Need a CRAN / R Time Machine for Old R Windows Binaries??

I was recently in a situation where I needed to find some pre-compiled Windows binaries for the XML package.  Yes the old XML package that everyone seems to struggle to compile.  It appears there is “a machine” someone out there in internet land that is capable of compiling this package whereas everyone I’ve ever spoken to about this package has failed.  Not a great situation if you have this requirement.

Anyway, there is a very neat solution to this problem!  Revolutionary Analytics keep daily snapshots of the CRAN master repository which includes all the downloads, both source and binaries (CRAN only stores source).  The trick to getting to where you want is by the structure of the URL below.  By finding the dates for the library version you need you can use the URL below to find the page with the binaries.

Very useful to know.


Reinstalling Windows 10 After Upgrade

So, shortly after upgrading my machine to Windows 10 I suffered a major fault with the installation of Windows on the OS SSD drive.  No fault of Windows = User Error … yes … me!

So, I took the opportunity to update the old OCZ Vertex 3 SSD to a Samsung EVO 850 250Gb SSD.  Really nice drive for £77 from PC World.  Surprisingly good price for a high street store as well.  Anyway …

Installed Windows 10 from the DVD I had burned and couldn’t get the OS to activate with the Microsoft Servers.  Very frustrating.  I ended up having several phone calls with Microsoft support (3 or 5 calls were cut off so this took a while).

A short conversation with the support peeps was a little annoying.  I was advised that I had to install Windows 8 (which I have a license for) then I have to upgrade that to Windows 8.1 and then upgrade that to Windows 10.

Painful?  Absolutely.  A day just to get the OS onto the machine … A DAY!!  All the updates have to be applied between the major version upgrades.

The problem I have is that other people have been given Windows 10 specific keys by Microsoft support which is a lot nicer.  I hope I don’t have to do this again, considering my day rate for work it’s significantly cheaper to simply buy a license …