View Full Version : DAT.files?

29th Jul 2002, 11:52
I'm getting Emails from auto dealerships cause I've asked for prices and the files they send are unreadable. When I left click and select properties they show as "DAT.files" Why can't I read them? Any guesses?

29th Jul 2002, 12:34
Sounds like they exported the data but saved the info in the wrong file format. The DAT file extension is used for all kinds of internal/custom file formats.

I'd ask them to send the file(s) again, as ascii or html text.

29th Jul 2002, 13:47
Zaccheus is right. However...

DAT is the file extension used for the registry and other windows specific databases. It is possible that you could open it with Micosoft word by using the File Open command on the Word menu and slecting "All Files" for the file type. Evidently these dealers are not using Windows, and they are not aware that around 95% of computer users use Windows. Seems kind of suspicious to me, to want to sell something and not provide information to customers in a common format. Are you checking for viruses?

29th Jul 2002, 14:40
Is the file extension .dat or something else (ie, .pdf, .doc)?

If it is a .dat extension, it is in the wrong format.

29th Jul 2002, 14:52
Just a quick note. Being, as I am, biplatformal (i.e. I work extensively in both Windows and Mac - I'm trying for polyplatformally perverse by adding Linux/Unix and BeOS!), but knowing quite a few Mac people, I know that Mac people don't really grok the importance of file extensions in Windows. They either leave them of entirely (I'm always getting Word documents that won't read because they have no extensions) or else set them to something descriptive from a human, but not a computer, perspective. It's possible that, if they were sending from a Mac, it seemed like a good idea to them to use a .dat extension because they were sending you 'data'. You might want to try manually changing the extension to .doc in case it's a word document, or to .txt and seeing if you can read it in Notepad. If that works, a gentle note to them about extensions for Windows users might be in order. After seven years of receiving assignments from students as e-mail attachments, I've ended up with a reasonable repertoire of strategies for reading things that at first seem unreadable!

Hope that helps, but you can always ask for revised copies from them too. Knowing the above might help you tell them what would help, though...


29th Jul 2002, 17:52
Non-Outlook email client may not understand Microsoft's RTF (Rich Text Format). Tell the sender to NOT use RTF when sending you emails. Even if you are using Outlook, some SMTP servers cannot handle RTF correctly. So it looks like an attachment to your email. Tell the sender to switch to plain text or HTML formats.

Some info links:<br>http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q278061<br>http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q181955<br>