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Re: Binary file I/O

  • Subject: [mg2962] Re: [mg2953] Binary file I/O
  • From: jfultz (John Fultz)
  • Date: 17 Jan 1996 05:54:47 -0600
  • Approved:
  • Distribution: local
  • Newsgroups: wri.mathgroup
  • Organization: Wolfram Research, Inc.
  • Sender: mj at

> I am working with large datasets that I would prefer to store as binary
> data rather than ASCII.  These files could be, for example, single- or
> double-precision numbers.  What is the most efficient way of handling
> input and output of such datafiles in Mma?  I've considered writing an
> external translator to read the data and pipe it to Mma in ASCII, but I
> wonder if it is possible to access binary data in a file directly. 
> Matt Reed
> University of Michigan

If you have a version of Mathematica which is MathLink capable, you should
*definitely* be using Todd Gayley's FastBinaryFiles, available on
MathSource as item number 0206-783.  The interface to FastBinaryFiles is
almost identical to the interface of the Utilities`BinaryFiles` package,
which is documented in the book "Guide to Standard Mathematica Packages".
The implementation, however, is at least an order of magnitude faster than

John Fultz
Wolfram Research, Inc.

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