btoa man page on 4.4BSD

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BTOA(1)								       BTOA(1)

NAME
       btoa,  atob,  tarmail,  untarmail  -  encode/decode binary to printable
       ASCII

SYNOPSIS
       btoa
       atob
       tarmail who subject files ...
       untarmail [ file ]

DESCRIPTION
       Btoa is a filter that reads  anything  from  the	 standard  input,  and
       encodes	it  into  printable  ASCII  on	the  standard output.  It also
       attaches a header and checksum information used by the  reverse	filter
       atob to find the start of the data and to check integrity.

       Atob  reads  an encoded file, strips off any leading and trailing lines
       added by mailers, and recreates a copy of  the  original	 file  on  the
       standard	 output.   Atob	 gives NO output (and exits with an error mes‐
       sage) if its input is garbage or the checksums do not check.

       Tarmail is a shell script that tar's up all the given files, pipes them
       through	compress,  btoa,  and  mails them to the given person with the
       given subject phrase.  For example:

	  tarmail ralph "here it is ralph" foo.c a.out

       Will package up files "foo.c" and "a.out"  and  mail  them  to  "ralph"
       using  subject  "here  it is ralph".  Notice the quotes on the subject.
       They are necessary to make it one argument to the shell.

       Tarmail with no args will print a short message reminding you what  the
       required	 args  are.   When the mail is received at the other end, that
       person should use mail to save the message in some temporary file  name
       (say  "xx").   Then  saying  "untarmail xx" will decode the message and
       untar it.  Untarmail can also be used as a filter.  By  using  tarmail,
       binary  files and entire directory structures can be easily transmitted
       between machines.  Naturally, you should	 understand  what  tar	itself
       does before you use tarmail.

       Other uses:

       compress < secrets | crypt | btoa | mail ralph

       will  mail  the	encrypted contents of the file "secrets" to ralph.  If
       ralph knows the encryption key, he can decode it	 by  saving  the  mail
       (say in "xx"), and then running:

       atob < xx | crypt | uncompress

       (crypt  requests	 the key from the terminal, and the "secrets" come out
       on the terminal).

AUTHOR
       Paul Rutter (modified by Joe Orost)

FEATURES
       Btoa uses a compact base-85 encoding so that 4 bytes are encoded into 5
       characters  (file  is expanded by 25%).	As a special case, 32-bit zero
       is encoded as one character.  This encoding produces less  output  than
       uuencode(1).

SEE ALSO
       compress(1), crypt(1), uuencode(1), mail(1)

				     local			       BTOA(1)
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