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  1. #1

    Uploading large files


    This is not about warez.

    At the risk of sounding like a total rube, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that I clean up Powerpoint files (mainly) for a living. Yeah, glamourous, eh?

    My clients are mainly women in their 40's who are not very computer saavy, admin assistants and such. OK, some of them are dumb as a box of hair. They can make a Powerpoint file 40MB in size, for 10 slides. And then they try to e-mail it to me to clean up. Since I am very good at this, I can reduce the size substantially once I fix all their mistakes. And since I'm not dumb as a box of hair, I have webpages where I post the final file so that they can download it on their end.

    The problem is that they can't e-mail their large files, but they try to do it anyway. Often, these are "we need this by the end of the day" type jobs (and it's noon), so using a courier etc. wastes time. Plus, I don't live in a large city, so finding my place is difficult for couriers, who never seem to call for directions...

    Needing to receive a file this large doesn't happen every day of the week, if it did I would have loads of money that I could throw at someone to fix this for me. It happens often enough, though, that it is adversely affecting my ability to get work.

    I thought I'd solve the problem by getting an Anonymous FTP account (since my clients are not smart enough to use Fetch, CuteFTP, WS_FTP, Transmit, Hotline, Carracho or CoffeeCup and even when there is time to set it up on their computer at their office, they always forget how to use it or the tech support people delete it and I'm stuck on the phone for an hour troubleshooting and telling them they can't have a space in the file name for the thousandth time </rant>). This has not worked.

    I want to have a simple web page with a "browse" button and an "upload" button so that they can send me files, no matter how large they are.

    I have been to several PHP script sites without much success until yesterday when I downloaded one, edited it and got it to work. I was ready to open a celebratory Mike's but then I tested a 7MB file. It didn't go. It turns out that there is a 2MB file size limit (default) on my current webhost's server and they are not willing to increase it. I can get file sizes up to 5MB through e-mail, so this doesn't help me. The Mike's went back in the fridge. *sigh*

    So, here are my questions: is there another way to have file upload through a browser window? or...
    Would I be better off trying to find a new webhost who will change their upload size limit to suit my needs and go with the .php?

    I wish that I could pay someone to do this, but unfortunately, I am not possessing great big wads o' cash. I know several people who, like myself, do this kind of work and none of us can find a solution to this problem. I have a Mac and a PC with Windows 98, so I know that limits what I can do.

    I have been struggling with this on and off for a year now and no one I talk with can give me any practical advice.

    Hoping someone out there has the answer,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Browsers often timeout on large files like that for whatever reasons, so keep that in mind. If these box-dumb women have fast connections though, it wouldn't be so much a problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    You should probably just write a VERY GOOD FTP tutorial, for one of the really easy to use FTP programs like LeapFTP, and let them use anonymous FTP, it is probably your only option.

  4. #4
    Most of my clients have T1 connections or cable, so speed isn't necessarily a problem. Those who have dial up live in a different world where deadlines don't matter.

    Another reason why I would prefer this to be a web page instead of an application is that these people are either a) afraid of their computers b) refuse to install anything that the tech person doesn't install (because they don't want to get blamed if the machine goes boom!) c) have the mentality that they will have to pay for the program (and how are they going to justify that expense?) d) their tech support department has serious restrictions and penalties for installed unauthorized software, including immediate dismissal. I'm not even going to get into the one client who's company has draconian restrictions on where they can surf and the file sizes they're limited to e-mail.

    There has got to be a way to do this. I've seen ColdFusion sites with password protect etc. that will allow you to upload whatever size you want. I doubt I could afford that, but even if someone can say "yeah, I did a site like that for these people and I charged $X for it" I would at least have an idea of what I'm getting myself into. Even just knowing the right terminology would help at this point.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    You can check out here:

    Another script which is pretty cool:

    Here they said they can upload 500mb files, may be their script has timeout protection. I don't know whether they have, email their programmer to ask about that. I remember that my programmer help me to write a script before and he have some time out protection feature add to the script. So I think it's possible.

    Hope this help. Free ebook for webhosting and dedicated server review

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