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January 22, 2005

Takeover

An official announcement that my blog is being taken over by coursework, as I hinted about in my last post.

I'm staring blankly at our first homework assignment. Okay, the first question I think I can handle, since it's definitely covered in the first lecture. However, the second one is a doozy, and I've done all our readings. Did a Google search on TextStar 2.0 and came up with at least a visual representation of "completely incomprehensible" (though perhaps the fact that many of the results are in Chinese might contribute to this). The hint says to think about how many bits are in a byte to represent a character - so I guess it's not ASCII for 2 reasons: ASCII uses 7 of 8 bits, and it should have worked if we tried to open it in NotePad. So it probably uses 8 bits? And we would try to discover some hints by the file format description (such as .txt, which we've already decided it probably isn't). And then the hint asks how would we know if we have the right one? That answer, at least, seems obvious - we'd find the document comprehensible! Or is that wrong?

I just have to mention, partly on topic, that I subscribe to the LSO listserv and the SIRLSADMIN listserv - these give me some experience of MIME, since I have them forwarded to my hotmail account from my UA account. Attachments are sent as MIME, which I guess isn't always supported by Hotmail, since I often have a long message of gibberish. Very annoying.

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