Monday, January 22, 2007

Ryan Pyle Blog: SLOW FTP


I thought I was going to leave behind the topic of slow internet connections, but alas I have been screwed again.

I am living in my own communications hell.

I am not sure if the problems I am experiencing these last few days are still related to the earthquake in southern Taiwan almost a month ago, or if the Chinese government tech geeks are getting smarter about blocking FTP transfers. Let me explain:

I woke up on Wednesday January 17th with an exciting email. It was from a magazine in the USA that needed a few shots immediately. This kind of opportunity is great, to let a reliable client know that you can shoot an assignment on short notice, nail it and then get everything edited, captioned and sent off within their deadlines. Even the subject matter was really interesting. Like I said a great opportunity.

So I get out and complete the shoot. It all went well and I was pleased with the results. Another hour or so to caption everything and edit a bit, then it comes the time to upload them to my archive. I keep an archive that is hosted in the USA. This allows me to upload it once, and FTP the story out many times if it is purchased in multiple markets. And therein lies the problem, I can't FTP anything to the USA or Europe. It was shocking. I tried to FTP about 20 megs worth of images and the completion time indicated that it would take about 1 day and 14 hours....for 20 megs....nothing was making sense.

Then I tried to upload something else directly to a client just to see if the problem was with my archive or not, and I got a similar response.....for a 1.2meg Jpeg file it took 52 minutes to upload. Amazing.

So I was in a tight spot and had to get these pictures to my clients. Luckily I was able to zip them and attach them to email files and deliver them that way.....I was lucky there was an alternative.

Now, I know there must be some of you out there reading this who work in Pakistan or Sri Lanka or parts of Africa who think 52 minutes for a 1 meg file is great.....but let me remind you, I am sitting in my modern/western high rise apartment in Shanghai, China......supposedly China's most developed and advanced city, hell the city has a MagLev train that can travel 430km/hr, but I can't upload a dam picture in less than 50 minutes.

I am at a loss for words. Today I was planning to upload some more images to a client, this time about 100 megs and to attach all of those to emails would take hours. I have found an alternative by using a file transfer service called "" - it has been a life saver. I recommend it to everyone.

But the real point is that I've been sidelined, today I was all prepared to write a blog about China's renewable energy push, to which it should be commended for, a nice positive blog for once, but instead I end up bitching about the internet.... again.

The more time I spend in China, the more I realize how much is wasted in this country, especially time. But I guess that headache is the price we pay for living abroad and trying to document things that the government (who controls the internet) doesn't want to have exposed.

Until next "time".

Ryan Pyle
Skype: ryanpyle

1 comment:

  1. psst here's a hint. It's a known fact that most asian countries (besides Japan) do a thing called traffic shaping on all outbound traffic.

    They do this as they don't want to pay excessive peerage fees to the big internet companies and also make the consumer pay more for a "faster" connection. The common protocols that are "shaped" are the file sharing ones and you guessed it, FTP

    Now if you use Secure FTP (which is on a unix based server or a windows one), the contents are encrypted and they have no way of determining how to shape it, therefore bypassing the silly routines

    I have the same issue in Thailand sometimes and SFTP or helps out.

    I guess when i finally move to China, i have all this to look forward to :0)



This is Ryan Pyle. I appreciate you adding a comment to my blog and I hope that this space has offered you something useful and interesting. I look forward to staying in touch and I'm glad you took the time to comment.

Ryan Pyle