I'm a Mac person, but I'd like to get maybe 2 computers with SPSS on them for my lab. Any other software I need for basic stuff? If you've priced this out for your own startup with current figures, please share—thanks!
Date: 03 Dec 2014 20:10
Number of posts: 11
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Most colleges/universities have site licenses for SPSS, so this shouldn't be an issue. If you need specialized add-ons, e.g. AMOS, be sure to factor this in. Unless you utilize more specialized statistics or have computer programming/scripting skills, little else will likely be needed. If software like E-Prime would be useful in your lab, that could be worthwhile. As for the hardware, I know more about PCs than Macs, but go with your preference. For a Windows machine, I'd go for something with at least 1TB memory and at least 8GB RAM (4GB could work for most people, though). The Intel i-Core processors are nice, btw. Before settling on 2 computers, think about whether participants may need to use a computer for any tasks. In this case, I'd ask for 3 or 4 machines for a small lab. It never hurts to have extra and it's easier to get more up front than after the fact.
Finally, the specific PC brand is a non-issue. Your college/university probably works with one specific company so that it will be easier to just go through them.
I have macs with a site license for SPSS and they run fine. You can't run eprime reliably on a mac. You are likely pricing out a startup package, not actually buying machines. So price out macs and then buy what you need later. Depending on the type of institution you'll be at, you might not need these machines right away. I would wait to buy until you are a month or two out from starting collection. That way you get the machine with the latest specs.
Can you overestimate a startup package for a school and overestimate right out of the offer? Meaning they snatch it back? Should you expect guidance from the dept head? And is there a way to find out what past faculty have received to receive an equitable offer? I could make a $2000 startup (that would suck) or I could make a $250,000 startup (including summer salary for a few years to get things up and running and grants in). How do you figure this out?
Once you have the offer in hand, you can surely ask the dept chair or search chair or another future colleague for help anchoring your proposed package. In my case, I was negotiating with the provost from his budget, and the department would only benefit the more money I got. So they were keen to help me get a reasonable package. You do not want to sell yourself short - this is a huge opportunity to give yourself a solid start. Much bigger risk to undercut yourself than to have the rare situation of a retracted offer due to asking too much.
Yes, ask the chair what's normally been given or given recently in your area. That will give you an idea of what they reasonably expect. The chair might also have suggestions for you, or can provide feedback on a draft, such as if you've asked for way more or less than is normal / likely for you to get. There might be unforeseen things that are specific to the school that you might be expected to ask for, such as summer salary, grad student stipends, fudns to repaint your lab or put in carpet, etc. Some states have laws that limit what can be bought with startup depending on where those funds came from (at a state university anyway). For example, here in Texas I was not allowed to use my state-provided startup to put additional ethernet ports in my lab or to buy "expendable" resources such as printer ink or paper. But, my chair was able to "trade" some of my funds with funds in another account that let me purchase these seemingly given basics.
blech. Use an abacus.
Very funny. But seriously, R is considerably more up-to-date than SPSS (unlike, say, a TI-89, though TI-89s are awesome and you should definitely get one in your startup package! I've got a custom-built version of artillery I can send you…)