1. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Novel Backup taking forever to email

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by OurJud, Aug 19, 2016.

    As a backup I regularly zip up my novel and email it myself. Problem is despite the file only being 3 mb in size it takes an age to send.

    The bigger this file gets the longer it's going to take to email. By the time I'm at 100 k+ the file size will be getting on for 15 mb which will probably take over a week to send.

    I know there's always the USB option, but I'm just curious as to whether anyone else uses this backup method and has the same problem?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I use Dropbox. That has been an effective tool for me, and it synchronizes files in the background, so you're not waiting for an email to send. Might be worth looking into if you don't mind a cloud solution (depending on your email you may already be using one).
     
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  3. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is your internet otherwise functioning well?

    I e-mail full-length novel MSs all the time, and I'd say it takes, maybe... 5 seconds to upload? And my internet isn't that fast...

    But my full novels are usually only a couple thousand KB... are you including a lot of formatting or something that makes your files so large?
     
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  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, a 3mb file should take almost no time to upload and send. Could be connectivity issue or some other technical problem.
     
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  5. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks everyone.

    @Steerpike, I use Outlook (the online one, not the actual program installed on your PC). No idea if I have a cloud.

    @BayView, my connection is otherwise fine, but you raise an interesting question regarding the file size. If your full-length MS are less than a single mb, then I'm clearly doing something wrong.

    Could it be that I use a separate file for each chapter? I've written 23 as of now, each around 1,000 words long). This essentially means I'm zipping up 23 separate files.
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It might be the separate files... I don't know enough about computers to be sure, but if they have to stop and start the upload for each file, I can see that taking longer.

    (And I think 2000-3000 KB would be 2-3 MB, but, again... my computer knowledge is shaky. Is "mega" a million?)
     
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  7. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes, 1,000 kb to 1 mb, roughly. I wasn't paying attention when you said a couple of thousand. I think the exact figure is 1024.
     
  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    My novel comes to 1943 KB, which is just under 2MB. I have it split into three sections (for ease of editing, etc.) I regularly email these to myself, as simple attachments. I don't bother 'zipping' them. I can send all three attachments in one email, and they arrive almost instantly. I have a BT Yahoo email account and work in Pages.

    Maybe it's the zipping that's making it hard. Why not try sending them as simple unzipped attachments, just to see what happens? BTW, also keep backups on USB and wherever else you can. You never know what part of your system might go wonky. It would be unthinkably horrible to lose your work.
     
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  9. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think I tried them separately once and they took even longer. Besides, the whole idea of zipping something up is to compress its size.

    The email I use is one of those web-based accounts, so even if my PC explodes I can still retrieve my backups. But you're right - a USB backup couldn't hurt.
     
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  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Have you tried sending them unzipped? A zip file compresses stuff, but it's a programme in itself, and might not be compatible with your email. BT Yahoo is also a web-based account, so that shouldn't matter. I'd say give an unzipped file a chance. Just send it as a normal attachment.

    If that fails, have you tried copying and pasting your stuff into the body of an email? You will probably lose your formatting that way, but the text will be intact.

    You can also send your files to Kindle, if you have one. The downside to that is you can't retrieve it from Kindle and put it on to your computer. But at least you won't lose your words.

    And of course there's always the old paper option. Print it! I have an up-to-date print copy at all times.
     
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  11. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Go to speedtest.net and see what kind of speed you are getting. That size file, zipped or unzipped, should be sending very quickly. I use a web-based outlook.com email for one of my accounts and send much larger files without an issue.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
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  12. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    19.34 mb download and 1.06 mb upload.

    Those figures don't me a lot to me. Good? Bad? Average?
     
  13. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    PMFJI

    Your net speeds are reasonable, average.

    Jud, seriously you'll save yourself a shed load of time if you take 15mins to get the free version of dropbox. Your work will be auto backed up to the cloud every time you save it and you'll be able to get back to earlier versions as it automatically archives your stuff with each revision you make. I you want to put err, a belt on those braces–a small capacity USB stick will do the trick that you could throw a copy of your story onto every now and then.
    Lastly, no need to zip stuff anymore (unless you PC/Mac is super old with a small hard drive) as there's bundles of space on devices nowadays to save stuff.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
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  14. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    @jannert good call on the .zip they're also the bane of email systems worldwide and clog their filters. They're either rejected, quarantined or get popped into a black hole as they're the currency of a good chunk of the malicious software out there.
     
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  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, I didn't know they were that bad. I just know I don't have a lot of luck with them, and I've got El Capitan installed on a Mac that will be 3 years old next month. So I'm up to date. Sometimes zip files open fine (stuff I've received) and some of them don't.
     
  16. Earp
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    Earp Active Member

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    Here's another vote for the USB stick, along with a copy on your hard drive. 'The cloud' is a marketing term, not a technical term, and just describes a server owned and controlled by someone you don't know. I print everything I write for editing purposes, so I also have that as a last resort.
     
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  17. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, I was unaware zipped files were so unfavourable.

    I'll have a look see at this Dropbox thingamajig, but will probably go with the old USB option. It's an 8gb capacity, and if my novel gets any bigger than that, it's faaaaar to long!
     
  18. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use Dropbox - very convenient. And the chances of my computer and the main Dropbox computers going down at the same time, with no backups, seems really slim.
     
  19. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Use both. USB sticks are great, but they do fail, get lost, etc.
     

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