This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
If you know the structure of the file precisely, and since you know the row and column, it may be possible to calculate the offset of the date field from the beginning of the file. With that offset you can either use RandomAccessFile or FileInputStream.skip() to access that position directly.
If the fields have varying lengths, and are not padded to fixed length, then this is not possible.
If its a file with line breaks and delimiters (ex, csv) between column values, I think it will be possible to use a combination of iterating over rows using readLine() and iterating over columns using Scanner.next() or String.split() or Regex to achieve the purpose. However this may not be a good approach in case the file is very big.
If the file contains fixed width columns, then you can try using RandomAccessFile.seek() to take you to the appropriate value using some math.
If its a delimited file which is not too big, another option will be to read and populate a 2-dim String Array from the file and read directly using the co-ords. [ July 04, 2006: Message edited by: John Calabasas ]