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Appendix A: Installing the SOIC System on Your Computer

To install the SOIC System, your computer must have Microsoft Windows 95, 98, 2000, Millennium, or NT, and at least 30 megabytes of free disk space. We also recommend that your computer have at least a 90MHz Pentium CPU with 32 megabytes of RAM. We have not established any minimum CPU and RAM requirements over and above the CPU and RAM requirements of Windows itself. However, the program has not been tested on anything less than a 486 DX2/66 with 32 megabytes of RAM, and we make no guarantees of performance on older, slower systems.

The SOIC System requires Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). The SOIC System is not Internet enabled and does not make use of the IE browser. Nevertheless, the program must have certain supporting files that are used by a variety of Windows applications, and these files are normally distributed with IE. Note that if you access the Internet from the same computer that runs the SOIC System, you do not need to use IE as your browser! You can, for example, use Netscape Navigator as a browser even if IE is also installed on the system.

The version of IE that you must have varies with the version of Windows that you are running. To determine which version of Internet Explorer you have, open Internet Explorer, then go to Help on the menu bar, then "About Internet Explorer."

  • Windows 2000: Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher
  • Windows ME: Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher
  • Windows NT: If you have a version of Internet Explorer that is less than version 5.5, you must run the file scr55en.exe, which is located in the SOIC_Install.ZIP file.
  • Windows 98: You must have Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher. If you have a version that is less than version 5.5, you must run the file scr55en.exe, which is located in the SOIC_Install.ZIP file.
  • Windows 95: You must have Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher. If you have a version less than version 5.5, you must run the file scr55en.exe, which is located in the SOIC_Install.ZIP file.
A1. Installation

Before installing the SOIC System, close all other active applications.

Once you have saved the file, you may open the file with WinZip or a compatible decompression utility. If using WinZip, click the Install button in the button bar at the top of the open window. WinZip will automatically run the appropriate installation package for you.

Software files that have been decompressed using the WinZip utility.

If you are using another compatible decompression utility, "unzip" the contents of the file and run the installation process by double clicking on the SETUP.EXE.

The installation program begins copying files it needs into your \WINDOWS\SYSTEM folder and other locations. After a few additional moments, the Installation program displays a dialog box window:

First installation dialogue box - Welcome. Click Next to continue.

If you believe that there is any chance that you have forgotten to close an application, you can move to the open tasks with alt+tab and close them now. Otherwise, click on the Next button or press ENTER. A second window appears:

Second installation dialogue box - readme file. Click Next to continue.

This is the readme file that describes the requirements needed to install the software, notably the requirement for a version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. If you believe you have met these requirements, click on Next. The following window appears:

Third installation dialogue box - enter name and company. Click Next to continue.

This window requires you to personalize your copy of the SOIC System. When you are done, the Next button lights up. Use it or press ENTER to move to the next window:

Fourth installation dialogue box - select destination directory. Default is c:\Program Files\SOIC. Click Next to continue.

You can use the Browse button in this box to identify the drive and folder in which you want the SOIC System installed. If you do not specify a drive and folder, the Installation program will place the program in C:\Program Files\SOIC. Click on Next when you are finished.

The next window prompts you for the program folder name where you would like the SOIC icon to appear. You can type in a different name if you prefer:

Fifth installation dialogue box - identify program folder where the SOIC icon will appear. Click Next to continue.

Click on Next, and the program now displays a configuration confirmation window:

Sixth installation dialogue box - confirm current settings. Click Next to continue.

The Installation Program begins copying SOIC files to the appropriate folders. While the SOIC files are copied, the program displays a screen similar to the following example:

Seventh installation dialogue box - track installation progress.

After copying the SOIC files, the program may need to install the Microsoft Jet files. If so, a window similar to the following will appear as the Jet files are copied:

Last installation screen - only appears if Microsoft Jet files need to be installed.

You may receive a message indicating that you must restart your computer before running SOIC. If you wish to run SOIC immediately, leave the “Yes, I want to restart” radio button selected, and click on the Finish button. Otherwise, click on the radio button labeled “No, I will restart my computer later.”

The SOIC system is now installed.

