0949: "File Transfer"

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jpk
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0949: "File Transfer"

Postby jpk » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:07 am UTC

Image

Alt text: Every time you email a file to yourself you you can pull it up on your friend's laptop, Tim Berners-Lee sheds a single tear.


first comment: but nobody sheds a single tear better than Shahrukh Khan...


second comment: 25 MB? Do they still make megabytes?
Last edited by jpk on Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:11 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

Davecasa
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Davecasa » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:09 am UTC

But seriously, is there any good way of doing this? I've been doing the dropbox + public link method, but it's kind of awkward.

irishnut
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby irishnut » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:15 am UTC

I've completely sent myself that email instead of finding a USB to just move stuff between computers in the same room.. probably collectively made him weep.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Tofu-Sama » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:17 am UTC

Davecasa wrote:But seriously, is there any good way of doing this? I've been doing the dropbox + public link method, but it's kind of awkward.


I've used http://www.sendoid.com/ for single-use transfers, but it may not be the best option.
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gamnark
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby gamnark » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:19 am UTC

Davecasa wrote:But seriously, is there any good way of doing this? I've been doing the dropbox + public link method, but it's kind of awkward.

FTP/web servers are perfectly good; it doesn't help those that don't have one though. NAT can be a real pain for exchanging files between two computers, I'm hoping the problem solves itself when IPv6 becomes more common.

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glasnt
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby glasnt » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:23 am UTC

People don't burn cd's any more? :?: :?:


I'm kidding.

NotAllThere
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby NotAllThere » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:24 am UTC

Davecasa wrote:But seriously, is there any good way of doing this? I've been doing the dropbox + public link method, but it's kind of awkward.

Yes. Put the data on a USB stick and pop it in the mail. I recalling hearing someone saying 15 years ago...

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a truck load of floppy disks on the M1.

(M1 being a major motorway/freeway/autobahn/autoroute/autostrada... in the UK). Hey - CDs! My bandwidth just got 464 times betters. Hey - DVDs - 8 fold increase.
Last edited by NotAllThere on Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:26 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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prasun
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby prasun » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:25 am UTC

The easiest method is to use bittorrent. That was what I did when I had to transfer over 2 GB of pics and videos to my friend after my last vacation. It took a while but it was pretty straightforward and we just left it to finish overnight.

If you are using utorrent, it's as simple as :

File -> new torrent
select folder;
check "private tracker"
check "start seeding"
finish

email the .torrent file to my friend

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby poxic » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:25 am UTC

Today's comic wrote:Oh, he just drove over to your house with a USB drive?

We do this. It works.

It's difficult to find the original attribution, but there's a quote hanging around the interbobs: "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of floppy disks."

Ninja'd by NAT. Bah.
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NotAllThere
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby NotAllThere » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:26 am UTC

Hmm. Well, I'm glad it wasn't just me. I wonder who did say it first? Edit: Apparently it was originally said by Andrew S Tanenbaum, in his book Computer Networks. Prentice-Hall. ISBN 0-13-349945-6.
Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway


irishnut wrote:I've completely sent myself that email instead of finding a USB to just move stuff between computers in the same room.. probably collectively made him weep.

My daughter does this, and the computers are networked... otoh, it does mean it's archived on gmail, so it's not so stupid.
Last edited by NotAllThere on Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:32 am UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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whamma
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby whamma » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:27 am UTC

I have no connection to them all, but I love airdropper.com for this sort of thing. You have your own easy upload area, and it even integrates with Dropbox. It's not free though.

lemtzas
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby lemtzas » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:32 am UTC

Davecasa wrote:But seriously, is there any good way of doing this? I've been doing the dropbox + public link method, but it's kind of awkward.


I use www.mediafire.com

It apparently has a 200MB limit for free, but doesn't require registration unless you want to keep track of your uploads.

hetas
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby hetas » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:35 am UTC

I've gone with Dropbox for public files, password protected webhosting for limited access files and ssh for my own files on my own box.

