[TUHS] attachments: MIME and uuencode

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Mon Mar 13 10:00:14 AEST 2017


I used to have an undocumented mail service on my workstation at Sun.
I could send mail with a subject line specifying what I wanted and it
sent it to me.  Mainly used it when I was teaching at Stanford and I
wanted to grab stuff but couldn't get into Sun's network from the 
outside.  In fact, just found the script, it only worked if I was
coming from lm at CS.Stanford.EDU or lm at Sunburn.Stanford.EDU so I must
have been worried about security.

I had a different one that I made available publicly that served up
all the papers in /u/lm/Doc/postscript/.

On Sun, Mar 12, 2017 at 07:41:32PM -0400, Gregg Levine wrote:
> Hello!
> Jason, that is amazing. Can you e-mail me steps you took? But please
> do so off of list.
> -----
> Gregg C Levine gregg.drwho8 at gmail.com
> "This signature fought the Time Wars, time and again."
> 
> 
> On Sun, Mar 12, 2017 at 1:28 AM,  <jsteve at superglobalmegacorp.com> wrote:
> > As much as I despise the whole ???email server is my file server???, the thing
> > is that email clients are cross platform, and an easy way to get data in and
> > out of a server, and out to other people.  SMTP+UUENCODE/MIME is basically
> > the best peer to peer network that is still going strong, since RFC 821 in
> > 1982!  Naturally other email systems existed prior to this, but SMTP let you
> > easily send across the internet, in a method that basically still works to
> > this day, although servers have become more selective on who they talk to,
> > thanks to the rise of SPAM..
> >
> >
> >
> > I just fired up 4.3 BSD Uwsic, and setup an external DNS, and right away I???m
> > able to send an email, and I???m able to receive it on gmail:
> >
> >
> >
> > From: The Not Ready for Prime Time Super User root at csl3.wisc.edu
> >
> >
> >
> > Compared to what a disaster FTP turned out with it???s active/passive port
> > games, SMTP with it???s relay based nature is still the easiest way to send &
> > receive data.  Add in something like Microsoft Exhcange, which has
> > persistent and shared data stores, it???s quite easily to setup ???public
> > folders??? and keep binaries in there.  Of course you???d be crazy to put
> > ancient email servers directly onto the internet, but you can easily setup
> > forwarding/spooling gateways like postfix, to process inbound mail, and
> > deliver it to your ancient UNIX/VMS/MacOS/Windows server of choice.  I route
> > mine through MS Office 365, but backend on Exchange 5.5 as I can use the
> > Outlook client on MS-DOS, MacOS, and OS/2 to easily get files around if
> > needed.  Add in stunnel, and you can even use ???modern??? IMAP clients against
> > Exchange 5.5... Not that I???d recommend you doing something like this... lol
> >
> >
> >
> > Sent from Mail for Windows 10
> >
> >
> >
> > From: Dan Cross
> > Sent: Sunday, 12 March 2017 9:16 AM
> > To: Mary Ann Horton
> > Cc: TUHS main list
> > Subject: Re: [TUHS] attachments: MIME and uuencode
> >
> >
> >
> > On Sat, Mar 11, 2017 at 6:05 PM, Mary Ann Horton <mah at mhorton.net> wrote:
> >
> > Possible?  Yes.  Convenient?  No.
> >
> > You could cat several uuencode files together and send them in one email.
> > You'd have to edit them on the receiving end into separate files and
> > uudecode them separately.  In practice, you'd uuencode a tarball.
> >
> > MIME was a major advance, and what's telling is that 25 years later,
> > SMTP/MIME is still the standard.
> >
> >
> >
> > This is so interesting. Not to be argumentative about it but I felt it was
> > actually something of a regression. Something like making a file available
> > via an FTP server (possible in an executable but unreadable directory with
> > an obscure name) or just in some directory in an organization where a
> > filesystem was shared and sending a pointer to the file via email seemed
> > much more efficient, particularly if one was sending to multiple recipients.
> > Attaching files to email as MIME components felt like trying to turn email
> > into a filesystem, and SMTP into a file transfer protocol. The way I saw it,
> > email was email and we already had file transfer protocols....
> >
> >
> >
> > It seemed like MIME really took off when Microsoft embraced it; before that,
> > plain ol' text seemed much more common. My sense at the time was that
> > networked filesystems and services like FTP (or the then-nascent HTTP) were
> > far less commonplace on the MS platform, so email as a content distribution
> > mechanism was more natural in that world. I was somewhat dismayed at the
> > inability to make Windows users see the light; in retrospect, of course,
> > this just means that I myself was missing something critical.
> >
> >
> >
> > Mary Ann, why did you consider it such a step forward? I'm really curious
> > about the reasoning from folks involved with such things at the time.
> >
> >
> >
> >         - Dan C.
> >
> >
> >
> >

-- 
---
Larry McVoy            	     lm at mcvoy.com             http://www.mcvoy.com/lm 


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