[xplorer˛] — Chopped down to size
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"He thinks by the inch, talks by the yard and should be kicked by the foot" — Anon of imperial persuation

Do you remember floppy disks? Until not so long ago they were the de facto portable storage medium. With a whopping 1.44MB of storage space they were quite convenient up to the introduction of 8 megapixel cameras and 1GB installers. CDR-W never quite caught on (how unreliable are these perishing optical disks?) but nowadays solid state storage aka USB memory sticks have proven themselves as affordable, reliable and spaceous kings of the temporary portable storage.

USB sticks come handy for transferring files from one computer to another — in case you don't have a crossover cable for direct connection. You would have thought that with 4GB of free space on your stick any file would fit in nicely but what if it doesn't? How do you put a 8GB streaming video file onto a 4GB portable medium? One possibility is to compress the mammoth file hoping it will shrink to fit, but media files are usually already compressed so that's not going to get you anywhere.

A quicker and simpler way is to split the large file into chunks of manageable size. Say you have a 10GB file and only a 1GB USB stick, you can cut the original file in 10 equal pieces and transfer them one by one to the other computer. Once all 10 pieces are carried through, you merge (join) them to recreate the original file from its parts. xplorer˛ has commands for both splitting and merging files, which you will find under Actions menu.

You only have to be careful to put the split file fragments in order before joining them, otherwise you'll end up with an unusable shuffled document. xplorer˛ will try to warn you if you attempt to merge files out of order but if you make sure you arrange the split parts by name (alphabetically) then everything will go smoothly. More details in today's demo video

There are more applications for splitting and joining. What if you have an external hard disk that is FAT32 formatted? It may have loads of free space but FAT filesystem doesn't allow files larger than 4GB, so your huge HD movie will not be transferred unless first you chop it to 4GB pieces.

Another situation where a file splitter would be handy is if you want to send a large file as an email attachment. Instead of a single huge attachment you can cut the document in a few smaller pieces, send them one by one, then include reassembly instructions for the recipient — just tell them to download xplorer˛ !

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