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st: Stata corrupting data?

From   "Deborah Garvey" <[email protected]>
To   <[email protected]>
Subject   st: Stata corrupting data?
Date   Thu, 12 Feb 2004 10:05:07 -0800

Hi, all.

I use Intercooled Stata 7.0 Win 98/95/NT version (born 6/11/02) on a
Dell OptiPlex GX110 with 512 MB RAM running Win 98.  My computer has
about 7 GB disk space available for virtual memory.  (Obviously not the
fastest machine on earth.)

A worrisome event occurred yesterday while reading in a 1990 Census 5%
PUMS CA sample abstracted from the IPUMS web site.  The data set is 312m
in size with N = 1.46 m and 84 vars.

I set memory at 375 m. After I read in the data to STATA, ran
descriptive stats, and saved the data, I then did a quick cross-tab of 2
variables that should've yielded a 2x2 matrix.  Instead, values were
changed for a couple of observations, and I ended up with a 3x3 table. 
I not so calmly exited STATA, restarted my computer and checked the
data.  They seem to be fine.

The data were seriously corrupted when I initially attempted to read in
1990 and 2000 5% PUMS abstracts for CA simultaneously.  I verified with
IPUMS that the problem was on my end, and not with their source data.

Has this happened to anyone else before?   Is it just a matter of being
more generous in allocating virtual memory?

Deb Garvey

Deborah Garvey, Ph.D.
Department of Economics
Kenna Hall
Santa Clara University
Santa Clara, CA  95053
408/554-2331 (FAX)
[email protected]
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