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I've noticed a couple folks posting messages lately that have strange ASCII
letter combinations such as the following:

>Happy 100th day of school=21

This was something I didn't really understand until I broke down the other
day and purchased a copy of Eudora Pro 3.0! The manual does a nice job of
explaining what's happening (Appendix D), I'll try to summarize here.

Basically, what we're seeing with e-mail like this is an attempt to get
around the fact that the Internet was designed to send plain US-ASCII text
between users. The Internet wasn't designed with bullet symbols and things
like umlauts in mind.

The mechanism that allows use of these things is called "quoted printable".
It converts the special character into a code (which starts with an equal
sign). This code can be passed through the Internet as it's just regular
text, then converted back to the special character by the receiver's e-mail

Unfortunately, the Internet is a strange place and sometimes e-mail goes
through a gateway (to another e-mail system, such as cc:Mail) or other
mechanism which doesn't understand how to handle "quoted printable"
properly... that's why we sometimes see such things as the above section.

I'm not too sure there's a good way around the problem. Hopefully as e-mail
systems are updated, they'll "learn" how to handle quoted printable
characters, but for now I think it's just a case of dealing with it on a
case-by-case basis.

For instance, when using Eudora the program automatically uses
quoted-printable when sending e-mail. If you have folks you send e-mail to
complaining about having these special codes in it at their end, try
turning off quoted-printable when you send them e-mail.


Brig C. McCoy                    - Automation Consultant
Southeast Kansas Library System  - BRIGC@WORLD.STD.COM
218 East Madison Street          - 316 365-5136
Iola, KS  66749                  - 316 365-5137, Fax

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