The common sense thing to do is exactly what you have done. Make sure
you have indexes on the fields. If it's still slow, try a different
database. Five minutes and you should be able to move the data into
Access (Jet), like this:

            require 'win32ole'
            connection = WIN32OLE.new('ADODB.Connection')
            connection.Open('Provider=Microsoft.Jet.OLEDB.4.0;Data
            Source=c:\Ruby\RubyAccess.mdb')
            recordset =  WIN32OLE.new('ADODB.Recordset')
            sql = 'SELECT * FROM T1'
            recordset.Open(sql, connection)
            data = recordset.GetRows.transpose
            puts data
            recordset.close
          end

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