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st: Re: Infile stops reading dataset

From   evan roberts <>
Subject   st: Re: Infile stops reading dataset
Date   Thu, 29 Mar 2007 12:25:10 -0500

Bill Gould's advice solved my problem immediately, and we are now happily working with our data.

I'd like to take this public forum to thank Bill for his great help with this, and tell a little story. It's a story that shows what a great company Stata is, and why it's got so much loyalty.

After sending the message I was at home for lunch, and disturbed by several telemarketing calls. The phone rang again, and I was inclined to let it ring, but noticed that the name was listed as Stata Corp. Lo and behold, it was Bill Gould himself ringing/calling me at home to tell me the solution to the problem. This was quite the extra mile in terms of customer service.

Thanks to Bill for answering this question, and I hope that he is not overwhelmed trying to live up to the expectations he will answer all questions on Statalist with a personal phone call 2 hours after it was posted.

Evan Roberts

Anytime you have difficulty reading a file, try out -hexdump, analyze-.
I typed
. hexdump no1875a.dat, analyze
and saw that -hexdump- flagged the file as binary. Everything -hexdump- reported looked reasonable, except it mentioned that there were 3 "Extended Control Characters", and I knew that was odd. Next, I typed
. hexdump no1875a.dat, tabulate
which gave me a tabulation of every character in the file. The 0xff jumped out at me, although there would be no reason why it should jump out at anybody else. As I said, these days, 0xff is just another character, but I knew Stata's history.

It was from -hexdump no1875a.dat, tabulate- that I learned "X" was never used. So I used -filefilter- to change 0xff to X and then tried to read the data. It worked.

- -- Bill
Evan Roberts
Minnesota Population Center and Department of History
University of Minnesota
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