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Software preparation for Camp

If you have questions about software installation or use, please post to the Piazza discussion board.

We strongly suggest you bring a laptop, although there are lab machines available at the field station. Assuming you are bringing a laptop, we'd like you to install some software before you come. You don't need to do much with it in advance as we'll go over how to use the software at camp, but if you do play around with it a bit in advance that may help you feel more on top of things the first day or two.

You have two options for getting the software needed for Camp. You can use R and some of the other software via Option 2, but note that the ecosystem modeling software will ONLY be available through the PalEON virtual machine, so regardless of whether you install the statistical software directly on your machine, you will need to install the PalEON virtual machine.

Obtaining the electronic material for Camp

You don't need to worry about this until the start of Camp, but here are the instructions we'll follow for getting a copy of the course materials on everyone's computer. We'll use Git via RStudio. Git is version control software that lets multiple people collaborate on a project while keeping track of the history of the work and providing backup of the work.

To download the course materials, open RStudio. Got to “File→New Project” and select “Version Control” and “Git”. Enter https://github.com/PalEON-Project/Camp2014 as the “Repository URL” and click “Create Project” (you can choose the directory in which to place the project with the “Create project as subdirectory of” option). It should create a “Camp2014” directory with all of the materials within whichever directory you chose.

The real power of Git for our purposes is that if one of the instructors makes changes to the material and logs those changes with the Github repository, everyone else can update their copy of the material easily. Just do “Tools → Version Control → Pull Branches” to refresh your local copy.


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