Every installation dialog box gives you the option of leaving the Installation program by clicking on the Cancel button or pressing ESC. If an installation is interrupted, you will need to begin the installation process all over again, from the beginning. The Installation program, however, is smart enough to detect files it has already copied, and it will not try to copy these files again. Restarting an interrupted installation, therefore, does not take as long as performing a new installation from scratch.

A2. Uninstall, Copying or Deleting the SOIC System

When the previous SOIC version 1.3 was installed on systems running Windows 3.x, it was possible to move or copy an installed system to a new location, such as a LAN folder, if you followed certain precautions and took certain steps. Under Windows 95 and later operating systems, however, the SOIC System should not be moved manually. Windows 95 logs all applications in the "Registry." Moving applications manually can confuse the Registry and various errors can result.

We recommend that you use the installation program to place the system in any new location. If you want to remove the system from a location, use the Windows de-installation feature. You can find this feature by opening the Start menu, choosing the Settings option, then opening the Control Panel window. One of the items in the Control Panel window is named "Add/Remove Programs." Double click on this icon or name. The Add/Remove Programs Properties dialog box opens. A list box in the dialog box displays the names of a number of applications. Find the name "SOIC." (You may need to scroll down the list to find SOIC.) Highlight the name and click on the Add/Remove button.

A3. Possible Error Conditions

Under some circumstances, the SOIC System may not run after the installation process has successfully completed. In almost all cases, the remedy is to de-install the SOIC System and then reinstall it.

Note that because the Installation Program does not overwrite current versions of files, the SOIC System can fail to run if a current version of a DLL or other WINDOWS\SYSTEM file is corrupted. For example, opening a DLL with a word processor and saving it can destroy its ability to function-while at the same time leaving it with a date so recent that the Installation program will not touch it. If you suspect that one or more system files are corrupt, delete them with Windows Explorer, de-install SOIC, and reinstall it.

Appendix B: SOIC System Data File Formats

To be successfully imported into the SOIC System, a text file must be in a text format that the SOIC System can understand. That is, a file must be an "ASCII text file." ASCII (the American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is the standard method of representing alphabetical and numerical characters on mid-sized and small computers, including PCs, Unix systems, the Apple Macintosh, and VAX minicomputers using the VMS operating system. ASCII is not used to represent text on IBM compatible mainframe computers-these computers use an alternate system called EBCDIC. Software programs that copy files from mainframes to smaller systems can almost always translate text files from EBCDIC to ASCII. These programs, however, typically have the option of not translating files, and from time to time an EBCDIC text file is copied to a small system by mistake, and cannot be read. When transferring text files between different types of systems, therefore, always make sure that the transmitting software is set to "text" or "ASCII" (depending on the software), not "binary" or "image." A binary transfer will not translate your file.

A second problem is that even systems that use ASCII do not always use the same set of invisible characters to mark the end of a line of text. MS DOS and Microsoft Windows use an invisible carriage return symbol plus an invisible linefeed symbol to make up a combined "carriage return." Pressing ENTER in text entry mode in almost all DOS and Windows programs inserts the combined end of line marker, and ordinarily the way of marking the end of a line is not something you need to worry about. ASCII based operating systems other than DOS or Windows, however, may only use a single invisible carriage return symbol, or a single linefeed symbol. A binary transfer of such a file preserves the foreign end of line marker. Again, a text or ASCII file transfer solves this problem by converting the end of line marker to the DOS standard.

For an import to succeed, all lines in the imported text file must be the same length. Some software automatically trims trailing spaces from lines. Each line of the text file must end with the standard DOS carriage return (carriage return + linefeed) in the space immediately after the last space used for field information. If the lines in the text file are 211 spaces long, for example, the DOS carriage return must be in space 212.

A text file must also not contain any of the non ASCII formatting characters often inserted by word processing programs. Make sure that the software used to create the file saves it as a pure text file, without formatting characters.

Finally, the text file must be organized so that the SOIC System can tell where one field of data ends and another begins, and where one record ends and another begins. The SOIC System expects a text file in which each record consists of a single line, ending with a standard DOS carriage return. The individual fields of each record are in a "columnar" format. That is, each field is identified by its location on the record line, in spaces. For example, in the SOIC System internal format, the first field, Local ID, takes up spaces 1 through 4 of the line. The second field, Temporary ID, takes up spaces 5 through 10. Underlying Cause is in spaces 207-210, and Autopsy is in space 211.

