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MathGroup Archive 1999

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Re: out of memory reading large(?) file (Q:)

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg18485] Re: out of memory reading large(?) file (Q:)
  • From: paulh at (P.J. Hinton)
  • Date: Wed, 7 Jul 1999 23:08:44 -0400
  • Organization: Wolfram Research, Inc.
  • References: <7lumlt$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In article <7lumlt$lf5 at>, "iMic" <schaferk at> writes:

> i am trying to read in a large file (6.3MB) of zeroes (0.0) and ones (1.0).
> after giving the kernel 50MB, the kernel reports out of memory. surely this
> amount of memory should be enough. the version is Mathematica 3.0 on a PowerMac
> 6500/225 with 96MB RAM.
> i have tried before (on much smaller files), using unformatted binary output
> of the file along with ReadBinary, only to find unbearable long read times
> (> 5Mins).
> what's the current best approach toward getting this data into Mathematica for
> processing.
> i'd like to make an animation from the data.

How are the zeroes and ones stored in the data file?  Are they stored 
as bits, or does each byte in the file correspond to a single zero/one?
When you read the data from the file, do you store each entry as an
Integer, Real, or String?  Is it really necessary to store all
of the data in the file in memory at once?

P.J. Hinton	
Mathematica Programming Group		paulh at
Wolfram Research, Inc.
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are those of the author alone.

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