[Tutor] Using Python to access .txt files stored behind a firewall as .exe files

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at yahoo.co.uk
Tue May 2 15:36:37 EDT 2017

On 02/05/17 19:06, Ian Monat wrote:

> I could give them reasons why .exe files won't work for me but they don't
> really care if I take the data files on their site or not. 

But do they care about their reputation?
The biggest issue here is not the technical one but the security
one, they could be laying themselves open to serious problems
if those exe files are ever tampered with either by a "hacker"
or by a disgruntled employee.

Most large organizations are contemptuous of technical concerns
but brand image is everything!

> That said, I think my plan is to use requests to pull the .exe file down
> and and then try to write a python script to extract the .zip without
> running the .exe. (maybe with pandas?) 

I suspect not with pandas. pandas is a statistical data processing
app and while it can read several file formats I doubt if self
extracting zip files is one of them! I think your best6 bet
is one of the PC zip archivers such as the one mentioned by
Mats, specifically one with a command line interface.

Then use the subprocess module in Python to run the extractor
and finally unzip the 5text file either via Pythons zip module
or via the extractor program again.

Once you have the text file pandas may come into play to load
and analyze the data.

Alan G
Author of the Learn to Program web site
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