A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2010 Feb 14, 19:59 -0800
Joe, you wrote:
"using older equipment, cut & paste into the internet address bar doesn't work for .pdf or .png files."
Really? That's weird. Later in your post you mentioned "Windows Millennium Edition". Is your computer ten years old then? If so, there are people who try to maintain web browsers with relatively modern standards that will work on older computers. If you would like some help locating a more capable web browser, feel free to email me.
And you added:
"I'm sure I'm not the only one who's wallet doesn't agree with the computer industry's "gotta buy new every year" marketing philosophy."
No, you're not the only one by any means. Heck, I develop software for a living and even I usually wait four years or so between new computer purchases. But software upgrades are a different matter. I do recommend putting some effort into getting software that keeps you more or less compatible with everybody else if at all possible.
And you wrote:
"You chastised for attaching a big file, stated that YOU could and did easily change the file format/size, but you didn't bother to explain how. I'm hopefully optimistic that you don't buy into the "look at me I'm so smart" bulls**t that prevails in the navigation community (as a whole)."
You haven't been around long (on NavList, I mean) so I will say directly that I am quite the opposite of that. I am smart, of course, and that's my good fortune in life, but my focus is on making navigation education both painless and entertaining if possible. I enjoy making us all "look smart". And yes, I agree that there is a fair amount of the phenomenon you describe in the navigation community. I think we're stuck with it. :-)
As for tricks to reduce file sizes, since it's really not the topic of NavList, I didn't go into it again here (though I provided some advice on this some months ago). There are hundreds of image editing software packages available, many at no cost or little cost, that can reduce file sizes substantially and do all sorts of useful things. I'm not trying to say that you *must* reduce file sizes to some standard. We don't have that sort of need. But I do have to speak up, I think, when we get file sizes that make no sense at all. And in this case, I also wanted to make sure that this "myth" that there was something wrong with "linked files" did not propagate further.
"It would have been smaller if I had saved the .tif file to something smaller than 300dpi."
In general, you should save files intended for NavList in a "screen viewing" size. So rather than focus on "dpi" you should consider the final pixel width and height. If it's bigger than 1000x1000 pixels, you should go smaller (unless there's some very unusual fine detail in the image).
And you wrote:
"File size vs. server space: agree a bazillion percent. Your next option, regarding expense, is to allow advertising. If there's no other file option (but a big file) then the correspondants can arrange the transfer to happen off the list. Even I have done this, with another list member for his really neat running fix animation. Would you, as our fearless moderator, be willing to pass on (through private e-mail) an e-mail address for the (assumed) occasional request for a giant file?"
Whoa, whoa. We have this already. That is exactly what the linking function is for. I'm sorry that I wasn't clear on this: apart from some minor costs to me, there is NO PROBLEM uploading and linking very large files, up to, let's say, 100 megabytes (larger than that is possible but please email me first so I can move things around). Unless you have something that is really of general interest, you shouldn't ATTACH anything larger than about ONE megabyte. But it's just fine linking files larger than this. Just to reiterate, the difference is that attached files go out to each member who is signed up for email delivery of NavList messages. In other words, about one hundred people get a one megabyte email in their inboxes (and email significantly increases the size of attached binary files since they are encoded as "base64" text). Giant emails really annoy some people, and it can lead to flagging of email as spam. That's why there has to be some upper limit. So if you have a one megabyte file, just think twice. Can you reduce it in size? If possible, do so. If not, of if it might be of interest to a somewhat smaller subset of NavList members, then link the file. That way, anybody can get at it just by following the link address. And by the way, if your file is smaller than about 100-200k, you don't need to worry at all about attaching versus linking. That's small enough that almost no one is bothered (and yet we do have at least one NavList member who trashes all emails with attachments of any size).
I do apologize for expending another message on this topic, but I just want to make sure that there is no misunderstanding. Attachments are welcome and have proven to be extremely useful. A picture is worth a thousand words and all that. Link 'em if they're too large.
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