FROM THE TUSTIN NEWS, THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2005


THE DOC IS IN...

Saga of an image's journey

An interesting problem cropped up this week. A magazine publisher asked me to send a “high resolution” photograph for them to use in an upcoming issue.

No problem, I assumed. Take the picture, attach it to an email and off it goes. Nope, it didn’t work that way.

To get the high resolution they wanted, I took the picture in RAW format in my digital camera. This format is common in many digital cameras and contains all the picture information in the original image. There is no compression as there is in the JPEG format. Unfortunately, not everyone can use RAW, so I transferred the image to my computer and used Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0, the image manipulating program, to change the image to the more widely used TIFF format. This still contains all the picture quality of the original.

The final image file was 11 megabytes, very large, but this is what the publisher wanted. I addressed an email to the publisher, attached the TIFF file and sent it on its way.

Unfortunately, a minute or so later, a screen popped up on my computer from McAfee, the virus protection people, telling me that the email did not go thru because it was too large.

Maybe McAfee thought it was a virus because it was so large. O.K., I turned off McAfee on my computer and sent the email and attachment again. Still got the McAfee screen saying “too large.” So, it wasn’t my computer that was stopping the email. What next?

I remembered that some Internet Service Providers have a limit on the email file size that they will allow. I wasn’t sure about Earthlink, my provider, so I called their technical service number. The call was answered by Ulric in India. He was very pleasant and put me on hold after hearing my questions. A few moments later he came back and informed me that Earthlink has a 5 megabyte limit on the file size they will allow in an individual email. He further told me that to transmit this large a file, I should go to the Internet web site, www.yousendit.com.

I thanked Ulric and went to the web site. A very simple screen appeared asking me for the email address of the intended recipient and the location on my computer of the file I wanted to attach. They say they can transfer files of up to one gigabyte (1,000 megabytes).

I filled in the information and clicked on Send. It took a couple of minutes for my 11 megabyte file to be sent, even though I have a DSL connection. Then I received a confirmation screen saying that my email and attachment were sent successfully.  I included my own email address just to see how this worked. In a minute or so, I received an email message from “yousendit” saying there was an attachment waiting for me that I could retrieve by clicking on a link to their web site. I did, and there was my image. I assume my publisher received an identical email.

Since “yousendit” is on the World Wide Web, my email and attachment is not using Earthlink’s outgoing email computers. “Yousendit” can handle whatever file size they are designed for. They also don’t send the email with the attachment but ask the recipient to go to the Web to retrieve the attachment, thus bypassing the email system limits altogether. Very slick!

So, if you ever have a large file or files (images, documents, spreadsheets, whatever) that you want to send to someone, remember that your Internet Service Provider may have a file size limit. And remember that www.yousendit.com, a free service, is there to help.

If you would like to hear more about handling large files, or other computer topics, visit “Coffee and Computers” at the Tustin Area Senior Center, 200 S. ‘C’ Street, any Friday morning from 9 a.m. until noon. Bring your questions or just come in and visit. And visit my blog at “drart.blogs.com”
(no “www”).

In the mean time, keep the neurons happy, synapses snapping and enjoy computing

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Additional information:

Search Google for “Internet large file transfer services.” Quite a number are available, many free. To see how they work, try:

www.filesdirect.com
www.sendthisfile.com

Of course, files can be compressed to make them smaller. However, popular image compression formats like JPEG remove much picture detail and may not be suitable for publication. ZIP compression works nicely for documents and similar files but not well for images.

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Dr. Art Holub is a long time resident of Tustin and teaches computer and Internet courses at the Tustin Area Senior Center and the Tustin Adult School. Visit his web site at: www.arholub.com. This column is written to address the computer adventures and concerns of older adults. If you have comments, questions or suggestions for future columns, Email HIM at: doc@arholub.com.


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