Wednesday 13 July 2011

NOTE: "Big" SAS 9.3 is Officially Released

SAS's web site is now making copious references to SAS 9.3, and yesterday's press release seems to be bigging-up SAS's "big data" capabilities. At a more technical and detailed level, there's a good summary of changes in the Support site, and a comprehensive What's New in SAS 9.3 publication in the SAS Documentation site.

I'm always intrigued to see what functions are introduced with a new release. Although I will inevitably forget 90% of them (it's an age thing!), they often provide a degree of interest. This time around I see lots of SOAPxxxx functions that provide interfaces to web services, a bunch of financial rate calculations, plus the following two that I hope to remember and use:

checks the validity of a character string for use as a SAS member name.

returns an indication of the existence of an operating environment variable.

All I need to do now is get hold of a copy of the software.

Oh... and... I couldn't possibly make this post without highlighting the introduction of a new PROC... ladies and gentlemen, I give you... PROC GROOVY. Apparently, Groovy is an object-oriented programming language for the Java platform, but that's a far too dull explanation for a PROC which must surely return messages featuring words and phrases such as "cool", "far out", and "amazing".

Thursday 7 July 2011

NOTE: SAS-Themed Crosswords

I've just been having a bit of fun with a couple of the SAS-themed crosswords I created a long while ago (circa 2003); so long ago that I couldn't remember the answers! Great fun, and I was struck by the difficulty of the two prize-crosswords. Repeated congratulations to the respective winners.

Have a go yourself. It's a good way to challenge your knowledge of SAS and information technology; it's a great training tool. I recommend you start with one of the coffee-time crosswords before attempting either of the prize-crosswords. However, before starting any of them, you may wish to read some background information about the style of the crosswords so that you can more easily make sense of the clues.

Have fun! Tell me what you think of them (what you like, what you don't like, what you find easy/hard). I intend to produce some more crosswords soon. I'll let you know when they're published...