[Retros] Lots of recent publications

A J Mestel A.J.Mestel at damtp.cam.ac.uk
Mon Aug 4 05:30:32 EDT 2003

For heaven's sake. Zip all files, including text files? Not everyone uses
e-mail systems and operating systems which are this virus prone. It's hard
enough trying to convince people not to send a few lines of text as a WORD
document, without suggesting they gratuitously zip text files. I'm not
going to demand you switch to UNIX, Andy, but I think it is at your end
you should work at things, rather than demand that the rest of the world
conform to Microsoft & Outlook's stupidity!


On Sun, 27 Jul 2003, Andrew Buchanan wrote:

> Thanks to folks who've recently sent documents as attachments. I suspect

> that I may not be the only member of the list who lives in the world of

> Microsoft Outlook Express. Under this regime, arriving attachments are

> classified as safe or unsafe based on the file type. If the attachment is

> deemed unsafe (e.g. for .txt files or .wps) then I am prevented from

> accessing it to read it.


> However, if the sender zips the attachments, so the file type is .zip, and I

> can unzip it and read the attachments happily. This has the added advantage

> of reducing the size of the attachment, although typically the files that we

> send around are quite small in size. Indeed even relabelling a .txt file as

> .zip will allow it to pass the Microsoft scrutiny, although I wouldn't

> recommend doing that.


> This brings up a bigger question, that of the safety of reading unsolicited

> attachments. Outlook works this way it does for a reason. If I read an email

> from a member of this panel, and the email refers to an attachment, and

> talks about it in a chessically coherent way, then I will assume that the

> attachment is genuine. If there is no supporting text, then I can assume

> that the message is viral, and delete it.


> Let me admit in case this seems academic, that a few weeks ago, I did

> receive a virus through this mailing list, and the fragment of supporting

> text stolen from another message for the originating user fooled me into

> finding a laborious work-around so I could open the attachment. Such is the

> passion of chess problems.


> Summary: I suggest:

> (1) zip your attachments.

> (2) continue to supply supporting text in the email so I can determine the

> mail is genuine.

> (3) particularly for PC users, be careful in opening attachments, and keep

> your virus checker up to date.


> Thanks & regards,

> Andrew Buchanan,

> (or a virus masquerading as he).


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