To MIME base64 Hell and back again

Image representing Outlook as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

If you’re born and raised among “if you’re bad you’ll go to Hell” people, you expect to go to Hell when you die (if you’re bad) and not a second sooner! Although I’m not such a bad person in general and I’m pretty much alive at this moment, I had to go through MIME Hell today. This is what happened… I was waiting for a very important e-mail with attachment and when I finally got it – it was a MIME multi-part base 64 encoded message. If you ever received one of those, you feel me. If you haven’t – consider yourself lucky, but if you do it starts like this:

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Oh noez… :scotsman:

And then you see something like this:

------_=_NextPart_001_01CBF927.1E6418F6
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
	boundary="----_=_NextPart_002_01CBF927.1E6418F6"

Or the worst kind – garbled plain text… plain text my ass!

------_=_NextPart_002_01CBF927.1E6418F6
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset="utf-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64

RGVhciBwcm9wb3NhbCBjb29yZGluYXRvciwNCg0KSSBhdHRhY2ggdGhlIEV2YWx1YXRpb24gU3Vt...

Sometimes not even Google is able to decode it. If you insist on pointing fingers – Microsoft (especially Outlook and Microsoft Exchange) does a pretty good at encoding forwarded messages or attachments in this way.

If message received is not important, who cares, forgetaboutit. If it is and asking sender to re-send the message this time carefully using alternative works swell. What if message is important and you can’t or don’t want to further annoy sender? You’re doomed.  :seba:

Oh noez.  :fly:

Or not. Here it is: Online base64 sample decoder and encoder to the rescue! Copy relevant parts into appropriate textbox, hit enter, do some magic and you’ll be able to retrieve at least some parts of the message. If I did it so can you!

I rest my case.

 

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