It's been a while since my last blog posting. During the last two months I've spent most of my hours awake studying economics and finance with little time left for following the open source news or testing distributions and applications.
At the moment I use two desktop systems simultaneously. One of them is an old Pentium box running Debian stable and the other is an eMac with OS X. During the last two months I've become more and more OS agnostic, the OS itself is not as important as the fact that I get things done using whatever system and software I use either because I chose it or because the school policy forces me to use the software.
Unfortunately, I have noticed that using a couple of years old version of Excel for OS X is not a substitute for Excel 2007. But unfortunately for me, I cannot learn to write Visual Basic macros using OpenOffice.
During the last two months, most of my "real" computing was done with GNU Octave. It was really helpful for checking the solutions for some of the trickier problems in linear algebra. I hope I'll have time to learn more Octave during the spring when I'll take an advanced course in finance. Of course, we are expected to use Excel and VB for the coursework, but I think learning to solve the problems using Octave could not do any harm. On the other hand, it was a pleasant surprise to see that R will be used for advanced econometrics. I looking forward to participating in the course!