Mossberg’s Mailbox

Is There a Tool to Help Send Large Files Over the Internet?

There’s no other major item most of us own that is as confusing, unpredictable and unreliable as our personal computers. Everybody has questions about them, and we aim to help.

Here are a few questions about computers I’ve received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability. This week my mailbox contained questions about sending large files over the Internet, buying a combo PDA/cellphone, and sharing music on the same local area network.


Did you review a tool that would make it easier to send large files over the Internet? What was it?

Yes. It’s called Pando, and is a free download at www.pando.com. But there’s an even simpler service, which works right from within a Web browser and doesn’t require the download or installation of any software. It’s called YouSendIt and is at yousendit.com. Both work on the same general principle: Instead of emailing a huge file, you upload it to these services. They then send an email to your intended recipient that merely contains a link or tiny special attachment. When the recipient clicks on the link or special attachment, the file is downloaded to his or her computer, without having passed through his or her email inbox. Both services have free versions, and also paid versions which offer greater capacity and other features.

My Handspring Visor has expired. Since I have also have a vintage Nokia cellphone, would you recommend a combo PDA/cellphone with “useable” keyboard or should I buy a distinct replacement PDA and cellphone?

It all depends on your budget, and your tolerance for carrying two devices. But the stand-alone PDA is fading, and is harder and harder to find. If you bought a Palm Treo phone that uses the Palm operating system, such as the $199 Treo 680, you’d have a decent phone with a built-in PDA that works very much like your Visor, only with more speed and added features. On the other hand, if you’d like a change, there are many Windows Mobile phone/PDA combo devices that can cost even less, like the Samsung Blackjack.

If you’re content to keep the Nokia for phone calls, Palm still makes some standalone PDAs which work pretty much like your Visor, only better — like the $99 Z22.

I read your article on using iTunes to share music with others on the same local area network. Must both computers be turned on in order for this to work?

Yes, all the computers whose music you want to share must not only be turned on, but iTunes must be running on them.

Write to Walter S. Mossberg at mossberg@wsj.com


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