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Computer/HEX question

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by rsagona1, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. rsagona1

    rsagona1 Hello

    2,394
    0
    Jun 21, 2006
    Somewhere in MD
    I have a file on my computer but I do not have the software to run it.

    Therefore when I open the file in Notepad all I see is boxes.

    I don't think the problem is encryption because it is nothing secret, it is no different than trying to open a music file in Notepad.

    If I open the file in a Hex editor would it be possible for me to read it bit by bit and somehow convert it to text?

    The file format is used in a "form editor" type of application. Such as text and data reporting.
     
  2. 0-9, A-F = Hexadecimal... Translate at will. :rofl:
     

  3. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? Millennium Member CLM

    6,941
    1,245
    Feb 24, 1999
    In theory, yes.

    In reality, not really. Many file formats have some compression built-in, which effectively encrypts them (from the point of view of someone reading the text). While one could theoretically figure out what the format is, translate it from the hex, decompress it if that's required, and parse the bitstream for cleartext, it's in general vastly more straightforward to do just about anything else, including attempt to illegally download the software that reads it off Bittorrent.

    Long story short, if you need to ask if you can, you probably can't.

    FWIW, I'm pretty techy, and I wouldn't try it. I know a few guys who might succeed, but they'd need a mighty good reason to go to the hassle.
     
  4. srhoades

    srhoades

    2,801
    11
    Jul 14, 2000
    what is the file extension?