It is not necessary that the fields in the imported text file be in the same order as the fields in an internal SOIC System table. Of course, you may find it convenient to keep the fields in that order. If that is not convenient, the field mapping function on import can reorder the fields.

The mapping function can also handle cases where imported fields have different lengths than the fields in an SOIC System table. If an imported field contains more characters than the SOIC System allows, the extra characters are trimmed on import. If you attempt to import a text file with lines more than 211 characters long, the SOIC System will ignore all data located past space 211. The import will otherwise succeed.

For general information on how the SOIC System handles files, see Section 2.3, "How the SOIC System Manages Tables and Files". For specific information on importing text files into the SOIC System, see Section 2.4.7, "The Import Option".

The following table gives the location of the fields in an internal SOIC System data table. For reference, we also give information on the text file format used by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The SOIC System internal format is based on the NCHS text file format, though the SOIC format has been modified where necessary. Notably, it contains many additional fields. Non-displayed fields that the SOIC System uses for internal purposes are not exported. The exceptions are the fields "ostatus" and "istatus," which are exported but not displayed.

Field Name, SOIC Data Entry Form Field Name, SOIC Internal Data Format Field Name,NCHS Mortality File Layout Location in Spaces Field Type Size
Local ID LocalID Shipment
No.Receipt Month
Text 4
Temporary ID TempID <not included> 5-10 Text 6
Certificate ID CertID Certificate No. 11-16 Text 6
Last Name LastName Name of Decedent Last 17-36 Text 20
First Name FirstName First 37-51 Text 15
Initial Initial Middle Initial 52 Text 1
Alias Alias Alias 53 Text 1
Sex Sex Sex 54 Text 1
Date of Death Dod Date of Death 55-62 Text 8
Social Security SSnum Social Security No. 63-71 Text 9
Age Age Age 72-74 Text 3
Date of Birth DOB Date of Birth 75-82 Text 8
State of Birth POBState State of Birth 83-84 Text 2
Place of Death typePlace Type of Place 85 Text 1
State of Death PODState Place of Death, State 86-87 Text 2
County of Death PODCounty County 88-90 Text 3
Marital Status Marital Marital Status 91 Text 1
Occupation otitle <not included> 92-131 Text 40
Industry ititle <not included> 132-171 Text 40
Code [Occupation] Ocode Occupation of Decedent 172-174 Text 3
Code [Industry] Icode Type of Industry 175-177 Text 3
Residence-State PORState Place of Residence State


Residence-County PORCounty County/City 180-182 Text 3
Hispanic Origin Hispanic Hispanic Origin 183 Text 1
Race Race Race 184 Text 1
Education Education Education 185-186 Text 2
Father's Surname Father Father's Surname 187-205 Text 19
Work Injury Workinjury Injury at Work 206 Text 1
Underlying Cause cause Underlying Cause 207-210 Text 4
Autopsy autopsy Autopsy 211 Text 1
<internal code, exported but not displayed> ostatus <not included> 212 Text 1
<internal code, exported but not displayed> istatus <not included> 213 Text 1
<iinternal code, not displayed or exported> rtind <not included> na Text 3
<iinternal code, not displayed or exported> icodedby <not included> na Number (Byte) 1
<internal code> ind1code <not included> na Text 3
<internal code> ind2code <not included> na Text 3
<internal code> ind3code <not included> na Text 3
<internal code> cfind <not included> na Number (Double) 8
<internal code> indscore <not included> na Number (Double) 8
<internal code> rtocc <not included> na Text 3
<internal code> ocodedby <not included> na Number (Byte) 1
<internal code> occ1code <not included> na Text 3
<internal code> occ2code <not included> na Text 3
<internal code> occ3code <not included> na Text 3
<internal code> cfocc <not included> na Number (Double) 8
<internal code> occscore <not included> na Number (Double) 8
<internal code> disagree <not included> na Text 3
<internal code> stime <not included> na Text 8
<internal code> ftime <not included> na Text 8

The following table gives the code structure for the fields of the NCHS Mortality File. The code structure indicates the possible valid responses and, where the fields are coded, what the codes mean.

