User Stories

Some love it - others hate it. Some work with it every day and some cannot even remember which version they used. What is YOUR story about SPSS?

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Tex Hull Tex Hull wrote on 27. April 2018 at 20:48:
I can add a few things to the narrative.

1966 was the year when Norman, Dale, and Tex got together. Norman was, in fact, 23 at the time. I was all of 24, and Dale was somewhat older. Dale soon left for the University of Alberta, Edmonton - rather a different climate in many ways from Stanford at the time. As an aside, the product was initially called the Non-Parametric Statistical System (NPSS).

1968 was the first customer ship complete with a mimeographed manual. It was delivered on mag tape with rather sketchy installation instructions written by yours truly. In the days of IBM mainframe OS, I think customers had more trouble with installation than with the program itself.

1969 - development shifted from Stanford to the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago.

1976 - the SPSS offices moved from the U of C campus to the Chicago Loop - specifically to 111 East Wacker Drive (One Illinois Center). Subsequent moves were to 444 North Michigan Ave around 1978 and to 233 South Wacker Drive (Sears Tower) in the 90's.

1993 - the Windows 95 product was a dramatic shift. Unlike the PC product, this was basically the mainframe product running as a 32-bit virtual application. This was a bridge product just as Windows 95 was a bridge system between the 16-bit Windows 3.x DOS-based systems and Windows NT. Subsequent development used this code base.

Somebody should document all the mainframe systems to which SPSS was adapted - CDC 6600, Honeywell 6000, Univac 9000, RCA Spectra 70, DEC-10, and probably many more. We had an annual "converters' conference" to discuss policy and problems.

How about the foreign language translations of the user interface? Does anybody remember the Catalan translation?

Another thing missing is the SPSS users' group - ISSUE. We probably need some input from Keith Sours on this one.

How do I feel about my time with SPSS? It was a great ride. I'm thankful to Louise Rehling for taking over my management responsibility so I could relax and code.
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