CASSANDRA-1578 adds support for when we have metadata for the column in the schema, but we should also allow manually turning a given string into a binary format.
one option would be to allow something like
but this only allows data entry, and would not help when doing gets.
maybe adding a cli command "assume column family with ..." would be best, allowing the operator to create local metadata that unlike "update columnfamily" doesn't get sent to the server. (saving the local metadata between cli sessions would be good.)