E-mail was built for text. Most people are willing to accept small attachments, such as a Word file or screen-size photo, if you get their OK. Large files are a different story. Even if the recipient isn’t paying per-minute online charges, has broadband, and neither his e-mail program nor his ISP reject files over a certain size, the transfer still takes a long time.
A popular solution is to run an FTP site. FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, is an old protocol that allows users to leave files in one or more unattended directories for others to pick up. Here are the basics:
If you control your own Internet site, you can set up an FTP directory. It is similar to setting up an HTML (Web) directory. It’s simple to do, but your IT manager or ISP will know how to set the correct permissions for the OS where the FTP site will reside — often Unix instead of Windows. If your Internet site isn’t part of your network, but a hosted site, ask your ISP for the cost of setting up an FTP site, and the cost for the disk space in the amount of MB or GB you plan to use each month. Be sure to ask whether there are additional charges for the amount of data people download, since metered fees can add up.
Grab a free FTP program that downloads and uploads files, such as LeechFTP (www.webmasterfree.com/leech.html). You’ll see files in a directory on your local machine in one pane, and files in your FTP directory in the other (as soon as you tell it your FTP Website address). You can also use the FTP program to drop files into your Web directory, instead of using the “publish” feature of your HTML editor or an online form at your ISP’s Website.
Invite guests via “anonymous FTP” — or clients set up with logins and passwords — to your FTP site or to a particular file, such as “ftp://pre sentation.xyz.” Visitors won’t need to download an FTP program; their browser will go to FTP sites where they can collect your files by clicking on them.
The Road to FTP
If you’re comfortable with html, you can ftp using the following code:
<TITLE> Right Click and Save Target file to your disk.
Right Click the <A HREF=”presentation .xyz”> presentation file here </a> and choose “Save Target” from the pop-up menu. Save the file to your disk, then view it with your XYZ program. Please do NOT left click the file and execute it online. Save it to your disk. Thank you. </P>