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Getting up to speed on our new software
By Patrick McLeod, Research and Statistical Support Services Consultant
As Spring turns into Summer in North Texas, more than just the seasons are changing in the Research and Statistical Support office in Academic Computing Services. We have four new pieces of software that we are working on rolling out for the UNT research community: New versions of SPSS, S-Plus and Stata and a new product (that many of you probably already know), Matlab. Unfortunately, while we have new software for the Summer, we also have new complications: The new versions of SPSS and S-Plus both make use of licensing management software that node-locks each installation.
For individual installations (office computers, authorized users’ home computers and standalone workstations), node-locked licensing does not present a problem as long as the computer has an active internet connection at the time of installation. For network licenses, however, different arrangements must be made to correctly install and run both the statistical software and the license management software.
SPSS 13 for Windows, SPSS 11.0.2 for OS-X
SPSS 13 for Windows makes use of the Sentinel License Manager, a new product feature that was not present in prior versions of SPSS. At the present time, RSS and the ACS Lab are investigating possible alternative ways to implement the Sentinel License Manager for our network license for Windows. SPSS 13 is available for checkout and installation by authorized individuals. Per the terms of our contract with SPSS, “authorized individuals” are deemed to be full-time, benefits-eligible faculty and staff members of UNT. Teaching fellows, teaching assistants, research assistants and students are not eligible under any circumstances to check out SPSS for their use; any non full-time, benefits-eligible faculty member or staff member who wants to check out SPSS but intends to send a graduate assistant or student to pick up the CDs will need to make prior phone arrangements or email arrangements with an RSS staff member or provide a signed note for the graduate assistant or student to pass along to RSS. All non-eligible members of the UNT community can purchase the SPSS Grad Pack at the UNT Bookstore; the Grad Pack also includes the popular structural equation modeling package AMOS in addition to SPSS. The SPSS Grad Pack is $180 and is licensed to function for four years from installation.
SPSS 11.0.2 is also available for check-out to eligible faculty and staff members for OS-X. One important technical note: While SPSS 11.0.2 works with OS-X “Jaguar,” according to SPSS it will not work with the newest version of OS-X, “Tiger.” SPSS has not provided a resolution timeline for bringing 11.0.2 up to Tiger standards. As of this writing, SPSS will not be bringing 11.0.2 up to Tiger standards; instead, SPSS has announced that Tiger will be supported in SPSS 13 for OS-X which is due in Fall 2005.
S-Plus 7 for Windows, Unix and Solaris
Last month, Insightful Corporation released the first full point release upgrade to S-Plus in a couple years’ time. S-Plus 7 makes use of Macrovision Corporation’s FLEXlm license manager to uniquely identify each installation of S-Plus 7. S-Splus-7 is available on the same terms as SPSS for eligible faculty and staff members for check-out and installation. Under the terms of our license arrangement with Insightful Corporation, RSS does copy CDs licensed under a Student Edition serial number that are available for student purchase in the UNT Bookstore. S-Plus Student Edition CDs are fully-functional versions of S-Plus 7 that have a license period of 115 days.
S-Plus 7 is also available for Unix platforms and for the Solaris platform. As of May 13, 2005, RSS is still awaiting the arrival of media for the Unix and Solaris versions of S-Plus 7 and the network license codes for the Windows version of S-Plus 7.
Contact Dr. Richard Herrington, ACS Research Manager, with any questions about S-Plus 7.
Stata 9 for Windows, Unix, Solaris and OS-X
Stata Corporation of College Station Texas released Stata 9 at the end of April. Stata 9 incorporates a significant number of new methods over previous versions of Stata and it adds the entirely-new Mata matrix programming language. Stata is licensed in a different way than our other statistical packages maintained and supported by RSS. There is a 30-seat “Educational Lab” license that is accessible via the ACS Gauss server for network access. Beyond this license, UNT is part of Stata’s “GradPlan” system. Under the GradPlan, faculty, staff and students of UNT can purchase Stata at a discounted rate (a deeper discount than the academic pricing!) for either one-year (students only) or perpetual licenses. Since RSS maintains a stock of Stata merchandise at UNT, orders can be processed by Stata and then picked up from the RSS office located in the Information Sciences Building. Typical turnaround is 24 to 48 hours during the working week. Stata is not available for check-out from the RSS office.
Stata 9 (in Small, Intercooled and SE (Special Edition) formats) is available for Windows, Unix, Solaris and OS-X operating systems. I’ve successfully installed and run Stata 9 SE on Windows XP, Debian linux and OS-X (both Jaguar and Tiger).
Contact Patrick McLeod, ACS Research Consultant, with any questions you might have about Stata 9.
Matlab 7.0.3 (Release 14)
Research and Statistical Support is proud to announce the introduction of support for Matlab 7.0.3 (Release 14) for Windows, Unix and OS-X. Matlab is a powerful scientific computing and mathematical computing package from The MathWorks of Boston, Massachusetts. While certain colleges have had licenses for Matlab in the past, centralizing our Matlab license into a campus license will allow the entire UNT research community to benefit from Matlab’s power.
Our license for Matlab is very flexible: Matlab may be installed on any university-owned computer attached to UNT’s network whether this computer is assigned to a professor, a staff member or a graduate student. Unlike some of our other statistical package licenses, Matlab’s license does not discriminate based on the university employee’s FTE or status as a graduate student. In addition, all professors and staff members can install Matlab on a home machine or laptop for the purposes of conducting research. Under the terms of our contract, students cannot install Matlab on any non-university, non-network computers.
Based on calculations made by The MathWorks and UNT, our license caps our total usage at 5,660 “seats” or 5,660 individual instances of Matlab. While that does seem like a large number of seats, when you consider Matlab being distributed across two campuses of roughly 35,000 potentially eligible individuals, those seats can run out fast. For that reason, we will be tracking Matlab checkout and installation via the Remedy system much as we track SPSS, SAS and S-Plus checkout and installation via Remedy.
Contact Patrick McLeod, ACS Research Consultant, with any questions you might have about Matlab.