But yes, this is too hard. Every one of those options demand some sort of computer savvyness. And when on Windows you always need to install SFTP-client. (Tunnelier works quite well and has a portable version). We need a Dropbox like service without the need to register to access shared files. It could even have a time limit after which files are deleted so people wouldn't use it as permanent storage. Unlimited hosting time available for a small fee.

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verbingthenoun
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby verbingthenoun » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:35 am UTC

This comic was way too text-heavy. I offer for your consideration an edited version.

Image

FTP servers...or was that croissants?

jpk
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby jpk » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:37 am UTC

I've been known to use ftp for this purpose. Works great. And the windows machines don't even realize that "this file was downloaded from the dreaded Internet where the scary things live. Are you sure you want to open it?" (yes) "Positive?" (yes) "Could be dangerous..." (yes, goddammit!) "Well! There's no need to get grouchy, I'm just doing my job. I'm going to crash now. Good night!"

Which is what it feels like when I download over an http connection to my work machine.

Tangent: yes, I modelled the Windows machine on Eddie, the shipboard computer. Funny how Adams got the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation dead-on. I had to interface with an automated checkout scanner tonight, and I swear it had GPP. And those things do run Windows... I saw one of them rebooting, and there was the XP startup screen. Oh, yes, and two of them had crashed.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Game_boy » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:40 am UTC

Is it possible (with software) to use a USB cable to connect two computers directly together for file transfer? I'm always doing the email-self thing with my desktop and laptop because finding and using a USB stick takes much more time.
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MeisBarry
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby MeisBarry » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:41 am UTC

Every thread in this section has at least one person that says "Randall is in my head." I'm that person this time.

We've resorted to using TeamViewer and Ubuntu One in the past. SpiderOak has a medium for sharing backed up files, though considering the internet is made up of people transferring files to other people, anything more seems awkward.

Bureaucromancer
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Bureaucromancer » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:43 am UTC

It seems to be the most elegant solution is just to integrate an ad hoc FTP server hosting selected files from any directory into an IM client of some sort.

Alltat
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Alltat » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:44 am UTC

I've switched to using an external hard drive to transfer files.

Step 1: Wait until you have enough files you want to transfer to someone for all other alternatives to seem very slow or highly annoying (half a dozen DVDs usually does the trick).
Step 2: Put all the stuff on the HDD.
Step 3: Give it to them the next time you meet. Arrange a meeting if necessary (you can skip the first step if you like this part enough).

Tiber
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Tiber » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:46 am UTC

Davecasa wrote:But seriously, is there any good way of doing this? I've been doing the dropbox + public link method, but it's kind of awkward.


When I got a new computer and Windows' automatic porting tool failed me, I found a program called TeamViewer. It's more of a remote desktop software, but it did what I needed.

Sendoid looks interesting though, and google suggests there are plenty of other sites like it.

Unknownlight
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Unknownlight » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:47 am UTC

Google Docs is an excellent solution for anything under 1 GB.

Sir_Read-a-Lot
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Sir_Read-a-Lot » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:47 am UTC

Sneakernet always wins.


(Sneakernet - you put your files on a USB, and then you walk (in your sneakers) over to the other computer...)

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby MetaThought » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:51 am UTC

Bureaucromancer wrote:It seems to be the most elegant solution is just to integrate an ad hoc FTP server hosting selected files from any directory into an IM client of some sort.


And skype will do it.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby poxic » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:56 am UTC

Game_boy wrote:Is it possible (with software) to use a USB cable to connect two computers directly together for file transfer? I'm always doing the email-self thing with my desktop and laptop because finding and using a USB stick takes much more time.

I don't know about a USB cable, because I'm probably too old to know it well enough. >.< I have used a twisted-pair cable* to directly network one computer to another, though. Works pretty darn well, once the cable (~$15) is purchased and any necessary retrofitted software is installed on pre-XP Windows boxen. (I've never tried this with non-Win systems. YMMV.)

