Mail attachments

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Mail attachments

Postby johncollett » Thu Aug 25, 2011 9:58 pm

I'm having problems determining the number of attachments to an item of mail. Normally my "Inbox" shows columns "From", "Subject", "Date received", and a paperclip icon meaning "Number of attachments". If that column says "3 items", then when I open that mail item, its header will contain "3 attachments ", and a statement of their size in Kb.

I have recently received several items of mail from one sender who assures me that each mail had two attachments, and the listing shows "2 items" in every case, but when I open any of those mails I see "1 attachment, " and its size. I can "Save" or "Quick Look" the first attachment, but the second attachment in each case is inaccessible.

Where might it be? No trace in "~/Library/Mail Downloads", where I find a list of all other downloaded attachments.
JC
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Re: Mail attachments

Postby Dave_Higgins » Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:14 am

You might want to inspect the code of the mail message for any clues... Menu View > Message > Raw Source
My two favorite teams are Detroit and whoever's playing Chicago.
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Re: Mail attachments

Postby Dan_Kelleher » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:20 am

Hi John,
Do you know if the problem could be related to the size or file type of the problematic attachment(s).
-Dan
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Re: Mail attachments

Postby johncollett » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:37 am

Dave and Dan, I have clearly received the problem attachments. I tried looking at one of them in Raw Source. That looked like HTML, so I copied it into an HTML editor and ran it. The one of the 11 which I happened to try was 835Kb long, but in the raw source the text of the attachment appears as incomprehensible code. I could see that ' the attachment; filename="SKMBT_C45211082314340.pdf" '. A PDF document was expected, and I have received it, but do not know how to get at it to read it. My sender tells me that another set, sent to someone else, was all OK, and is not very pleased with my disgruntlement. Thanks for your replies.
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Re: Mail attachments

Postby johncollett » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:25 pm

I examined a second "raw" listing.
These three lines appear to define the attachment data, but I don't know how to use the information they contain.
Content-Type: application/pdf
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="SKMBT_C45211082314321.pdf"

Then came the data, loads of it, in this format (two lines only shown here):

JVBERi0xLjQKMSAwIG9iago8PC9UeXBlIC9YT2JqZWN0Ci9TdWJ0eXBlIC9JbWFnZQovTmFtZSAv
SkkxYQovV2lkdGggMTY1MwovSGVpZ2h0IDIzMzgKL0JpdHNQZXJDb21wb25lbnQgOAovQ29sb3JT

My sender asked if I have Adobe Reader. I have. But so what? I don't have files in a format which it could open.
JC
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Re: Mail attachments

Postby Dan_Kelleher » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:31 pm

have you tried just dragging the attachment to the desktop, and then doubleClicking it ?

If you think it is a pdf, perhaps make sure it has a ".pdf" extension.

Once on the desktop, what does the filetype shown in the Finder's Get Info window ?

As you know, ".pdf" s will open in Preview.
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Re: Mail attachments

Postby Dave_Higgins » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:33 pm

That "incomprehensible code" is probably the pdf encoded in UUEncode / Base64... Which happens to be what SC uses for encode() / decode().

If you copy, from the source, the whole block looking like:

Code: Select all
/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQAAAQABAAD/2wBDAAEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEB
AQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQH/2wBDAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEB
AQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQEBAQH/wAAR
CAAyAMgDASIAAhEBAxEB/8QAHwAAAQUBAQEBAQEAAAAAAAAAAAECAwQFBgcICQoL/8QAtRAA
<SNIP>
<SNIP>
4ZIkVhkEHDBQRkEg4PIJFFFAE1FFFABRRRQAU10SRSkiK6HGVdQynBBGVYEHBAIyOCAeoooo
AbHDFFnyoo492N3loqbsZxnaBnGTjPTJx1okhilx5sUcm3O3zEV9ucZxuBxnAzjrgZ6UUUAO
REjUJGiogzhUUKoySThVAAySScDkknqaa0ccqqJUSQDDASKrgNgjIDAjOCRnrgkdCaKKAI/s
lp/z7W//AH5j/wDiasUUUAFFFFAH/9k=

and paste it into a field (cd fld 1), you can

Code: Select all
write decode(cd fld 1) to file "SKMBT_C45211082314340.pdf"

and see if it turns into a pdf that opens. Set your file path as you wish.

Worth a try.
Last edited by Dave_Higgins on Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mail attachments

Postby Dave_Higgins » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:34 pm

Dan_Kelleher wrote:have you tried just dragging the attachment to the desktop, and then doubleClicking it ?

Depending on the mail client, that may not be so easy seeing the issue he's having with it.
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Re: Mail attachments

Postby johncollett » Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:49 pm

Dan, "have you tried just dragging the attachment"
My problem is that it is never separately visible in any form, draggable or otherwise.

Dave, using "decode" looked like a brilliant idea. I have tried it. It produced nothing. I copied the whole block of code, but I suspect that the formatting (line-breaks etc) may be preventing success. I know NOTHING about the details of the coding.

Thank you both for your help, but I think I will have to go on bended knees and ask my sender to send again.
JC
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Re: Mail attachments

Postby Scott » Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:43 pm

johncollett wrote:Thank you both for your help, but I think I will have to go on bended knees and ask my sender to send again.
JC

And ask him to zip the file first. While today's internet is a lot smarter than it once was, you may have some odd encoding done to inline attachments when traveling through mail, as well as any resource forks destroyed.
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Re: Mail attachments

Postby Didier Gross » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:04 pm

John,

I have this problem with attached pdf coming from a specific company, among hundreds of senders without any problem. The culprit is probably the way their mail server processes attachments.

I never figured out what was going wrong, and didn't have time to spend for this extremely rare issue (less then 5 attachments in decades! -well, nearly decades-).

If it is also a seldom issue for you, do not waste your time, download the attachment using your webmail.
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Re: Mail attachments

Postby johncollett » Sat Aug 27, 2011 11:16 am

I agree with you about the rarity of the event.
"download the attachment using your webmail."
Could you please tell exactly what you mean? I don't understand "webmail". I always and only use the supplied Mac "Mail". JC
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Re: Mail attachments

Postby Dave_Higgins » Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:33 pm

Well, depending on who you get email through... Most ISPs (Cable, DSL, Dialup (those still exist???), etc...) will provide Web based access to email. You can generally find a way to log in to it by going to their Website (your Internet provider's site) and look for a link to "Web Mail" or similar... When you sign in there (with the same user/pass you use for that mail account in Mail.app, sometimes needing the whole email address for user/login name), you will come up with a Web page that lets you view/manage your email.

If you set Mail.app to delete messages from server when you receive it (you can check this in Mail.app's Preferences > Accounts) then you won't see it there (these WebMail apps will work directly with the messages that are still on their servers). If that's the case, then you might need to forward the same message to yourself, but DON'T load it back up in Mail.app (maybe quit Mail.app once it's sent to prevent any auto-grab).

If you're using Apple's MobileMe (me.com/mac.com) for mail, then you can access it at me.com in a browser. Others like GMail, Yahoo Mail, etc... have web access, too.
My two favorite teams are Detroit and whoever's playing Chicago.
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Re: Mail attachments

Postby johncollett » Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:33 pm

Dave, Many thanks. That was a whole new experience for me. Vodafone Webmail behaved as you said. I acted intuitively, and sent copies of each problem mail to my wife. Copies then appeared in my Webmail "Sent" folder. They were accessible, with clickable icons for the problem attachments. One after another, they were downloaded. I have them all. Splendid. I am truly grateful for your help.
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