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st: data set too large

From   "Averett, Susan L" <>
Subject   st: data set too large
Date   Wed, 6 Apr 2011 22:55:06 -0400 (EDT)

Hi all: I am reading in a large data set, the ECLS and it comes with a Stata dictionary file so obviously it was meant to be read in Stata. I have Stata 11 SE but I cannot get it to load. It is too big. 
The error message (below) tells me to compress the data but how can I compress the data when it is not even read into Stata yet?
Likewise, how can I drop observations? I am reading in a dictionary file. I've got set mem set as large as it will go for me:
1000m and same with max is set to 30,000.

My error message is:

(10422 observations read)
no room to add more observations
    An attempt was made to increase the number of observations beyond what is currently possible.  You have the following alternatives:

     1.  Store your variables more efficiently; see help compress.  (Think of Stata's data area as the area of a rectangle; Stata can trade off width
         and length.)

     2.  Drop some variables or observations; see help drop.

     3.  Increase the amount of memory allocated to the data area using the set memory command; see help memory.

Susan Averett
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