Feb 3, 2009

Email is the new FTP

This morning I was informed by a co-worker that a professor on campus attempted to send him a 3.5GB file via email. Not only was he surprised that it did not work, he was mad and thought there must be something wrong on my co-workers end because he had done everything correctly.

Now this makes me wonder what most people think when it comes to file size (if at all). Since I have been around computers for a while I understand the significance of size when talking about files and what you can do with them. I suspect to most people nowadays, this does not matter at all.

Most people who have been introduced to computers in the past couple years have not had to deal with size as an issue (at least not with files). Applications can handle huge files much more easily than in the past. Computing power has become so limitless that the average end user has a super computer on their desktop with multiple cores/processors to do their work. Bandwidth issues have become a thing of the past. Disk storage is so cheap that people have terabyte raids at their disposal for just a few hundred dollars. USB drives, the floppy disks of old, are so large now that more than files can be stored on them. Multiple operating systems can be installed to them as they are carried around as portable workstations.

With instant messaging and texting becoming the usual forms of communications, email has become the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) of the past. Huge amounts of online storage are available to most free email accounts. People use them for storage rather than email. Why am I surprised when people get angry because they can't email a file? A file is just a file after all.