SPSS / PASW Statistics 18 for Mac: The Same Junk as Always

So I write this rant about the horrors of SPSS 16 for Mac. As a result, SPSS Inc. invite me into their beta program for SPSS 17 and offer a free license for it in return. Fair enough. I participate in the program, do all their required testing and submit plenty of bugs. The time window for their beta testers is four weeks. Four weeks. I find that way too short but thats how they operate.

After the end of the beta testing, I never received my free license. I sent them one e-mail about it that was never answered. So when they invited me into their SPSS (which is now called PASW: Predictive Analysis Software) 18 beta, I didn't do anything.

So now PASW 18 ships and I install it with a screen shot app at hand. The first thing I see is this readme window (underlining added by me):
Wow. They still cannot handle foreign characters. I complained about that two versions ago. A company that is producing a statistics software is unable to display a text file containing ä, ö, and ü correctly.

After the install finishes, PASW 18 Mac launches with this gem (you will have to click on it for the large version to see what I mean):

Look at the shadows of "PASW" in the top blue bar and the red line next to it. They are pixelated! These images were obviously produced for a smaller resolution but were magnified to the current size, producing this highly unprofessional experience. So the first two impressions I get give me a feeling that not much care has gone into the production of this software. Attention to detail: Nope, sorry.

The data window features new icons at the top as one can see on the following image.
Unfortunately, that was the only time I ever saw it. After the install, I quit SPSS PASW. Every time I have launched it since them (including after reboots), SPSS PASW crashes on start up:
It. Crashes. On. Every. Launch. On my MacBook Pro (2.33 GHz, 4GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.5.8), SPSS PASW 18 is inoperable. What an enormous piece of junk.

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Anonymous gkc said...

So far, you are the only one I can find with Google who is having difficulties with PASW 18.

You are not alone though... my 2 year PowerMac running 10.5 and a friend new MBP running 10.6 both have the same difficulties.

Waiting for 18.1 & wondering if we should be looking at some other product.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Shifty said...

I share your sentiments regarding PASW Stat. 18. Aside from the issues you pointed out, it completely lacks a Mac feel, it feels like a straight Windows port. I suppose that might not be a bad thing per so (or maybe I do) but it makes everything much harder, efficiency-wise, then it could be. Having said that, what are the alternatives? So far I know of R, but that is almost it. Have I missed any statistical gems in the Mac world?

9:33 PM  
Blogger senior said...

Same error. After successful instalation and first run, now crashes everytime before even started.

3:48 PM  
Blogger kernpanik said...

After all the annoying issues with SPSS 16, I asked my boss to buy me a Windows-PC just for SPSS. Seriously: I do all my work with my Mac, but I have a special computer just for SPSS.

Good to know, that despite the new name (PASW) it's still the same piece of junk.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the same problem. Have anyone contact SPSS support?

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same here using PASW 18.0.1. It crashes a few minutes after each start... I found no way to avoid that.

5:55 PM  
Blogger davert said...

That's one thing I haven't had with PASW - funny. Makes one wonder what the problem is. Maybe their installer is finicky, like Adobe's?

I've run PASW on a 2006 Pro and a 2007 Macbook Pro under SNow Leopard in both cases, and it's been pretty good - far better than 16, not quite up to 4 or 10.

Now I'm running 10 under a virtual system in SheepShaver. Much nicer than running it under Windows (I have VirtualBox and WinXP) and I don't have to worry about my beta tester license running out two months before the next beta shows up. (The beta test program is nice and they really do seem to care, but if you use PASW regularly, you can't rely on it because months will go by with no license.)

2:52 PM  
Blogger Peter Kerkhof said...

Tried to install the trial version of PASW 18 (on OS X 10.6.2), but it won't even start installing. After the SPSS 16 and 17 problems, this is really driving me nuts.

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the same problems: I installed the trial version of PASW 18 on a 2,4 GHz Santa Rosa MBP, 4GB RAM, 10.5.8. First start: everything works. Once I quit and try to start again, always the same message: "PASW 18 quit unexpectedly...". Only way to solve this problem is to uninstall an install again. Until I quit again.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

`total crap. i want to kill it

8:57 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Thanks - I just tried this and now it keeps crashing...!!!

5:46 AM  
Blogger Edmund said...

I have the same problem both on my PowerMac and on the MacBook. PASW crashes on each session, however, not immediately, but after some time that is not predictable. Sometimes it is possible to run some analyses, but most of the time not. Is there any information on this problem?

12:38 PM  
Blogger Edmund said...

It was not a PowerMac but a Pro, but I have found a solution for the problem, at least for those who run PASW with a network licence:


12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the "unexpected error" problem with 18 as well. Uninstalled it, re-installed from a separate folder on the HD. It now runs without crashing, but will not load or save a file from a network drive. It gives an "invalid file" error. It works fine with files on a HD, external HD, or thumbdrive.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It goes well till I get to the graph dialog box. I cannot see the cancel/Ok buttons, and it does not even respond to hitting ENTER. total misery.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous M.A. Brown said...

ich wollte mich an dieser Stelle mal bedanken. Hab mir ernsthaft ueberlegt, SPSS 18 fuer mein MacbookPro zu besorgen.

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fixed the problem by downloading the patch 18.0.2 that you can find on the technical support website (you have to register first).

5:59 PM  
Anonymous L. George said...

Just wondered, Bertolt, has SPSS/PASW on the Mac been working better since last fall, or have you given up on it?
I'm currently running v.16 for Windows, on my Mac w/Fusion - but I'm looking at upgrading and I'm pondering whether to go for the Mac version or the PC version. Thanks -

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SPSS or PASW sucks!! I have the exact same sentiments. Now that IBM bought them, i wonder if things will change. Such an incompetently developed program.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Wouter said...

I have the same problem, it keeps crashing all the time, I sent 20+ crash reports to Apple, hopefully they will pass it on to the SPSS guys.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Eelke said...

I also solved this with the 18.02 patch

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the help. the patch 18.0.2 does the trick to stop the crashes!!

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the same problem...
I do not find the patch in SPSS support website.
Can you telle me more about this patch?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

same error and more and more and more. It slows down everything in my mac as soon as I open any data sheet or output file. It really sucks.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Sandeep said...

Installing PAWS 18 on Mac

The key is time. if the installer doesn't start just make sure that you immediately enter your admin password and hit return. it worked for me but PAWS Sucks

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Brad said...

Edmund said...

It was not a PowerMac but a Pro, but I have found a solution for the problem, at least for those who run PASW with a network licence:

12:44 PM

Thank you SO much!

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just installed PASW 18 on my MacBook running OSX 10.5.8. It worked fine immediately after it was installed, but on trying to launch it for the second time, it crashes every time -- I can't event start doing anything with it.

2:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am having the exact same problem, It worked upon initial restoration of the license (I had a one year university license that I renewed) but now it is crashing every time I try to start the damn things!

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess I'm late to the game, but I am having this same problem. Unfortunately, IBM's website is completely useless in helping me with this--I can't find the patch (only patches for 19 and 20 are available) and I can't figure out how to contact customer service.

Can anyone help with finding this patch?

Thanks :)

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