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Downloading files

Posted on 2000-02-14
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
First of all, I am trying to understand what questions I need to be ask in order to solve this problem. I work for a small newspaper in the advertising department. We have great difficulty in downloading ads that are e-mailed to us from customers. We are using Mac G773's, and the e-mail application being used is Outlook Express. What happens quite often is that an error message comes up "file corrupted" or "file cannot be opened".  Other times when downloading rather large files, a message comes up "disconnected due to lack of activity." When this happens, we download to the one and only new iMac in the building and then transfer the files to the desktop of the G773's. Is there someone willing to help me sort this out?
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Question by:kat31_66
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huafi earned 50 total points
ID: 2519993
It sounds like you're using dialup connections from each individual computer. In that case, you're most likely using your Internet Service Provider's mail server for your email. All mail servers need to be set up to recognize the various file formats that they may receive via email attachments. If your ISP's mail server isn't set up to handle different file types correctly, those files will end up getting corrupted as they go through the mail server.

The other possibility is that you have noisy phone lines or faulty modems, and you're getting transmission errors that also cut off your connectivity.

There are some things you can do to help:
1. Ask all of your customers to send you files in 1 or 2 standard formats -- e.g., as Stuffit archives (.sit or .sea), or Zip files (.zip, not .exe). These can all be handled on your end by Stuffit Expander, a very common freeware utility.
2. Call your ISP to make sure that their mail server correctly handles those specific file types.
3. Go to your Macs' Internet control panels and make sure that your own computers properly recognize these file types and process them using Stuffit Expander. If you're not sure how, refer to the MacOS Help.
4. If you do all this and are still getting errors, the problem is most likely in the physical connection to the Internet -- either in your modems or phone lines or both. In any case, you should consider getting DSL or other high-speed shared connectivity for your office. It'll free up your phone lines, make file transfers much faster and more reliable, and probably cut down on your total monthly Internet costs.

A final alternative is to set up a place where you can share files with your customers via FTP. Contact your ISP, or a dedicated Web hosting service (look in the back of Wired or any other tech magazine), about setting up an FTP drop box where people can put files for you, but only you can view and download them.
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by:kat31_66
ID: 2520426
Haufi's answer was clear and easy for a novice to understand.
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