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Writing to ASCII files

        I just started reading this newsgroup. I found out
about its existence after 6 yrs of IDL-use on UNIX!! I never
could write an ascii file with columns of no.s from IDL.
I have two specific qs. regarding this:

1. When I use printf (and even writeu), it gives me
non-sensible results. Here is what I am doing

some loop with i
end loop

What I would like is:
item1(0) item2(0)
item1(1) item2(1)
item1(2) item2(2)
item1(3) item2(3)

Instead, I get some unreadable jargon (I guess it is writing
binary?). Is there a way to do this in IDL?

2. Is there a way to open a file to write (with openw) but have
it keep appending data at the end of file with every call to printf?

It would simplify my life considerably, if I can figure this
out! I have avoided dealing with this for too long....

Thanks so much for your help,