October 1998--In the PC
Communications Forum newsgroups, we get a variety of questions about
sending files from one location to another. Email is great, when it
works. Sometimes, the attachment encoding causes problems. What is
sent is not what is received at the other end. In addition, some
people are concerned about security and wonder if there are other
I had a lengthy dialog with another user trying to
use HyperTerminal, the applet included with Windows 95 and 98 to
send a binary file from one computer to another. While this is
possible, it can be clumsy. It also requires a lot of manual
intervention and holding your tongue just right to get it to work.
After this experience, I wondered if there was another option.
The folks who developed HyperTerminal have
developed a new tool with an odd name: Drop Chute+ (see
http://www.hilgraeve.com/dropchute.html for more information and
a downloadable evaluation version). They call this technology a
"personal file delivery system." Drop Chute+ removes a lot of the
complexity surrounding sending files from one computer to another.
With this program, you can send files using either a dial-up
connection or via an Internet connection. You can even use a dial-up
connection to begin the conversation and the program can
automatically switch to an Internet connection, if available.
"Chatting" with another user over the same connection is another
Drop Chute+ comes in two versions. Drop Chute is
the free version that can be given to anyone and can communicate
only with Drop Chute+, the commercial version. Drop Chute+ can
communicate with either version.
Is this a cure-all for anyone who has struggled
with manually connecting with another computer? No, but it is a good
step in the right direction. Many folks may never need what this
program has to offer. Those who do, however, will find a useful tool
that makes the task much simpler.
Stay tuned: If you have a network and want to make
the Internet available to all the users on the local area network
(LAN) without having a separate modem connection for each machine,
you won't want to miss next month's newsletter.