Garbled SAS-L Posts

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Base 64 Decode Failure

For some reason, an encoded message was not decoded. Instead, the raw encoded stream is displayed. It looks like this

UnlhbiwNCg0KVGVybXMgb3IgaW1hZ2VzIHRvIGV4cHJlc3MgdGhlICJpbmZpbml0ZSIgaGF2ZSBs
b25nIGJlZW4gYSBwYXJ0IG9mIG91ciANCmhpc3Rvcnk6DQoNCkZyb20gR2VuZXNpcyAxNSwgR29k
IHNwZWFrcyB0byBBYnJhbSAiTG9vayB0b3dhcmQgaGVhdmVuIGFuZCBjb3VudCB0aGUgDQpzdGFy
cywgaWYgeW91IGFyZSBhYmxlIHRvIGNvdW50IHRoZW0uIiBUaGVuIGhlIHNhaWQgdG8gaGltLCAi
[many lines omitted here]
ICAwDQoxICAgICAgMyAgICAgMSAgICAgODAwICAgIDMgICAgICAxDQoxICAgICAgNCAgICAgMSAg
ICAgNTUwICAgIDMgICAgICAwDQoyICAgICAgMSAgICAgMSAgICAgMzAwICAgIDYgICAgICAwDQoy
ICAgICAgMiAgICAgMSAgICAgNTAwICAgIDYgICAgICAwDQoyICAgICAgMyAgICAgMSAgICAgMjAw
ICAgIDYgICAgICAwDQoyICAgICAgNCAgICAgMSAgICAgMTAwICAgIDYgICAgICAxDQouDQouDQou
DQouDQoNCkFwb2xvZ2llcyBpZiB0aGlzIGRvZXNuJ3Qgd29yayBlaXRoZXIuLi4NCg0KDQo=

This was abridged from an actual SAS-L post; follow the link to see it in its entirety.

So, a decoder is needed. Nowadays these are available online. One is at opinionatedgeek.com. To see how it works, follow the above SAS-L link and copy the entire garbled message. Then go to the decoder page, paste into the big text box, and click the Decode button. In this particular case, that makes the content intelligible, but it's all rendered as a single stream (the newlines are lost). There are two ways to deal with this. One is to go back to the decoder page and click the Safe Decode as Text button. The other is to have your browser display (unrendered) source; for example, in Firefox 2, select View:PageSource or key CTRL-U.

Posts can also be ungarbled within a SAS data step. Take a look at the paper by Erik Telanus

Other Garbling Phenomena