Okay, I had my office assistant do the call to SPSS. Here is what they said (IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT!!!):
We have Resolution 79927 on file for this issue.
SPSS 16 or Statistics 17 on Macintosh only launches with an error 'Could not instantiate a required server object'
The SPSS application will need to be "touched" in order to make it usable.
In order to make SPSS functional on this machine it will be necessary to "touch" the application. This means to use the touch command to update the access and modification times on the file which will allow it to launch successfully again. Here are the easiest steps to accomplish this:
1. Open up the Terminal application from 'Applications->Utilities->Terminal'.
2. Type the following command into the terminal 'touch ' without the single quotes but with the trailing space.
3. Go into the 'Applications->SPSSInc->SPSS->Statistics17 (or SPSS16)' and find the SPSS application.
4. Drag the SPSS application into the Terminal window.
5. Replace focus into the terminal window (mouse click) and then press the 'Enter' key.
After you have pressed the 'Enter' key the Terminal cursor will return to what it was before the command was entered and now SPSS should launch correctly again.
Since this process will need to be run every time the computer is started this process should be set up as a shell script and put into the users Start Up directory. These steps are detailed below:
1. In the Terminal window in step 5 highlight the touch command.
2. Go under the 'Shell' menu and select 'Export Selected Text As'.
3. Give the file some meaningful name like 'spss17touch' and be sure to show the extension of 'txt' and then change this extension to 'sh' to make the file a shell script.
4. Put this file some where you can find it (Desktop) and then move or copy this file into the folder '/local hard drive/System/Library/StartupItems' so that it can be executed at every boot of the machine.
5. Once the file has been placed into the '/local hard drive/System/Library/StartupItems' directory then the proper permissions for the file will need to be set so that it executes at every boot of the machine.
6. In the Terminal window change into the '/local hard drive/System/Library/StartupItems' directory and run the command 'ls -elf' to check the permissions on the file in the directory.
7. Now run the command 'chmod 755 spss17start.sh' and you can then re-run the 'ls -elf' command to confirm that the permissions have been changed.
Once this is done the SPSS Statistics 17 application should be functional every time the computer is booted up.