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Re: Extract text from binary file

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: Extract text from binary file
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 15:19:21 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

Dylan VanHerpen wrote:
> I'm trying to extract information from Octel voice mail database files.
> Is od the right tool for the job, or are there better alternatives?

It all depends very much upon the format of "Octel voice mail database
files".  I typed that into my favorite web search engine and didn't
see any documentation for it.  This could mean that it is a closed
format and that you would need to do significant work to understand it
and work with it.

> I'd like to learn more about decoding binary file formats. Does
> anybody have good book/online recommendations?

Usually books are written on very specific protocols.  It is unlikely
that there is any general reference for all binary protocols.  I have
never seen such a book.  I am sure that if it were well written it
would have a wide market though.  :-)

The 'od' tool is one useful binary dumping tool to understand what
binary bits are in a file.  But it doesn't try to make sense of it.
There are several tools in that same similar way that simply allow
viewing and/or editing of the binary data.  You would need to make
sense of every data bit.  But if you knew the format of the data file
you could write a custom tool to extract the data that you wanted.
These can be done from scripting languages such as Ruby or Python or


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