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Decoding File Enclosures from AOL

Posted on 1997-03-05
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I seem to be having problems decoding attached files e-mailed to me from an AOL account to my non-AOL account (I'm using Quick-Mail with Internet gateway).  The files come over as "file.ext."  I tried using "YA-base64" to decode the files on my mac.  the decoding seems to go well - even creating new documents like word, *.sit,etc., but these files are empty.  No data!  anyone have a clue?  AOL tech support was no help, saying that word docs don't go through well using mime, which sounds preposterous.  Anyone have the answer (and don't say have it sent as a text file!)?
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Question by:SangHYi
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14 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:SangHYi
ID: 1541574
Edited text of question
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Expert Comment

by:irac
ID: 1541575
Sounds like the YA64 program isn't closing the file.  Maybe because the original file wasn't finished downloading or closed all the way?  If you check the size on the original AOL file does it have zero size, or does it really take up space?
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Author Comment

by:SangHYi
ID: 1541576
for irac:  the aol file seems to take up space.  it's just when i run it through the decoder, it comes up as nothing.  actually, a few of the "decoded" word files contained a lot of ascii junk, as if nothing was decoded.  Perhaps its the YAbase 64 program I'm using?
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Expert Comment

by:MacTech
ID: 1541577
Have you tried opening the downloaded file using Stuffit Expander?
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Expert Comment

by:hackman
ID: 1541578
Luckely I'm an AOL user (Using a pc) open up drag the file over simpletext and it should read it. or rename the file "file.txt"
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Author Comment

by:SangHYi
ID: 1541579
for Hackman:  the thing is, I should be able to read the enclosures as word docs.  I shouldn't have to convert it to a text file, or have the sender send the files as text. what method should i be using to decrypt the attached files from aol users?
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Author Comment

by:SangHYi
ID: 1541580
perhaps this is an impossible question to answer.  i have increased the point value to 200, and will wait another week for an answer.  after that, i'm going to harass the aol techs again.
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Author Comment

by:SangHYi
ID: 1541581

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Expert Comment

by:irac
ID: 1541582
Hmmm-  if you open the original AOL file with a text editor like BBEDIT does it have mail headers at the top?   If it does they might be confusing the Base 64 decoder program.  I recently had this problem with a file, and I had to take off the mail headers to get it to work.


-Ira
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Expert Comment

by:scottr
ID: 1541583
I'm surprised no one was able to answer this very well.  I will attempt.  AOL as other ISP's are what you call MIME compliant with their SMTP gateway.  You, or your non-AOL account may not support MIME.  Basically email comes across the internet in a 7-bit format normally or non-mime.  MIME compliant email gateways allow email to come accross in 8-bit format and allow the original file format the attachment was created in come through.  You will need to check to see if your non-AOL account supports MIME.  If not, you should go to shareware.com and accuire UUDECODE and UUENCODE for compressing and decompressing your files.  If this works let these guys know so I can get the points:-)
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Expert Comment

by:neil_bertram
ID: 1541584
Word files dont carry well attached,
try stuffing all the files, or use encryption.
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Accepted Solution

by:
rifty earned 200 total points
ID: 1541585
There's a new version of UUundo-1.0.sit.hqx available from www.shareware.com that should unpick the files for you. Download it and drag your attachments on to it.

Rifty
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Expert Comment

by:rifty
ID: 1541586
scottr - you suggested an answer that should have led to the same result. If you like, get into contact with me:

janette@sizzling.com


rifty

PS I answered this question 'cause I also knew the answer and it was sitting there for a month - I figured maybe the original sender didn't know the procedure and needed more help.
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Author Comment

by:SangHYi
ID: 1541587
my apologies, also.  i sort of stopped checking here to harrass aol.  and as time passed, i forgot about the problem, until this week...  
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