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Re: thoughts on manuals [Was st: -margin-, -mfx compute- and -manuals-]

From   "Clive Nicholas" <>
Subject   Re: thoughts on manuals [Was st: -margin-, -mfx compute- and -manuals-]
Date   Mon, 17 Nov 2003 02:49:52 -0000 (GMT)

To answer Remzo's and Sam's comments (but Remzo's in particular), Stata
was available in the form of version 7 on all of our university's machines
up until (I think) the spring of last year; so they're extremely unlikely
to bring it back. And it won't make any difference to me since I've now
got SE 8 on my machine!

As to the manuals, I agree with you, Sam: they are an investment (I had a
thorough flick through the dictionary-style [R] books at Essex earlier
this year, and they're very good). But then it's easy to say things like
that when you're at a blue-chip university with massive resources such as
UC Berkeley. I would suggest to you that not all of us mere mortals are as
fortunate! ;-) I'll pass on the archive for now since we've had this
interesting little exchange, but I might remind you that I've only been
'here' since last month!


> You know, Clive, this was discussed less than 6 months ago, and is amply
> documented in the archive.  To make a long story short, the manuals are
> cheap.  They are investments.  They will pay off over the rest of your
> life (even after the software has been superceded by stata18--because you
> will learn very useful things to make you survive in the field until
> stata18 arrives, as well as for other reasons).  If a person is unwilling
> or unable to make a human capital investment early, that person will reap
> lower returns later.  That's the way it works.
> Being a student, that's what one is doing--among other things; making
> hci's.  It's okay to decide the stata manuals are not a good hci.
> Although it is probably especially penny wise and pound foolish for
> someone without any other way to access the syntax to regard the manuals
> as poor hci's, it is just wrong to assert that the manuals are expensive.
> As investments go, they are cheap--very very cheap.  And, as the saying
> goes, if you think education is expensive, try ignorance.
> Respectfully yours,
> Sam
> On Sun, 16 Nov 2003, Renzo Comolli wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> I have already expressed my opinion on the general matter of the manual
>> price for graduate students (or students in general). In order to limit
>> repetition (the thoughts were leanghy and nounced) let me only update
>> what
>> changed.
>> 1. When I bought Stata, I said to my self, "manuals? I can do without;
>> I'll
>> use the help"
>> 2. When I wrote my email on this topic, I wrote "manuals? I would
>> seriously
>> consider buying them if they were cheaper"
>> 3. Today I write "it would be really expensive, but if I could not
>> borrow
>> them, I would buy them".
>> Now some practical advice to Clive on how to (try to) borrow the manuals
>> and
>> live a happy Stata life:
>> 1. Propose to your library to buy them (it works)
>> 2. Propose to your department (chair, director of graduate studies...)
>> to
>> buy them (it works too)
>> 3. Propose to your supervisor to buy them
>> 4. Some universities have mini-research grants for purposes such as this
>> one.
>> 5. Be brass and ask to other departments whether they have them (some
>> epidemiological, public health, political science depts have them)
>> Ciao
>> Renzo
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> ----
>> /* From   "Clive Nicholas" <> */
>> To
>> Subject   st: -margin-, -mfx compute- and -manuals-
>> Date   Sat, 15 Nov 2003 11:47:50 -0000 (GMT)
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> ----
>> [...]
>> By the way, unlike most Statapeeps on this list, I don't consider myself
>> loaded enough to afford all of the Stata manuals. I find it hard to
>> understand why people make this assumption. There are no books *at all*
>> on
>> Stata available at my (rather large) university library, not least
>> because, quite wrongly in my view, Stata isn't on our university
>> machines
>> here. I'll let you all into a dirty secret I have:
>> **I'm a student!**
>> I know. Incredible, isn't it?! Yes, I'd *love* to own the whole kit and
>> caboodle, but I had to make choices as to which I could purchase, since
>> I
>> needed to purchase Stata 8 and Stat/Transfer 7. I chose to buy [U]. I'm
>> thinking of getting [XT] soon. But [R]? No way, not at that price. Love
>> to, but you know, finances and all that... ;-)
>> C.
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Politics Building,
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology,
University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
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