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Offline EatsRainbows

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Are torrents safe?
« on: 18/03/2010 23:21:15 »
I want to download the statistical software Minitab so that I can practice for my exams at uni, they have a free 30 day trial as our lecturer informed us. However I've discovered its not Mac compatible  :( and i don't have a PC.....I googled "Minitab for Mac" and some torrents came up that claim to be Mac compatible, however I've never been sure as to if torrents are safe or not? Could I run the risk of downloading a virus? Or anything else problematic?

As far as computers go I tend to still live in a cave!  ;) So would appreciate an opinion on this if anyone knows.

P.S I hope this is an ok post and doesn't break any forum rules? torrents are.... err well....  :P


 

Offline RD

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« Reply #1 on: 18/03/2010 23:41:48 »
If a Mac compatible version of your software-trial is not available from the manufacturer,
 then it won't be available from any other source. 

I wouldn't touch a "via torrent" freebee offer with a bargepole.


Minitab suggest this solution ...

Quote
Q. Can I run Minitab or Quality Companion on an Macintosh (Apple) computer?

A. Currently, Minitab does not offer a Macintosh version of Minitab or Quality Companion. However, you can run Minitab and Quality Companion on a Macintosh if you have installed Windows virtualization software. Virtualization software allows you to install Windows onto your Intel-Based Macintosh which allows you to install Windows applications. In addition to purchasing virtualization software, you must own or purchase a copy of Microsoft Windows to use this solution. While we do not support running in this environment, we have received positive feedback from Minitab Macintosh users using these solutions.
http://www.minitab.com/en-GB/support/answers/answer.aspx?id=754


There is a reliable freebee suite of programmes I use called OpenOffice, which can run on a mac, which includes a spreadsheet.
Someone has written macros for the OpenOffice spreadsheet to perform statistical analysis ...

Quote
A set of OpenOffice Calc spreadsheets with macros to perform statistical analysis. It is intended to be used for educational purposes. So far it includes only descriptive statistics. 
http://odstatistics.sourceforge.net/


There is an old version of minitab (8) which runs on a mac ...
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/software/software_report?name=Minitab&go=Go
« Last Edit: 19/03/2010 02:32:51 by RD »
 

Offline RD

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Are torrents safe?
« Reply #2 on: 19/03/2010 02:25:21 »
Quote
Jun. 23, 2005

    Substitute For Minitab

    Rich Vander Klok
    My school is thinking of replacing a Windows lab with a Mac lab (our district is 90%+ Mac, K-12) but one of the sticking points is that the Advanced Placement Statistics class uses Minitab to do most of their work. Minitab is Windows only, although it can be run in Virtual PC. As an English teacher, I'm not in the know regarding math software.

    Does anyone know of a program comparable to Minitab for OS X?


Jun. 24, 2005

    Substitute For Minitab

    Rene Borgella
    A very similar program in look and operation is KaleidaGraph. I actually prefer and use other stats software; JMP is one of my favorites, but this and other packages are usually much more expensive than KaleidaGraph (about $150).

    One thing to keep in mind, previous versions of Minitab (the last release for Mac, ?vers 10.2) will run in OS X under Classic. In my experience it works quite well. If you need to know the exact version number, drop a line and I'll find it.


    Travis Pouarz

    Responding to Rich Vander Klok's question about potential replacements for Minitab. Rich might have the statistics teacher check out JMP.

    For a college statistics course, we used JMP software, which is available for Macs, Windows, and Linux. I used the Mac version and it worked fine. For the purposes of the course, we bought the student versions of JMP IN, which were unrestricted-full-versions within a 4-yr license limit. For a lab, you'll want a different type setup of course, and JMP has different educational pricing options including recognizing the need for statistical labs, that the teacher might want to check out.

    If the course used JMP, then students could potentially optionally by JMP IN for use at home whether they have Mac, Windows, or Linux machines. That seems like a nice option to make available.


    John Tanski
    A good statistical package that seems to be comparable to Minitab is JMP ( current version is 5.1.2 and works on OSX 10.3.9 and probably on 10.4.x), given a quick glance at the features listed on the Minitab website. Also the cost is a bit lower for the stand-alone version ($1195 for Minitab vs. $995 for JMP).


    Peter Wollan
    JMP, from SAS Institute, and DataDesk, from Data Description, are both good packages appropriate for people familiar with Minitab. A step up in both capability and difficulty is the free statistics package R, www.R-project.org .


    MacInTouch Reader
    JMP is a far superior tool to Minitab and works on OS X beautifully. If you search for a list APSTAT-L on Google, you'll find a JMP representative that will be quite helpful to you.


    Dennis Helsel
    JMP, Stata and SPSS are three full-featured statistics programs on the Mac that do much the same that Minitab does. SPSS is quite expensive. Stata is the most similar to Minitab in terms of style and use.


    Daniel Smith
    I heartily recommend Stata. They have an educational lab license, and it works great under OS X. They've also announced they will support future Apple-Intel platforms.


    Hugh Caley
    I'm not expert on statistical work, but has the school tried R? We use it a lot at my bioinformatics company, and it is free.


    Andrew T. Fiore
    There's plenty of statistical software for the Mac, much of it better than Minitab. (Of course, if the Advanced Placement Statistics test requires Minitab familiarity, there may not be much choice.) The clearest equivalent is SPSS, which has a Mac version 11 that does not yet work with 10.4 Tiger. Like Minitab, it is a menu- driven, spreadsheet-like statistics program.

