Presentation on theme: "Computers, computers! (Director, SSRC Survey Unit, 1970-76, always kept a slide-rule on his desk) It’s quicker to count them by foot! Dr Mark Abrams (1906."— Presentation transcript:
Computers, computers! (Director, SSRC Survey Unit, 1970-76, always kept a slide-rule on his desk) It’s quicker to count them by foot! Dr Mark Abrams (1906 –1994)
He also said, "Don’t get it right: get it written!" …and, "If it’s worth saying, you can say it in percentages."
Old Dog, Old Tricks Using SPSS syntax to avoid the mouse trap
Even older technology: best of all! Engage brain before touching keyboard!
Once upon a time in Salford, way back in 1965, ….lived a KDF9 computer which worked, both for input and output, on 8-hole paper tape
What does F mean in KDF9? Legend has it that the KDF9 was developed as project KD9 (Kidsgrove Development 9) and that the 'F' in its designation was contributed by the then Chairman. After a long and tedious discussion on what to name the machine at launch, he declared, "I don't care if you call it the F.......".
Data and programs on Hollerith cards Everything had to be programmed in Fortran Survey processing programs required special meaningful entries in specific columns, but these were meaningless to social researchers Permission reluctantly granted for them to use the nice computer in the Maths Dept
Once upon a time in America …the boys got together to make things easier
(political science postgrads at Stanford: late 1960s ) “ devised a language that a political scientist would want to write to specify an analysis.” and hired Tex Hull to help with coding the program ( in Fortran IV for the IBM360 ) Norman Nie and Dale Bent
…and SPSS was: Born in the USA in 1968 Jean Jenkins replaced Dale Bent …and SPSS came to UK in 1970
We brought SPSS to UK Tony CoxonDavid Muxworthy
Immediate impact of SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) Blue manual (Nie, Hull & Jenkins) sold in hundreds Upset programmers because it was inefficient Upset statisticians because it by-passed them Upset environmentalists as forests disappeared Sociologists loved it and it spread like wild-fire
Research is a substitute for action (Old UK public sector research proverb)
….and SPSS is a substitute for thought! (SSRC Survey Unit riposte)
Constraints on course design and training materials Timetable slots available Staff knowledge and experience Major data sets in public domain Lecture room facilities Computing facilities (terminals, printers) Students (prior skill, motivation, affordability) Typing and reprographics (one side of A4)