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[Q]: reading hexadecimal numbers from text files

I'm working with some DICOM files that are not supported by IDL's built-in
access functions. I've written a DICOM parser and would like to make use
of an external DICOM dictionary. But I can't figure out how to interpret
ASCII strings as hexadecimal coded integers (its always the little
things...). For example, I need to read lines like:

7FE0, 0010, 'CS', 'Pixel Data'

and interpret the first 3 fields as unsigned short integers. I also need
to print these values back out as they are displayed here.

Please forward replies to 'intrigue@ozemail.com.au' as well as this group.

Any assistance appreciated.