of MATLAB, and with [...]

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    My understanding is that there are three kinds of R packages: base, recommended, and everything else. You can tell which is which by inspecting the output of installed.packages(). That is easiest done in RStudio by sending that output to a data frame, like this packs names(subset(packs, Priority=="recommended")$Package) [1] "boot" "class" "cluster" "codetools" "foreign" "KernSmooth" [7] [...]

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    So far, it's been great fun. It's the first MOOC I saw where the software used is Stata, and I would not be surprised if this were a first among all commercial software packages. The topics covered and quality of the instruction are excellent. I am glad to see Stata introduced to a large audience [...]

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  • 01/25/13--19:08: Tidying up your R packages
  • Do you have the same R packages installed in two places? Would you like to remove the duplicates? You might find the script below useful: rm(list=ls(all=TRUE)) # define function to return duplicate packages and paths tidyup

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    This morning I checked Paul Allison's Statistical Horizons blog and found a post on measures for logistic regression. It introduced me to Tjur's by way of an example, which I repackaged below: // Reference: http://www.statisticalhorizons.com/r2logistic // program definition capture prog drop tjur2 program tjur2, rclass if !inlist(e(cmd),"logit","logistic") { di as err "Tjur's R-squared only works [...]

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  • 03/16/13--09:36: A quick note on rJava
  • I recently had to set up a PC with similar kit as I have on my Mac. On this PC the OS is Windows 7 64-bit but the browser is IE8 32-bit. This causes jucheck.exe to install (and occasionally update) 32-bit Java. This is unfortunate if you use 64-bit R, because it breaks the rJava [...]

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    As noted here, after upgrading to R 3.0.0 you must run update.packages(checkBuilt=TRUE) This is because a bunch of packages have to be to rebuilt under R 3.0.0 in order to keep working. So I did, but that was not enough for LyX to be able to compile my pdf's from knitr like it used to [...]

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    Yellow color scheme is out, sky-blue is in, plus expanded capabilities, as one might expect. Notable among them, xtologit, xtoprobit and long strings -- 2 billion character long, that is. One of these days you won't need an RDBMS anymore. Wouldn't that be nice? See more details here.

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    Sure, it may be the 4chan of data analysis, but it's so nice to be able to do R Markdown right there in RStudio and just hit the Publish button. Of course, this convenience has downsides. I know it's prudent to sit with your work a bit, just like thinking carefully before you go skinny-dipping, […]

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    This is from a home server that runs Fedora 14, to which I have ssh access from my MacBook Pro. 1. I git clone'd this. 2. Then, as super-user, I called wget https://bitbucket.org/pypa/setuptools/raw/bootstrap/ez_setup.py -O - | python as instructed here, to install the setuptools module. 3. Then, also as super-user, I called python setup.py install […]

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  • 12/30/13--11:38: Invisible methods
  • R objects come with various methods that make them useful. I tend to stumble over these by googling something I want to do, and finding some code example on StackOverflow. But today I learned (from @RLangTip) that there is a straightforward way to list them all: you simply call e.g., methods(class='lm'). That's nice, but mileage […]

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  • 01/11/14--18:49: FreeNAS works as advertised
  • I decided to replace the HDD with a SSD in my Mac for Christmas, but I only got as far as buying the thing and backing up the computer using Time Machine as explained here to a poor man's FreeNAS server that I cobbled together from a USB stick (for the OS) and the old […]

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    Mine did. That was an unpleasant surprise. Googling for a solution brought up untold amounts of speculation and wasted time. What ended up working for me was resetting the System Management Controller (SMC), as documented here and especially here. You should see that Reddit comment thread, especially if you're also wondering whether you're supposed to […]

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    If you're going to download the Mac binaries for the latest R, you will see that they come in "Snow Leopard and higher" and "Mavericks and higher" flavors. If you run Mavericks, the latter is a natural choice, though the former clearly says "and higher" too, so it's got to be a valid option as […]

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  • 07/01/14--10:48: Introducing syncR
  • A new and improved version of the syncPacks() function is now part of a GitHub package, which you can install through devtools::install_github('ghuiber/syncR'). If you're into that, you can help develop it further too. Thanks go to Hilary Parker for her thorough instructions and to Hadley Wickham for devtools and roxygen2.

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    The job of textbooks is to separate brilliance, which has zero marginal cost, from individual attention, which is labor-intensive. Everybody is better off when the few brilliant teachers write books that the many dedicated ones can teach from. MOOC's do the same job better. They are cheaper to make and distribute. They are cheaper to […]

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