    Another alternative is the open source project R (www.r-project.org/), which is very similar to the commercial package S- Plus. The latest version has a rudimentary graphical interface for some tasks, but it's basically a command-line tool that requires some programming sense to use effectively. It's extremely powerful and flexible, though, and it can interact directly with some databases. (I've written R scripts that pull data directly from a live PostgreSQL database and operate on it.)

    Finally, there's a Mac-only program called Aabel. Although I've used only the demo, it seems to be a fairly capable statistics program with a focus on interactive visualization of the data. It uses the high-end graphics capabilities of OS X to create beautiful charts and images, and it has a "pipeline" metaphor for the flexible connection of multiple analyses and visualizations. I have not yet tried this program for serious analysis, but its capabilities seem worth investigating. For students learning statistics, visualization could illuminate things a lot more quickly than tables of numbers.
http://www.macintouch.com/marginal11.html
« Last Edit: 19/03/2010 02:48:16 by RD »
 

Offline JP

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Are torrents safe?
« Reply #3 on: 19/03/2010 02:37:35 »
Torrent's aren't necessarily bad.  They can be used to share legal files from reputable sources easily and without using up too much bandwidth for the original host.  (I believe I downloaded open office this way at one point, and some bands have released albums under creative commons licenses via torrent.) 

However, many (and I suspect most) torrents are in violation of copyright law.  If you're in doubt, it's probably an illegal torrent, since any company sharing their own software legally via torrent would make that clear on their website and provide a link to it.  Also, like anything else you download from the internet, a torrent could be carrying a virus, especially if you arrived at the torrent via a search engine rather than the company's web page.
 

Offline EatsRainbows

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« Reply #4 on: 20/03/2010 01:26:08 »
If a Mac compatible version of your software-trial is not available from the manufacturer,
 then it won't be available from any other source. 

I wouldn't touch a "via torrent" freebee offer with a bargepole.


lol yeah good point! the torrents were for the full version, not just the free trial but you're probably right, why would they have a mac compatible version when the manufacturer doesn't.


There is an old version of minitab (8) which runs on a mac ...
http://www.bristol.ac.uk/is/computing/advice/software/software_report?name=Minitab&go=Go

This could be a goer. You've given me a lot of ideas for other programmes and thanks heaps, they may come in use later in my degree but for now though, its a 'beginners' unit of statistics I'm doing and we have to know specifically how to use Minitab version 15, we'll be tested on it. These other programmes I would think would use different commands and a whole new system.

I'm not sure how similar this old version would be to version 15? I guess I'll check it out and see to what degree it gives me the same or at least similar results for the commands I know.

Well you've certainly done my homework for me, loads of info! lol  ;) Thank you  :)

Torrent's aren't necessarily bad.  They can be used to share legal files from reputable sources easily and without using up too much bandwidth for the original host.  (I believe I downloaded open office this way at one point, and some bands have released albums under creative commons licenses via torrent.) 

However, many (and I suspect most) torrents are in violation of copyright law.  If you're in doubt, it's probably an illegal torrent, since any company sharing their own software legally via torrent would make that clear on their website and provide a link to it.  Also, like anything else you download from the internet, a torrent could be carrying a virus, especially if you arrived at the torrent via a search engine rather than the company's web page.

People do use torrents for heaps of things. I know people who've downloaded microsoft office torrents and plenty of other software. So obviously some are safe, I wonder how one knows which are and which are not? I've always avoided them mostly due to this!  ;D There would surely be very few torrents that are not a breach of copyright and thus available from the manufacturers website! Who wants to give stuff away for free when theres money to be gained? lol

Well maybe if they made software a wee bit more affordable people would be less tempted?  :P

Deviating a wee bit but....So many things are illegal due to copyright, so is burning DVD's etc. What I don't get with this one (burning) is why is it legal to manufacture and sell machines capable of burning when its pretty much always going to be a breach of copyright? They give us the means and then punish the result... err?
 

Offline RD

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Are torrents safe?
« Reply #5 on: 20/03/2010 02:06:00 »
Considering it's free the "R Foundation" software looks good ...

Quote
R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics.
It is a GNU project which is similar to the S language and environment which was developed at Bell Laboratories (formerly AT&T, now Lucent Technologies) by John Chambers and colleagues. R can be considered as a different implementation of S. There are some important differences, but much code written for S runs unaltered under R.

R provides a wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear modelling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering, ...) and graphical techniques, and is highly extensible. The S language is often the vehicle of choice for research in statistical methodology, and R provides an Open Source route to participation in that activity.
http://www.r-project.org/

This is a screenshot of the "MacOS X RAqua desktop" ... 
http://www.r-project.org/screenshots/RAqua-scrshot1.jpg

« Last Edit: 20/03/2010 02:13:09 by RD »
 

Offline syhprum

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« Reply #6 on: 26/03/2010 20:30:26 »
I see little moral objection to downloading copywrite programs purely for personal non commercial use, one will collect a lot of viruses and Trojans along the way but the latest anti virus program that comes with windows 7 is very good at providing a warning and one can allways keep a copy of the operating system handy in case of disasters.   
 

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Are torrents safe?
« Reply #6 on: 26/03/2010 20:30:26 »

 

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