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on January 22, 2004
Once upon a time, I could not recommend this book highly enough. That's the problem--"once upon a time". In 2004, this book violates what I consider an overriding consideration for instruction books: Never distract the new user with picky details that s/he'll will rarely need in practice.
The first few chapters are written using INPUT and DATALINES; commands to enter data. For those unfamiliar with SAS, that means the authors enter all of their data as lines of text typed inside their command language. No one works that way any more! It's a hold over from the days of punchcards. Does the new user really need to know that
means "look in columns 1-3 for a numerical id, columns 4-5 for numerical age, and column 6 for a character designating gender"? When the 4-th edition was written, the answer might have been yes, but even then it would have been given grudgingly. For more than a few years, data almost always arrive as data sets that have already been made into SAS files or as spreadsheets that can be imported directly into SAS. This method of data input would not be a fatal flaw if the material were in a later chapter or an appendix, but it's woven throughout the text starting with the first example on page 3.
I would love to see this book updated with a more modern view to how data are processed and analyzed, but I can no longer recommend it in its current form.
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on April 30, 2003
I am at a loss to see what people like about this book. The authors were extremely wordy in my opinion and took much too long to make a point. This book is extremely basic, so if you know anything about statistics, I feel you may be happier with something more advanced.
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