Steve would like to thank his partner Dave Reinke for his important input to this column.

When I returned from the annual August family vacation in the Outer Banks, I prepared for a major email backlog that I'd have to sort through. Though dreading the specter of responding to hundreds of messages, I did look forward to logging on to my open source help list account and catching up with the R community. The 660 messages that had accumulated from the various R groups didn't disappoint. I spent four hours over the next two days scouring the messages and enjoyed every minute of my labor, learning a lot about statistics, programming, and the workings of an open source community in the process.

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