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Re: PSPP and mainframe files

From: Ben Pfaff
Subject: Re: PSPP and mainframe files
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2008 14:59:50 -0700
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)

[CC'ing pspp-users because of related emails sent there and to me

Chris Muller <address@hidden> writes:
> I'm working on some old IBM and Univac tapes that (I think)
> contain a quite old version of SPSS SAV files.
> For instance, instead of starting off with $FL2, these start with $FIL. The
> other record types start with menmonics such as $VVL, $OBS, etc rather
> than the integer record type codes described in the attached file. The Univac
> stuff requires morphing from 36-bit to 32-bit coding.
> Does any of this sound familiar? I'm neophyte with SPSS--actually, have never
> used it. But I'm good at legacy file conversion in general. Perhaps we can
> help each other. May I call you?

Hi Chris.  The files that you have would be the first ones that
I've seen that use that format.  It's interesting to hear about
it; now I understand why system files start with $FL2 (because
that's a logical successor to $FIL).  Based on a quick Google
search for $FIL $VVL $OBS, I don't think that other such files
can easily be found online.

If you are willing to pass your files along to me, then I would
be happy to add them to my library of data files.  At some point,
I would then do my best to add support for reading them to PSPP,
although it's possible that there would be too few of them or too
little diversity among them to figure out the format exactly.

I can't give an estimate of how long it would take me to get
around to doing a good job on the files' formats.  PSPP is very
much on the back burner right now for me because of the birth of
my first daughter on April 9, and working on PSPP is my hobby,
not my job.

Let me know what you'd like to do.  I'm not sure that I'd like to
discuss this over the phone, simply because for me it is harder
to schedule phone calls than email.  But if you are willing to
join the #pspp channel on (visit the
webpage for more information), I can often be found there.

Ben Pfaff

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