Tag Archives: science

r: Might as well start at the beginning

I know enough about statistics to know that r is a good name for a statistics software package, but I also know it’s hell on searching for an application.


r is the GNU statistical software and graphics package, which stands as r-base-core in Debian, but is tricky to find in Arch/AUR. No matter, I had no trouble getting it to compile in Arch once I had installed perl-exutils-f77.

Of course, now that it’s been built, along comes the perennial question … what do I do with it? 😕 Like I said, I know a little about statistics. It’s not enough to put me at any advantage over r though.

And so again I find myself years behind the curve, much as I was with octave, mathomatic or even gnuplot. I swear it’s not for a lack of ability, just a lack of necessity that keeps me from having used or seen these things.

I showed r in a demo(), and there are others available. r can do some amazing graphs and diagrams, as the screenshots page attests.

Unfortunately, I find myself lacking the need for a statistical analysis package, even if it did take me quite a while to find it. 😐

octave: Barely scratching the surface

Sorry for the blackout over the past day. I ran into some unforeseen real-life issues that needed my precious time.

It’s probably just as well, since octave is next on my list. Out of a sense of duty I include it in this listing, even though I can see that I hardly have any business poking around with it.

I know I skipped over Matlab a few weeks ago, and I don’t have plans to revisit it; it’s just over my head, plain and simple.

All the same, I’m willing to flit past octave, which is mathematical software along the lines of Matlab.


Mostly it’s out of a sense of obligation to free software, getting the word out, blah blah blah. Even for the few random people who stop by here. 🙄

And I don’t know octave or Matlab from Adam, but to hear some others describe it, octave is mostly compatible with Matlab, and perhaps even allows a few things Matlab doesn’t.

Be that as it may, you should decide if octave will substitute for Matlab for your purposes. I relinquish all endorsement for one or the other. 😕

Oh yeah — and supposedly, the December 2013 update to octave added … wait for it … a graphical interface! Not bad for a program that claims its origins in 1988. 😯