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decoding e-mail message

Posted on 1997-12-20
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Every once in a while someone sends me an e-mail message with a section displayed in a format I don't know how to handle. The incoded section comes as part of the regular body of my e-mail message. Below I've pasted an example of the text that precedes it. How do I decode this?

--C


Message: 23
To: Clara ...
From: ...
Subject: ...
Date: ...
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
--------------FDB73D1F4C630142D511E9A7
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

[This section in English]

--------------FDB73D1F4C630142D511E9A7
Content-Type: application/octet-stream; name="X"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="X"

[encoded section]
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Question by:clara
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singleton earned 50 total points
ID: 1017362
When someone sends a binary file by email, the mailing program must convert it to an intermediate ascii format because that is
all email can handle, and then it must be converted back at the
other end.  Unfortunately there are three ways to do it, MIME
(or Base 64), BinHex, and UUENCODE, and some email programs only
know how to do one of the three.  Most programs use MIME, and your message is in MIME format, but apparently whatever you are using can't convert it.  If you go to www.tcs.org/webpage.htm
and go all the way to the bottom you will be able to download a
file called binascii.zip which contains several programs, one that works in windows and can handle all three formats, some of the time, and then individual programs that run in DOS, and seem
to do a better job.  MIMEDEC.EXE in particular will let you
handle the MIME files you have.  Assuming you save the email
to a file called email.txt and put it in a directory containing
the mimedec.exe program, you can go to dos and type
mimedec email.txt and it will convert the file and leave the result in that directory.  The email program Eudora Lite,
available from www.tucows.com or www.stroud.com, can handle all
three formats
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