Togaware DATA MINING
Desktop Survival Guide
by Graham Williams
Google


Install MS/Windows to USB

We can install R and Emacs (for editing R scripts and interacting with R) for MS/Windows onto a USB thumb drive. This then allows us to take our work on the memory stick, and plug it into any MS/Windows computer, and continue working. The requisite software is run from the thumb drive.

  1. Download and install R (31MB) onto your thumb drive (choosing, for example, to install into E:/R-2.11.1) from:
    http://cran.r-project.org/bin/windows/base/R-2.11.1-win32.exe
  2. Create a short cut to the root of the thumb drive (e.g., E:) from the executable, RGui.exe, in the bin folder of the installation.
  3. Install Emacs Speaks S onto our thumb drive (choosing, for example, to install into E:GNU Emacs 22.3), from:
    http://vgoulet.act.ulaval.ca/pub/emacs/emacs-22.3-modified-3.exe
  4. Create a file in E:GNU Emacs 22.3/bin/ called runemacs.bat with the following contents:

    set HOME=%CD%\..\..\
    runemacs ~/startup.R
    

  5. Create a file in E: called startup.R with the following contents:

    # This is a minimal file, essentially a convenience to load when
    # starting up Emacs to automatically split the window, and to start
    # up with R buttons in the toolbar.
    

  6. Create a short cut to the root of the thumb drive (e.g., E:) from the batch file, runemacs.bat, in the bin folder of the installation.
  7. Edit the file site-start.el in the site-lisp folder of the installation. Uncomment the two lines that look like the following, to make them the same as the following (by also adding the first line shown here)!

    (setq-default usb-drive-letter (substring data-dictionary 0 3))
    (setq-default inferior-R-program-name
                  (concat usb-drive-letter "r-2.11.1/bin/rterm.exe")
    

    Similarly fix up the following two lines:

    (setq-default ispell-program-name
                  (concat usb-drive-letter "GNU Emacs 22.3/aspell/bin/aspell.exe")
    

Then simply double click the shortcut E:/runemacs.bat, and Emacs should startup ready to run R.

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