A vendor just sent me an application for credit which was encoded with BinHex… For all of those who are under….40.. BinHex was a format developed to allow you to transfer files over email or terminal sessions on the TRS-80 computer, brand new in 1977. It found its way in to Compuserve in the early 80’s as a way to transfer files over emails and whatnot, which at the time could only handle plain text. NO ATTACHMENTS! SO You’d get an email that would look like this…
(This file must be converted with BinHex 4.0) :$f*TEQKPH#jdCA0d,R0TG!"6594%8dP8)3#3"!&m!*!%EMa6593K!!%!!!&mFNa KG3,r!*!$&[rr$3d,BQPZD'9i,R4PFh3!RQ+!!"AV#J#3!i!!N!@QKUjrU!#3'[q 3"&4&@&483N)f!3#Xaj6bV-H8mJ!!!B3!N!0"!*!$[3#3!cR@iiY)!*!'[I%4!!J Fp$X%X3@J!mZE6!GRiKUi$HGKMf0U61S46%i1"AB!TI,fLl!d1X3RDDE8ALfTCbM 8UP9p4iUqY-0k4krHpk9XK@`rbj2Ti'U@5rGH@+[fr-i4T6-qXpfl26,k!H5$Nml TIkI'(l3GI4)f8mII&01CNEbC2LrNLBeaZ1HG@$G8!Z6"k)hh,q9p"r6FC*!!Se" (ic,Pd(4(b`pflKC`H1&JN5)GVX3mREdH55[l`%`Yhp%q092c`A(hPV)!83Dr&f4 $$L#I1aM-"VjqV-q$34KQq6$M$f8#,Zc,i),!(`*ZN!$K$rS!LA%3cL+dYi"@,K( Z"`#3!fKi!!!:
And you’d have to copy and paste it in to some converter program which would spit out your clipart file or raunchy GIF file, in a PKZIP or STUFFIT which would have taken you 18 minutes to download at 4,800 baud, had your sister not picked up the phone in the middle of the download. It’s final version, 4.0, was released in 1985. Apparently, little pockets of BinHex survived until the late 90’s, but god knows where. Somewhere in Taiwan, it survives today.
It’s largely been replaced by MIME nowadays, which supports pretty much anything. Even viruses. So much for progress.9 months ago