SSCC's Summer Training

The SSCC is finalizing dates for training this summer, and we have lots planned including classes in Stata, SPSS, R, Matlab, and Wordpress. Visit our training page for details and to register.

R and a second round of Stata classes are scheduled for the end of August, so even if you're leaving Madison for the summer you may be able to fit in the training you'll need for the coming year before classes start.

Need to learn a statistical package but missed the class? The SSCC Knowledge Base is always available, and includes Stata for ResearchersStata for Students,SPSS for Students, Multiple Imputation in Stata, and much more. QSR also has a set of online NVivo tutorials.

32-Bit SAS to be Removed From Winstat on August 30

For some time, 64-bit SAS has been the default on Winstat. On August 30 we plan to remove 32-bit SAS from Winstat entirely. Having a single version of SAS installed will reduce opportunities for confusion. Most people will be unaffected by this change. However, removing 32-bit SAS will affect you if you import Excel files into SAS or have catalog files that were created using 32-bit SAS.

If you are currently using 32-bit SAS because you import Excel files, we have now identified ways for 64-bit SAS to read Excel files as well. Please read SAS and Excel Files on Winstat. The commands you use may change slightly, but you'll be able to do everything you're doing now and possibly more.

If you have catalog files containing formats that were created by 32-bit SAS, they will need to be converted to 64-bit. Instructions can be found in Converting SAS Formats from 32-Bit to 64-Bit. It gives several options, but all of them start with having 32-bit SAS read the formats. It is critical that you convert catalog files containing formats to 64-bit before 32-bit SAS is removed August 30. This mostly affects projects with data that have been archived and not used for some time. If you've used a format recently and didn't have problems opening it using 64-bit SAS, then it's in 64-bit format already.

The SSCC's statistical computing specialists will be happy to assist you if needed. If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please contact the Help Desk.

SPSS to be Removed From Linux June 30, 2013

Campus budgets are tight and SSCC's is no exception. Nowhere do we feel this squeeze more than with software prices. SPSS is one of our most expensive software programs. We have hundreds of SPSS users on Winstat and less than ten on Linux. Because of this, we have decided not to renew our SPSS license on Linux when it expires June 30, 2013. SPSS data files created on Linux are compatible with Windows, and syntax files will only require minor changes (for example referring to V:\ rather than /project). If you have any questions or need assistance moving from Linux SPSS to Windows SPSS, the SSCC's statistical computing specialists will be happy to help. Please contact the Help Desk.

SSCC's Email System to be replaced with Microsoft Office 365

In case you haven't heard, our campus is moving to Microsoft Office 365 for email and calendaring. All departmental email systems, including SSCC's, are required to shut down and move to this system. Fortunately, we will be able to keep our addresses (if we want to) and can continue to use mail clients other than Outlook. SSCC has been running its own email service for over 25 years and we are very sad to see it go. Our help desk will continue to be the place to contact when you need assistance and we are committed to supporting Office 365 to the best of our abilities. SSCC expects to move sometime next year. There is an Office 365 transition site with detailed information and time lines.

Tip: Warning about File Synchronizing Services

Malicious software ("malware") has recently been developed which spreads using file synchronization services like Dropbox,, or Skydrive. Once one computer is infected, the malware embeds itself within files in a synchronized folder and those files are then copied to any other computer that syncs with that computer. When the file is opened, the malware infects the new computer.  Do not open any file in a synchronized folder that you don't remember creating, even just "to see what it is." File syncing programs can be very useful, but any tool that has access to large number of computers will be a target for malware.