Outlook Rich Text Format messages - how to let through?

Alex Neuman van der Hans alex at nkpanama.com
Wed Feb 8 17:31:56 GMT 2006

Happens all the time. I've had to deal with a major insurance group here 
in Panama whose mail admin:

* installed MailScanner (poorly, including sending notifies for forged 
viruses and other NDR joe-job-prone crap)
* has a broken tnef expander implementation,
* is protecting a braindead M-Sexchange version -4 or something
* is forcing everyone to use RTF

I've noticed Outlook Express will receive and not parse the TNEF 
attachment, although in extreme cases I've had to right-click, 
properties, message source, copy, paste into a uudecoder, then into a 
tnef expander in order to get to the file.

As long as nobody tells the PHB's there - in a way they'll understand 
and believe - that the person in charge of maintaining their mail 
infrastructure doesn't really know what they're doing, this crap will go 
on. In the meantime you and I deal with it as best as possible, while 
documenting the reasons so that when confronted by incompetent admins 
with completely bogus advice/reasons/excuses for e-mail not going 
through you can "point them in the right direction".
> I noticed something interesting with the blocking of TNF attachments: When
> an Outlook Express user complained and I released the message from
> quarantine it was delivered successfully but the attachment still appeared
> totally invisible to the OE user.  It seems that as OE is incapable of
> parsing these attachments it ignores them completely.  Is this what other
> people have found?  If I am correct, then it is a major benefit to have
> them blocked so that the recipients can for the first time see what they
> are missing because of the senders' incompetent MS Outlook configuration.


Alex Neuman van der Hans
N&K Technology Consultants
Tel. +507 214-9002 - http://nkpanama.com/

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