There are some nice people about
We commissioned a bit of programming many years ago to produce the nifty charts you see in our Young People reports. Previously David McG used to craft each one lovingly by hand, which took some time and made him more familiar than he wanted to be with the bugs in Microsoft chart software. The commissioned software grabbed the figures from SPSS, drew a chart in SIgmaplot, and dropped the result onto the right page of the report. Magic, if fairly expensive magic.
However, we then moved offices, we lost the Sigmaplot disc, and realised that at some point, David's hard disc was going to go the great recycling centre in the sky... We went a little pale at this point.
Maybe we could get another copy of Sigmaplot? We contacted Systat, the people who produce Sigmaplot, who told us that the old Version 8 is no longer available. Perhaps it would work with the new version? They did a bunch of testing of our software, and after some banging and swearing from the workshop... sorry, it does not. Eventually they found a copy of the old version in a cupboard!... but the cupboard was in the US... yet they still sent it to us. And this year's forthcoming Young People into 2011 report looks better than ever.
They haven't asked us for a penny for all the running around they did for us, so the least I can do is give them this hat tip.