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RE: st: Outreg2 - file cannot be openend


From   Roy Wada <roywada@hotmail.com>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   RE: st: Outreg2 - file cannot be openend
Date   Tue, 8 Sep 2009 11:18:04 -0700

>> The error message which tends to appear using the previously given
>> outreg2 command is "file myfile.txt could not be opened"
>>
>> Chris
>
> Apparently the file does not exist or cannot be read. This is different
> from the read-only problem. I once heard from a person whose computer had
> a sporadic problem locating files. The problem went away after she started
> using another computer, so that was it. It could be network related if you
> are using Stata over a local network.

Chris test a few things for me and it seems this problem may come up on 
laptops with slowed-down harddrives or bus speed. They don't tell you this 
but it would make sense for a laptop manufacturer to install a normal-spreed 
(7200 rpm) drives and then quietly throttle (restrict) its performance in order 
to make the battery last longer, and still retain the bragging rights for faster 
drvies and long-battery life.
 
This reminds of Apple Computer (as in Apple IIe) that supposedly sent 
a finished message to the user while still in the middle of program execution 
and thereby giving the false impression of impressive performance. I doubt 
Stata is doing this, since it would undoubtly cause havoc somewhere.
 
This issue of file permission has come up before.
 
http://www.stata.com/statalist/archive/2009-06/msg00827.html
http://www.stata.com/statalist/archive/2009-05/msg00394.html
 
A solution is to deliberately slow down the execution of outreg2 so that it 
does not look for or try to access a file before it is ready. The future 
versions of outreg2 should come with a -slow- option or something like it that 
will take care of it for people with slower read/write drives. People who need 
it now can get it from me.
 
This problem was difficult to diagnose because it cannot be captured by a 
trace output. -trace- will automatically slow down the program execution and 
thereby make the problem go away, albeit temporarily.
 
Recently there have been user-requrests for the displaying of the program line 
number along with any error messages. Normally I don't need it but it would 
been useful in this case since there was no easy way to diagonse the breakage, 
which I tracked by asking Chris to run a version with display markers inserted.
 
Incidenlty SSD (solid-state drives) are supposed to be several times faster 
than the platter-designs. It probably won't affect Stata's market share too 
much but it does make harddrive-based solutions more attractive, as in running 
significantly faster than they do today.
 
Roy
 
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