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st: date/time question

From   Dimitri Szerman <[email protected]>
To   statalist <[email protected]>
Subject   st: date/time question
Date   Thu, 10 Feb 2011 10:27:49 +0000


I have a string variable which contains information on dates and time.
It looks like this:

input str23 mytime
"24/12/2008 10:21"
"25/12/2008 09:01:27"
"25/12/2008 09:23:23"
"25/12/2008 09:36:03"
"26/12/2008 09:00:27:803"
"26/12/2008 09:31:43:163"
"26/12/2008 09:49:03:943"
"26/12/2008 09:49:35:913"
"26/12/2008 09:51:17:210"

I'm trying to convert this into a numeric variable. My ideas was

gen double numtime = clock(mytime, "DMY hms")
format numtime %tC

But that's giving me missing values. I guess my problem is, the
appropriate mask changes (for observation 1 it should be "DMY hm", for
observations 2-4, "DMY hms", and for observations 5-9, I have no

By the way, I'm importing many ASCII files in loop, so sometimes I
have only the  "DMY hm" format, sometimes only the "25/12/2008
09:01:27" format, and sometimes a mix of the three formats above.

Any ideas on how to solve this problem efficiently?

Many thanks,
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