Working in the SRE - unzipping project files

Step 1: Navigate to your data folder

SRE project data that has been prepared for your use will be located on the SRE Remote Desktop on the “R:” network drive in the “R:Data” folder.

Note: In your data folder you will see your approved data folders (MSP, Hospital etc), the files will be by year and will have the extension *.dat.gz (eg MSP 1999.dat.gz)

*.gz is a compressed file usually created on Unix or Linux systems; however, tools such as WinRAR etc are available on the SRE to decompress the *.gz files.

Step 2: Unzipping

Unzipping is accomplished by double clicking the file you wish to decompress, which should automatically open up 7-zip  (Alternately you could navigate to 7-zip in the Start Menu and use the black triangle in its address bar to select the zip file you want).  7-zip is like Windows Explorer: it lets you explore the contents of folders, and treat archive files like folders.  Select one or more files to be extracted from the archive; click on the icon “- (extract)” or select “Copy” under the File Menu; in the “copy” pop-up, click on [...] to navigate to the destination folder, or the black triangle to select from recent choices.

In SAS, you can read a “.gz” file directly, saving time and disk space. You can download a sample of SAS code from my.popdata.bc.ca/.../sas-gz-read-test-zip.sas  or  .../sas-gz-read-test-7z.sas  and the matching sample data from .../sas-gz-read-test-sample.g.  The first example is simpler and more portable; the second using a 7Z pipe might be faster.

Note that you cannot import a ".gz" file using the "yellowfolder" process, but you can view this help page from a SRE Remote Desktop session.

When using other applications, you may need to uncompress (unzip) the data to another folder (for example the shared “working” folder that can be used by others on your project)  before reading the data into the program of choice.