SPSS 17 refuses to run or even install under Snow Leopard, due to incompatibility/neglect of Java 6 JRE. This can easily be fixed:
run the following commands in Terminal or as a shell script (can be copied and pasted without individualization to your System)
curl -o java.1.5.0-leopard.tar.gz http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/isdal/snow_leopard_workaround/java.1.5.0-leopard.tar.gz
tar -xvzf java.1.5.0-leopard.tar.gz
sudo rm /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.5
sudo rm /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.5.0
sudo mv 1.5.0 /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.5.0-leopard
sudo ln -s /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.5.0-leopard /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.5
sudo ln -s /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.5.0-leopard /System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.5.0
say "Now, in Utilities - java preferences edit the list entailing what your computer should use with programs: drag java1.5 32bit onto the top of the list. Happy analysis."
echo "Now, in Utilities - java preferences edit the list entailing what your computer should use with programs: drag java1.5 32bit onto the top of the list. Happy analysis."
Please make sure to follow the suggestion this script outputs in the end: “Now, in Utilities -> java preferences edit the list entailing what your computer should use with programs: drag ‘java1.5 32bit’ onto the top of the list.”
What will this do to my machine? This will download and ‘install’ Java Version 5, which comes with OS/X Leopard on your machine bypass the reason for Snow Leopard incompatibility. Don’t worry, as V. 6 remains installed, no incompatibility issues will arise elsewhere.
Install SPSS17 (if not already installed prior to Snow Leopard upgrade).
edit /Applications/SPSSInc/Statistics17/SPSSStatistics17.0.app/Contents/bin/jvmcfg.ini (make sure to modify this path in case you decided not to install SPSS to the default directory):
nano /Applications/SPSSInc/Statistics17/SPSSStatistics17.0.app/Contents/bin/jvmcfg.ini and change line
edit /Applications/SPSSInc/Statistics17/SPSSStatistics17.0.app/Contents/Info.plist (make sure to modify this path in case you decided not to install SPSS to the default directory):
SPSS will now start without errors.
Credits: This is a summary of tips I found here, here and here, where you will find further assistence in case this fails, which I am sure it won’t.
By the way, IBM! Feel to take this as inspiration for a patch/bugfix other than “purchase SPSS 18”!