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What is the systat dataset format?

CART and MARS continue to read data stored in the legacy SYSTAT format, a binary (i.e., not human-readable) format widely used by statisticians and researchers using the SYSTAT statistical programs. Relative to comma-separated-text and some other binary formats, the legacy SYSTAT format is quite restrictive (limited variable name lengths, limited lengths of character data). We do not recommend that you use it. However, for our clients that do need to work with this format, we provide the following C and Fortran programs that illustrate how legacy SYSTAT datasets are structured. Originally, legacy SYSTAT format was written and read with Fortran code. Thus, because the format must accommodate the record segmentation and padding typical of Fortran I/O, the C version handles these issues explicitly.
Click here to obtain LFR.F — the Fortran 77 legacy SYSTAT file reader source. LFR is written entirely in Fortran 77. Record padding is handled implicitly by the Fortran I/O system. The user is prompted for an input legacy SYSTAT set. The data are echoed to the console in comma-delimited as confirmation.
Click here to obtain CLFR.C — the C legacy SYSTAT file reader source. CLFR is written entirely in C. Record padding is handled explicitly to match the Fortran conventions. You must give the input file name as the first command line argument. If you give an output file name as the second command line argument, data will be written to that file in comma-delimited for as confirmation, otherwise data are written to stdout.
Both are portable in the sense that they accommodate both Unix and Windows compilation platforms.

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