Lewis' Blog Tales from the trenches of information technology

5May/080

Email Attachment Size

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Why is it that people don't pay attention to sending email? I understand that there is a certain amount of ignorance to be expected in anything (and naturally, I now sound like a snob), but why is it that people just expect that if you can shove 30MB into the pipe at one end that the same size pipe is on the other, and server load be d-mned?

As an avid OS/2 (eComStation) user, I find the people most often guilty of this rudeness are Windows users. As a mail administrator, it gets the hair on the back of my neck to stand up.

Want to know what I'm doing about it? I've devised an email template in SeaMonkey (I prefer the SeaMonkey suite to Firefox & Thunderbird, but that's a topic for another discussion) which requests users to upload attachments larger than 5MB (isn't that big enough, for g-d's sake?) via anonymous FTP to my incoming directory. I even include links for help with FTP and other netiquette issues:

First, apologies for this automated response. I have found it necessary of late to reply to more and more people with the same suggestions...

Please limit your attachments to 5MB. My inbox is literally burgeoning with files, and my filters are overwhelmed. In addition, the amount of bandwidth consumed by transferring HUGE files via email has just gotten out of control,
and so, I have now imposed a rule for incoming messages with attachments. When sending via FTP, just drop me a pithy note telling me what you are sending and when. I will retrieve it at my first opportunity. The address to send files
anonymously is:

ftp.2rosenthals.com/pub/incoming

While the filenames in the incoming directory are wold-readable, the files are not downloadable without a login, so your upload(s) will be safe.

If you are unfamiliar with sending files via ftp, here are a couple good places to start:

http://www.ftpplanet.com/ftpresources/basics.htm
http://www.netmechanic.com/news/vol3/beginner_no8.htm

For those of you using Firefox, there is a great extension which makes FTP very simple and easy:

http://fireftp.mozdev.org/

For general email tips (including what attachments sizes are considered appropriate by most concerned users) have a look at some of these:

http://www.netmanners.com/dont-attach-that.html
http://careerplanning.about.com/od/communication/a/email_etiquette_4.htm
http://email.about.com/cs/netiquettetips/qt/et012301.htm
http://www.writerswrite.com/journal/dec99/pirillo1.htm
http://www.emailreplies.com/
http://www.netbros.com/LearnToQuote
https://sites.google.com/site/tsvisadan/computing/email-netiquette (my personal favorite)

Also, plain text email is *greatly* preferred over HTML.

Thanks, and I hope I haven't offended anyone too much.

I don't know...perhaps I'm just being obstinate because I have a natural aversion to laziness when it comes to communications in general. Ultimately, I want to configure CommuniGate Pro (our mail server) to automagically send that back to people who abuse my inbox.

Edited May 8, 2013 to update the link to Dr. Tsvi Sadan's site, TS-Cyberia, now hosted on Google.

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