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Use .mac.com for PBEM cause more errors?


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Any other Mac user using Apple's .mac.com service? I've noticed since using their online webmail that I'm getting PBEM files that aren't fully uploaded and of course on d/loading the file is empty and I have to ask my opponents to replay and send the file back again. Merely clicking resend of the original mail and attachment just repeats the sending of the empty file. Anyone else experiencing the same frustrating problem?

All best

Patrick

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I suggest using some sort of compression on your PBEM files, preferably something that is .zip compliant since most PC users won't be able to decompress a Stuffit archive. A number of web-based email services (or browsers - which may be the real culprit here) seem to mangle text-only email attachments (adding extra codes or something). A compressed PBEM should generally be safe from these problems despite the service that delivers it.

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Hi thanks for the reply. The problem is though that the .mac.com service seems to scamble even zipped .txt files. It's finicky in that a PBEM game is going well and then let's say file #64 for some arcane reason won't be fully downloadable. My opponent will rezip the file or sometimes replay the turn , zip anew and resend and also copy the .txt file within the email but more often than not the turn doesn't come out in full zipped or unzipped. Unzipping the file produces an empty folder and nothing for the game engine to run on.

I've even sent a report/query to the Apple support discussion page and no one seemd to have an answer.

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I don't know how a file can get scrambled that is zipped properly. The zip archive compresses the file's redundant data (or whatever). If the zip gets scrambled, then the program you use to decompress it should say that the archive isn't valid (data structures and other things about the file will be messed up and the compression program will recognize this). If the zip files are coming across messed up (and your decompression program recognizes this), then there may be something up with the email service.

Ask you opponent to look at the zip files that he sends you to confirm that it is the appropriate file (instead of accidentally zipping some empty folder). Also have him tell you the exact size of the zip file (though I'm not sure if this info changes between PC and Mac platforms) so you can figure out if the service is somehow corrupting the file.

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Thanks, very reasonable advice. I suspect that it is the .mac.com service rather than my opponent's. It's happened on 4 separate occasion with 4 opponnents. All of them go through the same process of 1. resend the orginal file. 2. re-zip the original text file and resend. 3. re-play turn, zip and re-send.

I'm using Stuffit Deluxe which can open and compress zip and .bin files and it's never given me problems before. It reads my opponent's zip file as uncorrupt and opens up an empty file.

From what it seems to me is that the .mac server isn't uploading the data stream completely. If any other mac user out there has similar experiences then at least I know it's not just my imagination!

All best

Patrick

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I'm on a mac and have had corruption problems, but not empty file problems. I had a hell of a time getting my first PBEM up. It turns out that hotmail was corrupting the file. It took me a great deal of sending files back and forth between hotmail, work mail and home mail with varying types of jiggering, to figure that out. The zipped files work fine. I downloaded ZipIt.app from the apple site (shareware) and I've had no problems since.

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Checked out ZipIt 2.1 but that won't solve the problem. That's an OSX shareware and won't be of any use for any of my PBEM opponents since they're mostly using PC's and it's their file that is getting only partially loaded onto the .mac.com server from what I suspect. My Stuffit Deluxe 6.5 reads the file as correct and upon opening the file is empty so that possibly indicates the zipped file was not fully uploaded to beging with?

I had no problem when I was on a local server

using Outlook Express but only after I switched to .mac.com that these empty zipped files started appearing and screwing up my PBEM games.

All best

Patrick

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