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Re: st: byte mystery


From   sdriver@stata.com (Shannon Driver, StataCorp)
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: byte mystery
Date   Tue, 01 Jun 2004 15:45:05 -0500

Jeph Herrin <jherrin@flyingbuttress.net> wrote:

> I've been using Stata a long time and never seen this.
> 
> . gen byte PCI=(initrs==4|initrs==5|initrs==6)
> . gen byte hadPCI=PCI
> . tab hadPCI
> 
>       hadPCI |      Freq.     Percent        Cum.
> ------------+-----------------------------------
>         -128 |          2        0.00        0.00
>            0 |    932,238       91.80       91.80
>            1 |     83,218        8.20      100.00
> ------------+-----------------------------------
>        Total |  1,015,458      100.00
> 
> Where does that -128 come from?
> 
> I am using Stata 8, latest updates, and I have run into this
> problem with *three* different byte variables I generate using
> this dataset; the only distinctive thing about the dataset is
> it's size (>500MB). The problem is difficult to reproduce, as
> well, so it's hard to figure out what is going on; for instance,
> if I add a line that tabs the first variable (PCI) then there
> is no trouble. I did try it without the "byte" designations, and
> got the same spurious value.
> 
> Any ideas?

This output looks very odd.  -128 should not even be a possible byte value.
There are several things that could be causing this problem, including bad
memory on a system, a corrupted dataset, etc.  

I would recommend that you contact Stata Technical Support at
tech-support@stata.com so that we can try to figure out if there is a way for
us to reproduce the problem here.

--Shannon Driver
  sdriver@stata.com

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