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E-mail Timeouts

E-mail timeouts sometimes occur when attempting to transferring large quantities of data through e-mail. Most of the time, this happens when you are receiving a program that someone is e-mailing you.

When someone sends you a program, they do it as an e-mail "attachment", which means that your e-mail message is in two parts, the text part, which might contain a brief e-mail about what it is that is being sent, and an attachment part, which contains the attachment. Due to the way e-mail is handled and sent on the Internet, binary attachments must be converted into something readable (there are 256 possible letters, or "bytes" that can be used in a file, but only half of these are considered "readable"). This typically means a 50% increase in the size of the file. Here is where problems begin.

File too large to send
E-mail messages on the Internet must never exceed 2 MB in size. With the translation above, that means that the maximum effective file size is limited to under 1.5 MB (not counting the size of the e-mail's text). If you're trying to e-mail a file that can't fit on a single disk, you should find some way of breaking the file into smaller pieces. Be warned, though, that the recipient of this file may encounter the next problem:

File(s) too large to receive
Due to the way e-mail is stored on Texas.Net computers and the way e-mail software such as Eudora try and retrieve it, difficulties may arise if you have too much e-mail waiting. If you have instructed your mail client to "Leave mail on server", it may just be a matter of time before your mail file here at Texas.Net will be come so bulky that it cannot be handled. This process can be hastened, or develop for the rest of us, by receiving binary files, or e-mail attachments. People tend to run into trouble once their e-mail file at Texas.Net approaches 2 MB.

If this is the case, you can call Texas.Net. Our technical support staff should be able to fix this problem in short order by deleting the offending mail message here at Texas.Net.

Alternatives to E-mail

Instead of sending your files by way of e-mail, you can do two possible things:
  1. Split the file into smaller parts
  2. Use an FTP server and FTP client to transfer the files directly from one computer to another
  3. Use your web space to place a file where others can retrieve it
  4. Use file transfer features in IRC programs
There is software available on the Internet which will break a file into smaller parts suitable for e-mailing. You should try and e-mail each part (which should be around a megabyte in size, at most) separately, and allow the recipient to receive each part before sending the next. Doing this will greatly improve the chances of a successful delivery of your file(s), however it is very tedious and time-consuming.

Alternatively, the sender can set up an FTP server on their computer, and the recipient can use an FTP client to connect to your FTP server and transfer the file by way of a standard, File Transfer Protocol. This method is relatively easy to implement (aside from downloading and installing the FTP server), and will let you use the full power of the Internet to transfer software in real time. This doesn't bog down the e-mail systems, and is much more efficient, because no encoding described above is needed to send the file. FTP servers can be downloaded from T.U.C.O.W.S. as well as from Windows95.Com. FTP clients can be downloaded from the above sites as well as from our Software section on our web site.

Lonestar account users can put files in their www directories, and give others the URL (address) of the file. Those others can then download those files with their web browsers. Texas.Net customers should be aware, however, that this constitutes 'web traffic', and will be counted in the 2 gigabit transfer limit on web traffic.

Most major IRC (Internet Relay Chat) Programs contain a DCC File Transfer feature. When two people are logged into IRC servers, this feature can be used to transfer files between their computers directly. IRC software is available from T.U.C.O.W.S. and Windows95.Com, as well as from our Software section on our web site.

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