Field Name Code Structure
Shipment Number 01-19
Receipt Month 01-12 (Jan.=01; Dec.=12)
Certificate Number Numeric, left zero fill
Last Name Alpha, left-justify (20 char.)
First Name Alpha, left-justify (15 char.)
Middle Initial Alpha or blank (1 char.)
Alias 1 or blank
Sex Male=1, Female=2, Not Classifiable=9
Date of Death Month (first two spaces): 01-12, not classifiable=99
Day (next two spaces): 01-31, not classifiable=99
Year (last two spaces): last two digits of year [NOTE: The SOIC System calls for all four digits of the year.]
Social Security Number Numeric or blank
Age Units (first space): years less than 100=0, years 100 or more=1, months=2, weeks=3, days=4, hours=5, minutes=6, not classifiable=9
Number of units (second and third spaces): enter as stated. Not classifiable=99
Date of Birth Month (first two spaces): 01-12, not classifiable=99
Day (next two spaces): 01-31, not classifiable=99
Year (last three spaces): last three digits, not classifiable=099 [NOTE: The SOIC System calls for all four digits of the year.]
Decedent's Birthplace If state, 01-51; Puerto Rico=52, Virgin Islands=53, Guam=54, Canada=55, Cuba=56, Mexico=57, remainder of world=59, not classifiable=99 [FIPS codes]
Type of Place of Death Hospital: inpatient=1, outpatient/ER=2, DOA=3, status unknown=4 Other: nursing home=5, residence=6, other=7 Not classifiable=9
Geographic Place of Death, State 01-54 [FIPS codes]
Geographic Place of Death, County Refer to Part 8, Geographic Classification , 1982. [FIPS codes] (There is no valid unknown code for county. If information is unknown, assign the same code as the previous record.)
Marital Status Married=1, Never Married=2, Widowed=3, Divorced=4, Not Classifiable=9
Occupation Instruction Manual, Part 19 (This is the code, not the literal.)
Industry Instruction Manual, Part 19 (This is the code, not the literal.)
Residence of Decedent, State If state, 01-51; Puerto Rico=52, Virgin Islands=53, Guam=54, Canada=55, Cuba=56, Mexico=57, remainder of world=59, not classifiable=99. Also see 1991 NCHS Instruction Manual, Part 4 . [FIPS codes]
Residence of Decedent, County/City Refer to Part 8, Geographic Classification, 1982. Also see 1991 NCHS Instruction Manual, Part 4 . [FIPS codes]
Hispanic Origin Non-Hispanic=0, Mexican=1, Puerto Rican=2, Cuban=3, Central or South American=4, other and unknown Hispanic=5, not classifiable=9
Race White=1, Black=2, Indian=3, Chinese=4, Japanese=5, Hawaiian=6, Filipino=7, other Asian/Pacific Islander=8, other=0, not classifiable=9
Education 00-17, not classifiable=99
Father's Surname Alpha, left-justify or blank
Injury at Work Yes=1, no=2, not classifiable=9
Underlying Cause of Death ICD-9
Autopsy Yes=1, No=2, Not Classifiable=9

Appendix C: The 998 Insufficient Information Code

Based on recommendations from the SOIC Policy Committee, the SOIC Software was designed to assign a code of 998 when there is insufficient information present to reliably assign an informational code. 998 can be assigned to either industry or occupation. The meaning of a 998 assignment is different from that of a 990/999 assignment. 990/999 will continue to be used for blanks, unknown, refused, etc. 998 is not technically a code assignment, but rather an indicator that although there was some information present in the industry or occupation descriptions, that information was insufficient for ascertaining a code.

All decisions regarding the criteria by which a case is to be assigned 998 were made by the SOIC Technical Committee. The committee was formed in 1997 and was comprised of a panel of coding experts from the Bureau of the Census (BOC), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The committee was responsible for reviewing coding conflicts and hard to code cases, and was instrumental in improving the quality of the SOIC software.

The use of 998 provides two key benefits: the ability to measure the overall quality of information in a data set, and the ability to identify cases with insufficient information so that they can be returned to their source for clarification whenever possible.

The SOIC software offers several features to assist in working with 998 cases. The Find Record option (Section 2.6.6 on page 83) allows you to search for individual records assigned 998 in either industry or occupation. The Print option (Section 2.4.9) allows you to print only 998 cases. For data stored as internal SOIC tables, the Save 998 Codes option (Section allows you to save 998 cases as a separate SOIC or Access table.