Decoding news attachments

If you’ve ever browsed a binary newsgroup, you may have found you have some difficulty extracting the encoded files. Fortunately, BeOS comes bundled with the command-line uudecode utility. Since files of type message/news are essentially plain text files, you can run news articles through uudecode to extract the encoded files:

uudecode filename

This will not work for files split across multiple messages – you’ll have to join the appropriate parts of the messages together for that – nor will it work for files that were not uuencoded to begin with. This should work with any newsreader that supports the standard Be message/news filetype for storing news. If you’re running slrn, you can save the post to disk and run uudecode on the resulting output.
Sometimes you’ll encounter files that were encoded in base64. Fortunately, Mail-It 2.0.x handles base64 just fine. Change the article’s filetype from message/news to text/x-email, open it up in Mail-It, and voila! You should find that the attachment is decoded perfectly, and some of the text of the message body may be readable as well, sometimes in the body, sometimes as a separate attachment.



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