Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Problem: PSPP on Windows Vista

The purpose of this blog is to record the problem I run into when running PSPP on Windows Vista. For a quickie, PSPP is a GNU SPSS. It was designed for POSIX /Unix  machine and was ported to Windows by several authors. As of today (2012/02/23), there were reported problems for Windows Vista/7.

My use of the PSPP is to handle the files download from the 'DOWNLOAD SURVEY DATA FILES' option of the IPEDS Data Center. The download comes with one .csv data file and one .sps program file. The downloaded .sps file usually need be adjusted a bit for syntax errors. Other than that, those file are in great shape.

I have been using the PSPP v0.7.2 (2009-05-18) from michelboaventura.com on Windows XP machine to do this for quite a while without a problem. Recently, I installed the same version on my Windows Vista machine and I notice that the .csv data file would not be imported into the PSPP worksheet by the .sps 'get data' command. This is eventually solved by adding the 'set workspace=1000000000' command at the beginning of the the .sps file as suggested by awardspace.com. After that everything works fine for the version v0.7.2 from michelboaventura.com.

While I was having trouble with v0.7.2 on Vista, I tried the following newer versions:
v0.7.8 (2011-11-11) from michelboaventura.com and
v0.7.9 (2012-02-16) from awardspace.com.

For v0.7.8, I was able to get the .csv file into the PSPP worksheet window if I add the 'set workspace=1000000000' statement. However, when I try to process the 'variable label' command that is next in the .sps program, the PSPP windows will gray out and doesn't seems to make progresses. When I click the PSPP spreadsheet window, Windows Vista reported that the program has crashed. One extra thing I did with this v0.7.8 is to use the pspp.exe to process the .sps file and it run through the process with no problem - I don't even need the 'set workspace=1000000000' statement.

For the v0.7.9, the installation is successful. But when ever I start the psppire.exe GUI, Windows Vista reported the program has crashed. I did not pursue more on this one.

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