Earlier this morning, I received an email from someone who owns a copy of Bebop Bytes Back: An Unconventional Guide to Computers . I wrote this book with my chum Alvin deep in the mists of time. It was published in 1997, which means we started writing it close to 20 years ago. Good grief, where does the time go?
The book was accompanied by a CD containing a virtual 8-bit computer called the Beboputer , which ran on Windows-based PCs. The various chapters walked the reader through creating a variety of programs in our home-grown assembly language and then running them on the Beboputer . Of course, there are all sorts of incredible teaching aids these days, but I flatter myself that the Beboputer was pretty clever and sophisticated for its time.
However, we digress… The writer of the email, who we'll call Jef with one 'f' (because that's his name) said: “Can you help me get a copy of the Bebop simulator as my CD has cracked :-(“ To be honest, I'm amazed that anyone is still using this little rascal, but I'm also quite “chuffed,” as it were.
I rooted around on my system and tracked down a ZIP file containing the entire contents of the Bebop CD. Unfortunately, this is close to 200MB in size, which is way too big for emailing, so I suggested that if Jef told me his shipping address, I'd copy this file onto a memory stick and drop it in the post to him.
Jeff responded by saying: “That's awesome. I really appreciate it. But what about using WetRansfer.com; would that work”? “WetRansfer,” I thought to myself; what the heck is that? On re-reading Jef's message, however, I realized he'd actually written WeTransfer.com (well, in reality he'd written wetransfer.com in lowercase, so this was obviously a Freudian slip on my part).
WeTransfer is rather tasty, not the least that it's amazingly quick and intuitive to use. The free version allows you to send up to 2GB of files in one go (there's also a Plus version that costs $10 a month and that allows you to send up to 20GB in one go). The basic WeTransfer interface is shown below:
You select one or more files, add one or more target emails, add your own email if you wish to receive a confirmation, jot down a quick message to remind the recipients how much beer they owe you, then click the “Transfer” button. The upload is surprisingly fast, at which point both you and the recipient(s) receive email notification as to the file's availability. Furthermore, you receive an additional email notification when a recipient downloads the file.
There are, of course, many ways of moving files around the Internet, such as DropBox.com, for example. However, I have to say that, for those who don’t have accounts with DropBox or offerings of that ilk, WeTransfer.com offers a surprisingly pain-free experience. This is certainly one that I'll be adding to my list of useful resources.