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saving a numeric table to a disk file

Hi MCLers,

I am working on a table management system for scientific
applications. A table consists of a rectangular array of
objects, typically 20 columns and 20,000 rows usually with floats.

What I am looking for is a way to efficiently write such a table to
disk and read it back into memory again in order to achieve
persistency. In Fortran I would simply use an unformatted read/write.

So far I have been using Lisp's print/format to create a .lisp
ASCII file, which I compile and load later. This approach suffers
from two inefficiencies: firstly when the ASCII representation is
generated from the internal Lisp object representation, and secondly
when I have to compile the file, which takes quite some time om the

Any suggestions? 

Hans-Martin Adorf

Space Telescope - European Coordinating Facility
European Southern Observatory
Karl-Schwarschild-Str. 2
D-8046 Garching bei Muenchen
FR Germany