Date: Tue, 11 May 2010 08:05:59 -0400
Reply-To: Richard Ristow <email@example.com>
Sender: "SPSSX(r) Discussion" <SPSSX-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Richard Ristow <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Reading old SPSS-X files from tapes into SPSS for Windows
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At 06:36 AM 5/11/2010, Staffan Lindberg wrote:
>I have a some old SPSS-X files on tapes from the late 70's and early
>80's. Originally they were run on an IBM (360, I think) mainframe
>before being stored on tape. The OS was MVS. I have them converted
>from EBCDIC to ASCII and tried with several different editors but
>they are completely unreadable.
Whatever else will work, that probably won't. Remember, SPSS stores
numbers in the floating-point format native to the machine; on IBM
mainframes of that age, that's 32-bit hexfloat (as it's known -- the
360/370 specific format). Bytewise conversion to ASCII will scramble
those, probably beyond recovery.
>I have the files now both converted and unconverted on my hard drive.
Thank goodness for the unconverted, where you have a chance.
>My question is if there are other ways of getting these files into
>SPSS for windows? I have a vague recollection of a FILE HANDLE
>command, but cannot find any information on how to use it. I would
>be thankful for any input on this even a finger pointing in a
>possible direction. Hopefully there are still some data
>archaeologists out there?
Is there public documentation on the detailed structure of an SPSS
system file of that era? If so, at worst one could do a low-level
parse, extracting the data dictionary and data separately, noting
which were string variables and should be converted to ASCII strings,
which were numeric variable and should be converted to (probably)
Sounds like fun, in an adventurous sort of way.
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