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Computers, computers!

Computers, computers!

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Computers, computers!

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  1. Computers, computers! It’s quicker to count them by foot! Dr Mark Abrams (1906 –1994) (Director, SSRC Survey Unit, 1970-76, always kept a slide-rule on his desk)

  2. He also said, "Don’t get it right: get it written!" …and, "If it’s worth saying, you can say it in percentages."

  3. Old Dog, Old Tricks Using SPSS syntax to avoid the mouse trap

  4. In the blue corner: (I believe in miracles…)

  5. Now play the movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYAKBgJnM24 What happens when the mouse takes over SPSS!

  6. In the red corner: (…and I just ♥ SPSS files)

  7. ..otherwise known as JFH (…and they tell me I perform miracles)

  8. …by changing this i i (or its equivalent SPSS file)

  9. …to this (et voilà!)

  10. But first:

  11. The Tools of Survey Research

  12. Old technology, but still best to start

  13. …then you’ll need these!

  14. Even older technology: best of all! Engage brain before touching keyboard!

  15. 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

  16. 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.......". What does F mean in KDF9?

  17. 8-hole paper tape

  18. 8-hole paper tape punch Note: Can’t see what you’ve typed!!

  19. There was also one of these: Old technology - Salford University 1966 • Note extra-wide carriage to take foolscap paper sideways • Copies by retyping or by carbon paper (not shown)

  20. 80-column Hollerith card Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

  21. IBM Key 026 card-punch machine IBM Key 026 card-punch machine

  22. IBM Card Sorter

  23. Data Layout Sheet 1 (SSRC Survey Unit, 1971)

  24. Data Layout Sheet 2 (SSRC Survey Unit, 1975)

  25. 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

  26. Once upon a time in America…the boys got together to make things easier

  27. Norman Nie and Dale Bent (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 )

  28. …and SPSS was:Born in the USAin 1968 Jean Jenkins replaced Dale Bent …and SPSS came to UK in 1970

  29. Tony Coxon David Muxworthy We brought SPSS to UK

  30. 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

  31. Research is a substitute for action (Old UK public sector research proverb)

  32. ….and SPSS is a substitute for thought! (SSRC Survey Unit riposte)

  33. 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)

  34. One side of A4