Compressing Large Files
Most of the time, small image files (such as small JPEG photos) or text-based files (such as Microsoft Word documents) can be sent as e-mail attachments without any problems. But as more people are now sending memory hogs such as large video clips, high resolution photos, and huge databases, the chances of e-mail rejections due to recipients
Like its name suggests, compression involves compacting a file into a less-memory intensive version of its original self. Once it’s compressed, it can be more easily sent to the recipient, who then must decompress the file to return it to its original, usable state.
When thinking of file compression, picture a garbage can filled with aut-
There are no hard-and-fast rules about when you should compress a file before you e-mail it, but a good rule of thumb is to compress files that are larger than half a megabyte (MB) (500 kilobytes [KB]). Most e-mail programs and firewalls can accommodate files smaller than this, although this can vary widely.
Compressing files in the 250- to 500-kilobyte range, however, also can be useful. Files of this size usually can be sent as e-mail attachments with no problems, but without
The good news about file compression is that doing it is not difficult. All you need is one of the easy-to-use free or inexpensive utilities on the market that lets you compress and decompress files.The most-common file compression utilities around are PKWARE’s PKZIP, WinZip Computing’s WinZip and Aladdin Systems’ StuffIt. Most compressed files you will come across have been compressed with a version of one of these software utilities.
PKZIP’s basic versions, which run on the Windows and UNIX platforms, can be downloaded for free from the PKWARE website (www.pkware.com). These versions are great if you just occasionally need to compress or decompress files. For more-frequent users, PKZIP versions with more features and functionality, such as the ability to decompress non-ZIP archived files and create self-extracting archive files, are available from the website’s PKZIP Store.
WinZip also comes with WinZip Self-Extractor Personal Edition, which lets you create self-extracting archive files (often with the .SEA file-name extension). A self-extracting file is a compressed .ZIP file that is automatically decompressed by the recipient just by double-clicking its icon.
Single- and multi-user licensed versions also can be bought and downloaded from the site.
StuffIt Expander is the free version of the software for Windows and Macintosh users that ’s available to be downloaded at www.stuffit.com. StuffIt Expander enables users to open most compression files on the Internet. Enhanced features, such as the ability to create self-extracting archive files, are available on StuffIt versions that can be bought at the website’s online store.
Installing and using a file-compression utility provides the easiest way to share large files through e-mail or over the Internet without causing technical problems for yourself and your online friends.
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