I am trying to format the globex intraday datafiles I have collected. http://www.cme.com/trading/dta/hist/ftp_gtimeandsales3098.html The files appear to be ascii with the data 'delimited' by it's column position. I had hoped to do all the work in Matlab, but I ran into problems. Matlab doesn't seem to do well with blank spaces, of which there are many. Matlab folks suggested using perl or python to do the dirty work of pre-processing the data. I decided I like the look of python, and it seems to be regarded very highly around here, so that is what I am going with. As a newbie, I don't know exactly where to start. There is so much info out there that my searches don't focus in on what I need. I was hoping someone here might be able to save me some google time by pointing me in the general direction. Any links to tutorials on file manipulation? What would be the best structure to store the processed data in? What functions will allow you to access data by column? Anything else I should know? Any advice would be appreciated!