Uploading Files

Uploading is not always perfectly smooth. To make sure that all submissions will get to us with minimal frustration, please follow these guidelines:

Don't wait until the last minute
The online submission system uses a robust server with high-bandwidth access to the internet, but everything has a limit. In previous years, last-minute submitters tried to upload 5GB of data in the final half-hour before the deadline. This didn't work well. Don't get yourself in that situation.

Upload early and often
Once your submission is complete, you are still allowed to edit it and add to or modify the supplementary materials right up to the deadline. This means you can upload some materials early as soon as they are ready and upload the remainder later, avoiding the need to upload everything at once. This also means you can upload a rough draft of your materials early and replace it with more polished versions later. Upload drafts that are roughly the same size as your final material. This will allow you to get a feel for the upload process and the time it takes to upload files of those sizes, and give you time to diagnose problems. Then, as your draft gets refined, upload revisions. This way, if the last polish or final render encounters problems, you only lose the polish, not the entire submission.

We do not control the internet
In our tests, we have found upload speeds of anywhere from 20 megabit/sec to five kilobit/sec. We have tested uploads from two gigabytes to 10 kilobytes. We have seen upload times from one second to 24 hours. If you are traversing a path to our server that is through congested nodes, your upload may fail, and you will have to retry. You may even have to do the upload from work, school, home, or a local business-services firm. Don't wait until the last minute to find out.

Don't try to upload too much
Some programs have upload limitations. Upload limits for required materials are described in the online submission system.

Don't wait until the last minute
Yes, we said this already, but it's worth repeating! The deadlines are absolute. We're on a tight schedule, and we won't be able to extend the deadline to accommodate straggling uploads.

Despite all these dire warnings, we are happy to report that the online submission process works very well. We don't anticipate major problems. Just don't wait until the last minute!

MD5 Checksum of Uploaded Materials (may not apply to all programs; check instructions on the online submission form for details)
In an effort to conserve server resources and bandwidth, file uploading and downloading will be disabled as needed temporarily as each of our deadlines nears. If uploading and downloading are disabled, all submitters will be required to use the MD5 Checksum mechanism. We don't know the exact time when this might take effect. It will be determined by server loads to ensure that all submitters are able to access their submissions. 

What do I have to do?
To be accepted as uploaded, all files must:

EITHER be completely uploaded by the appropriate deadline

OR have an MD5 Checksum computed AND be submitted before the deadline.

Files that do not match the MD5 Checksum submitted before the deadline will not be accepted.

If you choose to submit an MD5 Checksum, you will then have until the day following the deadline at 22:00 UTC/GMT to upload your files with the matching MD5 Checksum previously uploaded by the appropriate deadline.

What does MD5 Checksum look like?
If you use the MD5 option, the MD5 Checksum should be submitted without additional characters surrounding it and without any breaking characters.

An example of a correct MD5 Checksum is:

871A51785E2A6414DEB097C2CEE89743

Examples of incorrect MD5 Checksums:

871A51785E2A6414DEB097C2CEE89743 filename.avi

871A 5178 5E2A 6414 DEB0 97C2 CEE8 9743

Note that letter case is ignored.

How do I calculate an MD5 Checksum?
You must use an MD5 calculator. We have tested the following MD5 calculators:

Linux: md5sum command
Mac OS/X: md5 command in Terminal
Windows98\Me\NT\2000\XP: FastSum

How can I test this process?
We recommend that you try uploading a small test file well in advance of the 22:00 UTC/GMT deadline to insure that you are familiar with the procedure, that the MD5 calculator that you are using is working properly, and that it is compliant with the MD5 standard that we are using.

What if I don't want to use MD5 Checksum?
If you complete uploading of all the necessary files by your deadline and before we revert to the checksum only mechanism, you can ignore the MD5 Checksum. However, the system will compute and report MD5 Checksum for all the files you upload. You may find this useful if you want to check that your file has been uploaded without corruption: just compare the MD5 Checksum you compute for your file with the checksum computed by the submission system.

Is your system really so fragile?
No, not at all. The online submission process works very well. We don't anticipate major problems, and we are doing everything we can to avoid minor problems.