How big?

January 29, 2015

In computer terms, what we think of as ‘big’ has changed a lot over time. Things that were unimaginably big only a few years ago are now considered tiny.

For example, when I bought my first computer system in 1994 (with the printer, modem monitor etc., it cost more than $7000 at the time!), I had a ‘top of the wozza, future-proof’ system. I recall that the hard drive was a massive 384 MB, and I think it had 512 KB of RAM — really fast for the day.  Now, I can buy an external 3 TB hard drive for around $100, and laptops that are more powerful than those used to get us to the moon and back cost less than $1000.

But it’s data size I want to talk about. Specifically, what Microsoft Outlook 2010 considers ‘big’.

I was cleaning out some of my sent items, and decided to sort by size. And this is when I found out that Outlook 2010 considers anything over 5 MB to be ‘enormous’; between 1 and 5 MB ‘huge’, and between 500 KB and 1 MB ‘very large’. These seem such an antiquated descriptions in 2015, and I wonder if this aspect of the interface just hasn’t been looked at in a long time.



Note: I checked the same sent items in Outlook 2013, and it seems Microsoft have changed what they consider big — 5 to 10 MB is now considered ‘very large’, and 1 to 5 MB is ‘large’.




  1. For email attachments, 10 MB is enormous. Many systems won’t accept more than 5mb on attachments

  2. Hi Simon.

    If the organisation is using Exchange Server, they can set the outbound and inbound size limits for email attachments. I know my own Exchange Server is set to about 15 MB, whereas the company I do most of my work for has about a 10 MB limit.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: