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Re: Binary files under MS Windows

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg4214] Re: Binary files under MS Windows
  • From: Harald Berndt <haraldb at>
  • Date: Tue, 18 Jun 1996 03:25:37 -0400
  • Organization: University of California Forest Products Lab
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

John Bunda wrote:
> So, if the binary data in the file contains a byte that
> just happens to equal the DOS eof character (hex 1a,
> decimal 26 - please, please, don't get me started on Microsoft
> toy OSes), the read returns EOF instead of the number.

Yes, isn't that annoying. It was the reason why I switched to the Mac 
a few years ago ...
> Does anyone know of a workaround that will allow me to
> actually read binary files on the Windows platform?
> Thanks in advance.  By the way, if I can get this to
> work, I will post my enhanced version of the binary
> files package that supports little-endian/long doubles.

Todd Gayley's FastBinaryFiles (somewhere on the Wolfram Web site) will 
do what you need. It is a MathLink application, but now MathLink is 
available on the Win platform so you can finally read binary files 
there, too. (btw, I use it on my Mac because it's _much_ faster than 
the standard package. ...and I'm using it to read DOS files ...)

Harald Berndt                          University of California
Research Specialist                  Forest Products Laboratory
Phone: 510-215-4224                            FAX:510-215-4299


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