Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Sending Large Files without Mucking Up the Works

Magazine article Black Issues in Higher Education

Sending Large Files without Mucking Up the Works

Article excerpt

E-mail has never been a foolproof way of sending information, and lately it has gotten even hairier, with well-meaning but overzealous anti-spam filters often blocking even legitimate messages.

If you're sending something crucial, it makes sense to followup with aphone call to make sure it has arrived. This is particularly true if you're sending a large file or files by way of an e-mail attachment. Internet Service Providers typically limit attachments in received e-mails to anywhere from two to 10 megabytes, which isn't always large enough for presentation, photo, audio or video files.

You have many options to choose from when sending large files, but whatever method you use, it always makes sense to check with your recipients before sending. If you're using a technology they don't have access to or that would be difficult for them to use, you'll turn online convenience into inconvenience.

An almost universal option is mailing a recordable CD with the file or files stored on it. Virtually every personal computer these days has a CD or DVD drive, and most also have a CD or DVD recorder. Overnighting a disc is faster, but pricier.

If you want to transmit large files over the Internet, you'll save yourself and your recipients some grief if you first make sure both you and they have a broadband connection, such as cable, DSL, satellite or Tl. I once neglected to do this and afterward received a call from a peeved editor, who was still using a dial-up connection, letting me know that my e-mail attachment had tied up his computer for 45 minutes before the transmission conked out.

One broadband solution is to use an instant messaging program such as AOL Instant Messenger , the popular program from America Online that you can use without being an AOL subscriber. Your recipient also needs to use the program, which is free and available through a quick download.

Another solution is to send the file to a free Web-based e-mail account such as Yahoo Mail or Gmail , which downloads attachments using the Web HTTP protocol. Again, your recipient needs to have such an account.

If you and your recipient both use Microsoft Outlook Express, you can take advantage of its file-transfer feature, which can automatically divide a large file attachment into smaller pieces and send each in a separate e-mail message. The program then automatically reassembles the pieces in the recipient's in-box. …

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