Subject: upload/download
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2013 16:06:56 -0500

I usually say "download" for any transfer from a server to a workstation or device, and "upload" for any transfer from a device or workstation to a server (or cloud, or other manifestation of the interweebs). So, there's an element of "greater to lesser" vs "lesser to greater" in how I classify.

After downloading a set of files from an FTP site to my laptop, it felt natural for me to then "download" those files to a handheld device connected to the laptop via USB, for the purpose of updating/upgrading that device.

My cow-orker disagrees and would say that anything going away from my computer is an upload, and anything toward the computer is a download, so copying files from the laptop to the device is an upload.

I can see both sides of this discussion (implying either that I'm more open-minded than my colleague.... or that I'm not good at making up my mind... you are free to guess which of us holds which view of respective mental states... :-) )

Anyway, I know we've had this discussion before, but I don't recall that we nailed down the transfer from a computer to a 'lesser' device.
Think of, say, updating the firmware of a card reader or a fingerprint reader or iris scanner.
The device doesn't instigate. You and your computer have the files, and you and your computer tell the device what is coming. The device can refuse (or just not accept, like if you don't press the [Enter] or [Yes] button ), but it can't initiate a transfer, and it can't pick and choose what it gets. If that matters.

What's the current view, and why do you think so?

Oh, and FWIW, I'm old enough to remember when "download" and "upload" were applied to transfers between a CPU and a tape drive or similar. And an array of switches on a front panel was how commands were input. But let's not get stuck on that. What do the terms mean to you, today, and in the context of your more powerful/comprehensive device sending update files (like bootloader and firmware kernel) to a smaller/lesser device?
Let's further stipulate that the laptop and device are connected by a short cable, so that you (the person) are both issuing commands on the laptop and pressing acknowledgement buttons on the device.... just to preclude any notion of "us" and "them" in the "upload/download" consideration.


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