Tale of technological naiveté - not a rant...

Part of my job is to support the diverse IT needs of the group of companies I work for; it can be quite interesting at times, but just occasionally… OK more than occasionally… people do things that just boggle my mind with their innocence.

Today it was email - I got a call from a lady at one of the other offices - her email ‘just isn’t working’… turns out she had finished working on some document or other and was trying to email it to a colleague, but it just wouldn’t seem to go.
I wondered if maybe she was just trying to send something bigger than usual and maybe wasn’t being patient enough while it was sending, so I talked her through the process of finding out the file size.

“It says two point nine two gee bee”

<stunned silence>

I just honestly didn’t have the words.

She should have said “gigabytes”, shouldn’t she? Did I get it right?

Well, partly. Try sending a 2.92-GB file by e-mail and get back to us.

I had a temp job some time ago, where I had to work for

stereotyping coming

The very stereotypical “blonde” power woman. She would discuss her various paramours with me, she was beautiful and empty-headed, and man she was bad with computers.

She had to do a PowerPoint presentation but she was having trouble opening it and saving it. i went in to look and it was over 2 GIGS! I went through and checked.

She had copied every picture instead of inserting it. Not a big deal, but it helped toward the size.

Every picture was of the jpeg variety (My head hurts, can’t remember if that’s the bigger size).

There were all kinds of animations, fades, dangly bits that weren’t necesary.

She had bits of other documents in there instead of having me re-type or even copy the information over.

Needless to say, we couldn’t do anything with it as was. With a lot of work I got it down to 700 megs, still not great but at least you could right-click on it without crashing your system.

You’ll have to walk me through it…I only knew “gigabytes” from Back to the Future. Or was that “jigawatts”? :slight_smile:

Let’s just say that about five or six years ago, 2.92 GB would have been a fairly respectable hard drive size on a computer…

It would take five CDs to store 2.9 GB of data…

Ok, here’s some file size explanations:

And just by way of example, I have a 9 page Word document, just a text report with no images or anything, that is 67.5 KB ( or 69,120 bytes ). The 2.9 GB file referenced in the OP would be 3,113,851,289.6 bytes, or approximately 45,050 times as big. :eek:

Having experience as an IT guy and experience in an office environment, I have come to the opinion that a license should be required to operate PowerPoint.

Yes, but you’re missing the point. It’s not that she should have known “GB” meant “gigabytes”, it’s that she was trying to send such a massive file by email.

Anything bigger than about 500kB is bad form without asking the recipient in advance, IMO.

Bigger than a couple of megs are you’re just clogging everything up. This file was another thousand times bigger than that.

In my office we have these PDF files that we update daily and post on our website. Well, the task that was in place to update these was really cumbersome and used to take about 2 hours. I thought there had to be an easier way, and I discovered the trick of ‘replacing’ pages in a PDF file. This cut the updating time in half, so I was quite pleased with myself. About a month later, branches were calling from all over, complaining that it was taking forever to download the documents (like 30 minutes when it used to take 1 minute :eek: ). The IT guys said it wasn’t a server issue, and I just scratched my head, puzzled. What else could it be? Finally, I looked at the file sizes. Files that were originally 1 MB were now between 25 and 50 MB!!! :confused: A little experimentation showed me that the ‘replacing’ techinique I was so proud of myself for discovering was increasing the file size every time it was done. :smack:

My boss once created a Powerpoint file that was about 13 megabytes, and was wondering why it was so large. I poked around in it, and found that she’d copied a simple-looking graphic which must have had a lot of high-powered stuff in it, bercause the graphic was nearly 13 megs in size. I worked out how to save this graphic as a much simpler GIF, put it back in the Powerpoint, and the size of the file was down to about 100 Kbytes, a much more reasonable size. It’s not that she’s a technological dunce, it’s just that it’s easy to copy stuff without realising how big it is.

I had that problem with a professor here. She would create 50 meg PowerPoint presentations and call me because her students on dialup couldn’t download them. I don’t know how many times I told her she needed to make them smaller. :rolleyes:

And don’t get me started on the students. . . . :eek:

However, the one question that really stumped me was when one of the friars here asked me how much he had to reimburse the college for sending an e-mail to Rome.

Ideally images should be inserted rather than copied.

I send out a normal monthly Excel spreadsheet, approximately 70 rows of data. A new person is added to the distribution. Annnnd, Action!

I email the file to all 33 people, including head honcho types.

New recipient hits reply all with the following text (paraphrased). “I see the data for locations A, B, and C but you forgot to include location D. In the future can you be sure to double check that you finished your job and don’t send out false or partial information that is of no use to me? Fix this problema and resend immediately!”

I respond reply all - “Did you try scrolling down?”

An office assistant at my last place of work wanted to send out an email that was an announcement of the coming holiday party. She wasn’t satisfied with just sending text, so she had colors, and drawings, and animations, and sound… it was about 50 megabytes of an email (I honestly don’t know how she got it that big…). So, she sent it out to everybody in her boss’s sphere of influence, which was about 400 people.

She then noticed a spelling error, corrected it out, and sent it out again.

4 gb of email later, the guys from IT security came by and asked her why she felt compelled to crash every email server in the building…

I’m actually wondering how big the largest attachment ever sent by email would be - certainly there’s no way three GB is going anywhere, simply because:
list=a][li]Even with a fast connection, it would take many hours or maybe several days to upload[/li][li]It is quite likely that one of the servers en route would simply reject it or chop it off at a certain limit.[/li][li]Email conversations often have timeout limits (not just timeouts when there’s no traffic, but limits after which it is assumed something has gone very wrong)[/li][/list]
All of these things are configurable, but I can’t think why there would be a single server anywhere in the world set up to allow that sort of lump all in one message.

Hmm… I should have previewed that one.

Did you really? I wouldn’t have had the nerve to do that, but it sure would have been tempting. Good for you!

We have an engineer here that absolutly hates our electronic documentation system and refuses to be trained on it. He delights in CC’ing all of the management when he thinks he has found a problem with it. I have no problem hitting “reply all” when I tell him what an idiot he is and that if he’d like some training on the system I can schedule it for him. :smiley: