Monday, May 04, 2009

This made me happy!

Ok, well the Linux box has proved its worth! This evening I was working on some statistics for this proposal I've been, uhm, invited to join and I came upon the need to do some crude power calculations. I won't bore you with describing what that means (I know, I know, so why do I bore you with all the other stuff? Silence, imaginary readers, and hear the tale!) But the long and short of it is that the software packages that I usually use are damned inconvenient if not hostile when it comes to power calculation. So I look online for some free tool for calculating power and I get directed to a site selling add on packaged for the low low price of $1,089. For a single add on package! Needless to say they're targeting institutions, not little ol' me, but as they aim that elephant gun at the institutions it blows me away quite effectively, damnit! I've hit this before with power analysis - lots o' programs, none accessible without wads o' cashage.

But then I remember - I have a Linux Box, and one of the reasons I built the Linux Box was because I knew I could put R on it, and R is a quite powerful, and quite free/open source statistical programming language with all sorts of goodies on it. I grabbed my one handy dandy intro to R book, looked up power analysis, and shore nuff, there is a handy dandy procedure written for R with all kinds of simple but powerful bells and whistles that could do what I want. Literally five minutes later, after all of 1 line of code, I had my power analysis. For free. Woo hoo! I can't tell you the hours I've spent getting pissed off over power analysis in the past. I am a very happy Shifter.

So this post is lovingly written to you all on the Good Ol' Linux Box. Woohoo! Now I just have time to play some games on the resource hogging but very capable Windows box sitting right next to it before going to bed. If there is a mothership for geeks, it's calling me home...

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