Date: Fri, 8 Sep 1995 13:37:47 -0700
From: David Harnick-Shapiro david[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]BUCKAROO.ICS.UCI.EDU
Subject: Re: ADS-ANS deadline September 1
On Thu, 31 Aug 1995 14:23, Betty Phillips writes:
* This message contains the file 'PHILLIPS.ADS', which has been
* uuencoded. If you are using Pegasus Mail, then you can use
* the browser's eXtract function to lift the original contents
* out to a file, otherwise you will have to extract the message
* and uudecode it manually.
and all hell breaks loose. Some good things did come out of this
affair -- an increase in the number of humanists who appreciate the
difficulties in file exchange, for example. And I'll bet there's
quite a few who will think twice before assuming, "I use insert
favourite word processor , so *everyone* must use it"; they may
even disabuse a few colleagues.
So why am I dragging this up again? I *did* bother to try to find
out what the original post was, and thought I'd share with those more
noted for their morbid curiousity than for their reason.
Here we go: message comes in as a digest; program number one is my
mail reader. Burst the message out of the digest: that's program
number two. Three: an editor to remove the mail headers and other
non-uuencoded stuff (this step was probably not actually necessary).
Four: uudecode. This is the first step where an error is reported;
the file was probably not uuencoded properly, or the uuencoded version
may have been clobbered, but let's press on regardless. Five and six:
the Unix "file" and "less" commands, to try to figure out what kind of
file was created; decide it's not a Unix or text file (which was
unlikely, anyway), so I'll try a Mac. Seven: 'Fetch', to copy the file
from Unix to a Macintosh. Eight: MS Word for Mac. Word, when coerced
into opening the file, announced that it was converting a WordPerfect 5.1
file, but was unable to finish.
So: eight programs, two platforms, several machines and several networks
later, I have: an unreadable portion of a WordPerfect file. I love
the way computers empower me.
David Harnick-Shapiro Information and Computer Science
david[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]ics.uci.edu University of California, Irvine