I was able to help somebody out at work today.  We’re delivering some stuff to the customer, and most of it had been sent via FTP already, but there were two spreadsheets that were not going through.  The problem came to me as “corrupted files”.

We worked through where are the files (in a place I don’t have access to, of course) to “can you send me the files?” (yes, and I could open them just fine – no corruption here) to “may I FTP the files to the client?” (The person I was helping didn’t have the logon).

But once I saw the error message, I thought I could help.  It said “Logging you off from FTP.customer.com” – and I had the logon and password from prior help sessions.  I connected, found the right directory, tried to send the files — and it failed for me.

Okay, now it’s personal.  I ain’t gonna let some stupid FTP program tell me I can’t send a file.

Turns out that the directory we were trying to go to was something like

/stuff/inbound/MyCompany/CurrentProduct/Feature number and a very long description of all the nuanced details of what the feature does including some negative conditions to check for – just in case/

I’m not exaggerating by much.  I didn’t know if the problem was the long directory name or some funky character stuck in the middle of it, but I created a directory off CurrentProduct named Feature Number and was able to blow the files right in.  Problem solved.

In doing some digging afterwards, I found out that Windows has a maximum path length of 260.  Where and when did I read it?  Don’t know.  Why do I remember it?  Same answer.

But it worked.