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Re: The 26 problem when reading binary files

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg3436] Re: The 26 problem when reading binary files
  • From: withoff (David Withoff)
  • Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 02:24:19 -0500
  • Organization: Wolfram Research, Inc.
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

In article <4hbgka$4uu at> peter at (peter)  
> When reading a binary file as e.g. list of Byte, Mathematica interprets
> a 26 as A EndOfFile character and terminates filereading.
> Is there a way to avoid this without using the package FastBinaryFiles
> (that requires Mathlink and preferably a higher version of Mathematica
> than what I have.
> PW

Mathematica can only open files in "text" mode, as opposed to "binary"
mode.  In all systems other than those that evolved from DOS it doesn't
make an difference, but in DOS (or Windows, or ...) it does, in which
case the only way to get a binary file into Mathematica is to open
the file with a separate application that delivers text to Mathematica.
MathLink is the most common way to do that, but it isn't the only
conceivable way.  You could, for example, write a program that reads
the binary file and writes out a corresponding text file, after which
you could read the text file into Mathematica.  Other facilities for
reading DOS-like binary files will probably be added for the next
release of Mathematica.

Dave Withoff
Research and Development
Wolfram Research


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