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RE: st: Modify large data base without opening it

From   "Martin Weiss" <>
To   <>
Subject   RE: st: Modify large data base without opening it
Date   Wed, 24 Sep 2008 22:34:18 +0200

Stat/Transfer also comes to mind. You can fire it up from Stata via -ssc d


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Michael I.
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2008 10:31 PM
Subject: Re: st: Modify large data base without opening it

*Some* program has to open the file in order to change it, but that 
program doesn't have to be Stata. Nevertheless, if it's taking a long 
time in Stata, it's going to take a long time in whatever program you 
choose. I suggest switching temporarily to a computer with more RAM, 
dropping the variables you don't want, compressing the whole thing, and 
then moving back to your regular computer.

You have other options, like opening it in Excel 2007, using SAS or 
SPSS, or writing a script in perl, awk, python, or something other 
language, but it's very unlikely to be worth the extra effort.


José Luis Chávez Calva wrote:
> I'm working with a very large data base (1000m, 2000 vars) and my PC
> is taking too long to open it. I would like to know if there is a way
> or a specific command to drop some variables without actually opening
> the data base.
> Thanks in advance,
> José Luis Chávez Calva
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Michael I. Lichter, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor & NRSA Fellow
UB Department of Family Medicine / Primary Care Research Institute
UB Clinical Center, 462 Grider Street, Buffalo, NY 14215
Office: CC 125 / Phone: 716-898-4751 / E-Mail:

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