Robert Blayzor rblayzor at
Fri May 25 12:39:02 UTC 2001

> If you were a dial-up user, chances are you wouldn't be able to do that.
> A few simple reasons come to mind: first, you wouldn't have any or not
> enough disk space on your system account (limited by quota) to store the
> file. Second, an average user probably wouldn't have the skill. Third, a
> .zip file will usually display as funny characters on a web browser -
> that's why ftp is needed. Fourth, you probably wouldn't have shell access
> and ftp space from your provider with a regular account. Fifth, assuming
> you would have all the toys, you would have to spend yourself the time to
> first upload the file, so that another may retrieve it. Sixth, if your
> file was a sensitive document, others would have public access to it, etc.

Ignorance usually doesn't necessarily give someone the right to abuse
services, regardless if they know they are doing it or not.  Large email
attachments are abusive to mail servers.  Especially for the people that
feel the need they need to CC it to ten different people.  Large email
attachments tax servers and delay other more important email from being
delivered.  SMTP is for mail, FTP/HTTP should be used for files.  Not to
mention 99% of the time they are very rude to receive.  Just imagine, you're
on vacation somewhere dialed in from a hotel that is charging you a buck a
minute.  You go to pick up the email that is really important to you, but
you can't because some jerk decided that they would send you the most recent
funny AVI they saw on the web, when they could have just sent you the URL.

There are simple mechanisms to give users options to setup files via HTTP
very easily. (or even FTP ie: ftp://user:[email protected])  Browsers
easily allow users to simply type in ONE URL (that can be bookmarked) and
basically drag and drop their files right into a window.  Very simple.

> So what's a regular user to do? Email it! Hence the legitimate use of
> email for transmission of large files. Most ISPs know that if they start
> limiting this privilege, users will migrate to someone that allows it.

That doesn't fix anything.  Many ISP's already restrict the size of incoming
message.  I know several that won't even allow anything larger than 1MB to
be received.  Also, most ISP's also offer a generate amount of free web
space that comes with their dial-up account.  (usually in the 10-20mb range)

Robert Blayzor         IP Network Engineer, BOFH, Inc.
rblayzor at          noc at 

FreeBSD, Putting the 'Operating' back into OS! --

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