Boaty McBoatface is on the run

I know what you're thinking: two "Boaty McBoatface" articles within two weeks? And we're past April Fool's Day? But since I posted my original analysis about the "Name our ship" phenomenon that's happening in the UK right now, a new contender has appeared: Poppy-Mai. The cause of Poppy-Mai, a critically […]

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And it's Boaty McBoatface by an order of magnitude

In a voting contest, is it possible for a huge population to get behind a ridiculous candidate with such force that no other contestant can possibly catch up? The answer is: Yes. Just ask the folks at NERC, the environmental research organization in the UK. They are commissioning a new […]

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Add files to a ZIP archive with FILENAME ZIP

In previous articles, I've shared tips about how you can work with SAS and ZIP files without requiring an external tool like WinZip, gzip, or 7-Zip. I've covered: How to create ZIP files with ODS PACKAGE ZIP (available since SAS 9.2) How to "unzip" and read ZIP files using FILENAME […]

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SAS knows it's a leap year. Do you?

Leap year questions come up all of the time in computing, but if there is any true season for it, it's now. The end of February is approaching and developers wonder: does my process know that it's a leap year, and will it behave properly? People often ask how to […]

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Sorting data in SAS: can you skip it?

TL;DR The next time that you find yourself writing a PROC SORT step, verify that you're working with the SAS Base engine and not a database. If your data is in a database, skip the SORT! The details: When to skip the PROC SORT step Many SAS procedures allow you […]

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Using the ODS statement to add layers in your ODS sandwich

The ODS statement controls most aspects of how SAS creates your output results. You use it to specify the destination type (HTML, PDF, RTF, EXCEL or something else), as well as the details of those destinations: file paths, appearance styles, graphics behaviors, and more. The most common use pattern is […]

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How to convert a Unix datetime to a SAS datetime

I watched with wonder as each of my daughters learned how to "tell time." Early in their primary school careers, they brought home worksheets that featured clock faces with big-hand/little-hand configurations that they had to decipher, and exercises that asked them to draw the hands as they should appear given […]

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How to compare SAS programs in SAS Enterprise Guide

Copy/paste is my favorite method for creating new SAS programs. In my work projects, I maintain a sort of genealogy of SAS programs, because the DNA of one program can be used to spawn many other SAS programs as its progeny. When things (inevitably) aren't working as I intend in […]

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How to split one data set into many

Back in the day when the prison system forced inmates to perform "hard labor", folks would say (of someone in prison): "He's busy making little ones out of big ones." This evokes the cliché image of inmates who are chained together, forced to swing a chisel to break large rocks […]

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New SAS programming features in SAS Enterprise Guide 7.1

SAS Enterprise Guide 7.1 began shipping last week. Of the many new features, some are "biggies" while others are more subtle. My favorite new features are those for SAS programmers, including several items that I've heard customers ask for specifically. I'll describe them briefly here; the SAS Enterprise Guide online […]

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