A few times a week I get email from some sorry Outlook/Exchange user which contains a dreaded winmail.dat file. Being a Thunderbird user, this presents a bit of a problem--one that has been well documented in Dealing with the winmail.dat file and unreadable attachments and How to Prevent the Winmail.dat File from Being Sent to Internet Users.
The are various "free" winmail.dat readers around, but this is 2008 not 1998. I shouldn't have to install the email equivalent of a "helper application" to read a fucking word doc that crappy email software couldn't encode in a sane format.
So anyway, I got one today and actually needed to read it. And I hadn't installed one of those stupid winmail.dat decoders since I had my laptop replaced. Faced with the prospect of actually installing software I wondered what'd happen if I forwarded a copy of the message to my Gmail account.
Well, wouldn't ya know it? The damned thing came through just fine. I was able to extract the attachment and open it faster than you can google "free winmail.dat decoder."
Just for kicks, I sent it to my dormant Yahoo! Mail account too... and it was also able to extract the Word document from the winmail.dat file.
Now why on earth hasn't this functionality been built into Thunderbird? Or Windows for that matter?
It's days like this that I might confuse my laptop for a stone tablet... just for a moment or two.
Posted by jzawodn at January 15, 2008 05:21 PM