The Spring Sale is over and the tidying up has begun: making sure every order has been processed, dealing with loose ends, and so on.
If you haven’t heard from our teaching manager, Lucia, about organising your online lessons, first CHECK YOUR SPAM/JUNK FOLDER to see if she actually has written to you already, and then, if there’s nothing there, let me know. I’ll forward any ‘please help’ emails I receive, or deal with them personally.
Ditto for missing ebooks and so on. I THINK I’ve sent everything, but email being the unreliable medium that it is, stuff can go missing. Certain Australian ISPs, for instance, have over-enthusiastic spam blockers. Resending is not a problem, but do check your spam/junk folder first.
And then there are the inevitable ‘can’t open the zipped/compressed folder you sent me’ emails. I get loads of those, almost always from iPhone and iPad users, who are coddled by their devices to the extent that any basic computer skills they once possessed have atrophied.
For Apple users, IF you are in your email app reading the email I sent you with the ebook attached, and you click on the attachment to examine your goodies (this is called ‘previewing’ the contents), then if it’s just the one .pdf file it should open just fine (though the audio link, if there is one, probably won’t work – after all, why would someone just previewing a .pdf want to click on a link for online audio?)
However, if the attachment I sent you is a compressed/zipped folder (that’s the easiest way to send multiple items at the same time), then your wonderful device’s software only MAY show you what’s inside, or it may show you an unhelpful or misleading error message, which you’ll naturally assume is my fault.
The error message will occur, for example, with our Italian Workout! series of ebook workbooks, because the compressed/zipped folder I send out contains both .pdf (document) and .mp3 (audio) files. Your darling piece of design knows not whether to preview the compressed/zipped folder’s contents with a music player or a .pdf reader – Steve Jobs never told it what to do when faced with different file types…
Another common cause of problems is if the compressed/zipped folder contents are just too big to preview – presumably there’s a file-size limit in the preview function, so as not to exceed the processing power that the iPhone or iPad permits its email app. Which means that if you bought some whopping bundle of ebooks that’s up near 20mb in weight, clicking on the attachment from within your email app will simply result in an error message. And not a helpful one.
There’s a simple solution, though: ACTUALLY DOWNLOAD THE EMAIL ATTACHMENT.
Save it someplace on your device where you’ll know where it is – maybe in a folder called ‘Italian ebooks’, or something creative like that. Then switch off or click away from the email I sent you with the attachment, and go to your shiny new ‘Italian ebooks’ folder, and there you should see the now-downloaded compressed/zipped folder containing many months worth of stimultating stuff to learn from.
NOW try clicking on it! And like magic, the folder will open and the contents will be displayed correctly. Daniel, you’re a genius! I know, he says modestly. (Windows users, poverini, will have to go to the huge extra effort of right-clicking on their downloaded attachment and choosing ‘extract all’.)
OK then, if you’d like to get me cursing and spitting in front of my wife and children, just ignore the above. Go ahead and email to say something like, sorry, the file you sent me is somehow corrupted/broken/unopenable, and could you please send it again?
Of course, I absolutely CAN resend emails with the compressed/zipped attachment, but if you couldn’t open it the first time, it’s likely nothing will change when I resend it. You really, really should learn what to do with attachments when you receive them.
If the worse comes to the worse, I can just give up on the idea of saving us both work and time by compressing/zipping multiple files into one emailable folder, and send you all seven/nine/eighteen or whatever ebooks as individual attachments.
But then you would, in theory, have to do the downloading bit seven/nine/eighteen times to ensure that your .pdf files are safely saved in your ‘Italian ebooks’ folder. From where you will, of course, regularly back them up to ensure they are never lost.
What? You deleted the email I sent you without having saved a copy of the ebook?
No kidding, I get people with Gmail addresses, and so the proud possessors of 15 GB of FREE STORAGE (equivalent to a billion ebooks plus all the articles about Donald Trump ever written), writing to explain apologetically that, as they always delete emails once they have read them, they can no longer find the ebook they purchased eighteen months ago, and could I please help?
If it’s a very recent order, I can usually just locate the email I sent the first time and resend it, along with a rather teacherly admonition to please not delete it this time.
But if more than six months have passed, the answer may well be, sorry, but I have deleted my emails too, and so have no trace of what I sent you. At least I have a good excuse as, due to the hundreds of emails I send/receive each day, I hit our commercial Gmail’s 20GB limit regularly, and so HAVE to delete old emails with large attachments (or pay Google extra, and the Google boys really don’t need more cash.)
Summary: check your spam/junk folders first before assuming we haven’t done what we promised, download attachments properly to some place where you’ll be able to find them again when you need them, backup ebook files occasionally (just to be on the safe side), and in any case, don’t delete an email with attachments you have paid for. You never know.
Oh, and now you actually have to READ the ebooks you bought!
And take the online lessons!
Don’t put it off, now.
In fact, why not start today?
Next week is the ‘Book Club’ (details on Friday!)
Have you located a copy in the original Italian of ‘Il nome della Rosa’, yet?
Be aware, there are internet sites offering the text to download, but one club member writes that, although he got the .pdf of the entire ebook, he ended up paying a pricely sum for a year’s membership.
They quoted an affordable monthly cost (less then the price of the book) but ended up charging for twelve months in one go… If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is!
Can’t get the book, or the Kindle-version, or download the .pdf legally?
All is not lost – we will have our totally-unauthorised, very-short-and-simplifed ebook version of the story, as retold by our own writer and which we clearly can’t sell or use for commercial purposes.
That may be available to club members who assure me that they fully intend to buy a copy of the book (and so compensate the rights-holders) once the coronavirus crisis has passed.
A mercoledì, allora.