Random observations, teachings and musings of a well trained cubicle superhero.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Birth of the Cubicle Superhero

December 1, 2006

Dealing with the dilemma of your overloaded inbox

techyJay, a.k.a. “The Cubicle Superhero”, is a self-professed tech junkie with a passion for music and culture

How exciting! Your friends just left you a message saying they just landed a huge recording contract! They just emailed you their new smash music video, audio samples, press photos and plane tickets to Japan!

So you fire up your email program and wait patiently...and you wait...and you wait.

The email never comes.

You call your friend back and he tells you they got some weird email error saying you rejected it...so they thought you were just jealous.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, allow me to introduce you to the hottest new act: ATTACHMENT QUOTA! This is not actually a college radio press kit; it's a cautionary tale of how to avoid frustration.

What the heck are attachment quotas?
Attachment quotas try to protect the email system (and users) from being bogged down by limiting the number, and size of files people can attach to messages.

Almost everyone uses email on a daily basis, be it for work or play. In fact, there are approximately 60 BILLION emails being sent every day. Now, with that much data going back and forth, you can imagine how busy our information super-highway really is.

Your Rogers Yahoo! Mail has a total message size limit of 20 MB. That's enough for about four or five large images or audio files. But if the person to which you're sending that 20MB email is using a slower Internet connection, you're forcing them to stall at your message, before anything else comes through.

Don't clog the pipe!
The way email servers work, you're forced to download messages in the order they are received. So say your family is in the habit of sending a huge number of attachments (photos of Uncle Fred etc.), you may not get the important business email that comes in behind that.

The same Internet speed limits could prevent users on slower speed packages from being able to send out files over 3 or 4MB. If it's a video clip you're looking to share, see if it has already been posted to YouTube.com and try sending a link to that instead.

This issue is compounded with multiple photos. Consider Aunt Trudy emailing five photos from her trip to the Himalayas to her 200 closest friends. That's 1000 duplicate copies of the same spitting camel shuttling around the Web.

Share photos not headaches
Quite a conundrum, no? Well, actually it's not at all. With photo services like Flickr and Rogers Yahoo! Photos ,you can upload your images and simply send an invitation to view those files.

Recipients, instead of receiving individual huge files, are presented with a personalized message, an album image and a link to view the rest of the images in the series. It's easier on your mail server, easier on the recipient, and healthier for the Internet on the whole. Your unlimited Rogers Yahoo! Photos service also has the added benefit of greatly simplifying photo touch-ups, along with making it easy to organize your snaps.

Alternative solutions
Are you sending contracts, financial or medical reports, legal documents or personal documents? Rogers Secure Mail allows you to protect all your business communications.

With a single click of a button, Rogers Secure Mail lets you encrypt your email so that only the designated recipient can access it at the Digital Pick-up Centre site. Just to be safe they will have to provide the correct answer to a predetermined question to unlock the email.

There is a small monthly fee, but it's a small price to pay for peace of mind.

If you're looking for a free solution, Yousendit.com and Mailbigfile.com both allow you to compose an email as you would in Rogers Yahoo! Mail, but instead of sending the attachment via email to its destination, they are placed in storage. Your recipient is sent the note you typed, and a download link to the 100MB (max). No registration is required and uploads are fairly fast, but files will be erased after a couple of days so make sure you save a copy on your own computer.

Hopefully this article will give techies and non-techies alike a little less to worry about, and little more to be merry about during the holiday season…and hopefully I'll be spending my holidays in Japan!

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