fluff: an introduction for guest users

What is "fluff for guests"?

Put simply, "fluff for guests" is a system which allows someone who is not a member of the University of Bristol to transfer large files to some who is.

Once the remote user has logged on (by accessing a specially-formatted URL, provided by the University of Bristol "sponsor"), they are able to use a web page to upload a file.

The web page allows the user to select the file to be uploaded, and its retention period (the retention period is the time during which the sponsor is able to access the uploaded file. After this time, the file is automatically removed from the server). In addition, the user may optionally provide comments about the file, such as details about what it contains. Once the file has been uploaded, a screen will appear to confirm that the upload was successful.

After the upload is completed, the uploaded file is scanned for viruses, and the sponsor is sent an email containing the URL from which the file can be downloaded.

Please note that there is no way for a guest user to access a list of files they have uploaded, or to delete or replace an uploaded file.

How long will it take to upload a file?

This will depend on the size of a file, and the speed of the Internet connection between the remote user and the University.

In some cases, uploading a file may appear to take much longer than sending the same file by email. This will happen if you are sending email via a mail server on a local network. In this case, you are actually sending a file across the (fast) local network to a mail server, and leaving the mail server to (slowly) send the file onwards. In this case, however, it is simply that the bottleneck is in a different location, it is not that sending mail is necessarily quicker.

Please be aware that most users within the University of Bristol are unable to receive mail messages in excess of 10MB.