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mohamed_nur@my-deja.com wrote:

>I've been dealing with binary files and every case i had to know before
>hand the dimensions of the array to setup an IDL variable of the said
>dimesions and read the unformatted data into.
>But is it possible or is there a method (in IDL 5.2/5.3) to read it in
>with no knowledge of the dimensions of the array.

I always use the fstat routine, which gets a bunch of information about
the file, but the only one I ever use is the size field:

stat = fstat( lun )

array = fltarr( stat.size )


free_lun, lun

Alternatively, if you're on UNIX, you can use the /nostdio keyword which
lets you just read willy nilly until the end of the file, and then get the
transfer count from the readu procedure. It's not a good way of doing
things, in my opinion, but it works:

;; Allocate a much bigger array than you need
array = fltarr( 1e5 )
array = temporary(array)[0:count-1]
free_lun, lun

Hope this helps,