* first random link to actually say "how to do this" was selected
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jpk
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby jpk » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:58 am UTC

Sir_Read-a-Lot wrote:Sneakernet always wins.


(Sneakernet - you put your files on a USB, and then you walk (in your sneakers) over to the other computer...)


The time it would take me to dig up a USB stick, you could probably copy down the bits and enter them into the front-panel switches on your Altair. (And I don't own sneakers, so lacing up the boots adds a minute or two as well)
Fortunately, my phone is usually nearby, and it does the job nicely - but ftp is even quicker.

ManBearPig_06
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby ManBearPig_06 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:02 am UTC

You should use megaupload, I've never seen ads or porn etc on it, it's pretty fast for an uploading site, and I've downloaded over 7 gigs in a row with it without hitting any kind of limit.

Majuba
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Majuba » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:03 am UTC

Amen. This really seems to have gotten *harder* over the years. I remember transferring hundreds of megs with ICQ, which later became unreliable.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby xkcdfan » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:06 am UTC

Huh, it's never been a problem for me. I use my own webspace to host things I need to share, and sending files on AIM isn't that rare. (Probably helps that almost everyone I regularly talk to, I talk to on AIM.)

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:15 am UTC

What Randall seems to have forgotten is that, with Dropbox, you can get a URL to a file you uploaded that can be used to get it even if the people you're giving the URL to don't have dropbox accounts. Problem solved :P
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TravDogg
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby TravDogg » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:18 am UTC

I've been using Windows Live Mesh to sync my computers. It's been working fine for me so far, as long as I remember to let the program run and sync my stuff. I'm always worried though that I'll accidentally delete something from one computer and then it might be deleted everywhere.

I also once used 4shared to put a large file online where my parents could download it, and that was okay for the single occasion.

izomiac
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby izomiac » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:19 am UTC

Seriously, there should be some simple, 100 KB program that lets two people exchange public IP addresses, one selects a file/folder and clicks send, the other clicks receive, UDP packets get bounced off NATs until they traverse them, and the file is transferred at maximal speed without any external server (maybe throw in some compression/encryption). Sadly, when I Googled for such a thing I came up empty.

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Eebster the Great
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Eebster the Great » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:25 am UTC

jpk wrote:I've been known to use ftp for this purpose. Works great. And the windows machines don't even realize that "this file was downloaded from the dreaded Internet where the scary things live. Are you sure you want to open it?" (yes) "Positive?" (yes) "Could be dangerous..." (yes, goddammit!) "Well! There's no need to get grouchy, I'm just doing my job. I'm going to crash now. Good night!"

Which is what it feels like when I download over an http connection to my work machine.

Uh, what?

I can't relate to this at all. The only question I've ever gotten is if I want to open .exe files for the first time (and I disabled this question via a checkbox).

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby jpk » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:26 am UTC

izomiac wrote:Seriously, there should be some simple, 100 KB program that lets two people exchange public IP addresses, one selects a file/folder and clicks send, the other clicks receive, UDP packets get bounced off NATs until they traverse them, and the file is transferred at maximal speed without any external server (maybe throw in some compression/encryption). Sadly, when I Googled for such a thing I came up empty.



http://xkcd.com/927/

Idiotsss
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Idiotsss » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:29 am UTC

Anyone who agrees with this comic really is an idiot.

Akdor 1154
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Akdor 1154 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:44 am UTC

Opera unite works beautifully for once-offs, event through NAT, but isn't so good for a file that must be available perpetually if you don't leave your computer on continually.

zerox
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby zerox » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:00 am UTC

[quote=izomiac]Seriously, there should be some simple, 100 KB program that lets two people exchange public IP addresses, one selects a file/folder and clicks send, the other clicks receive, UDP packets get bounced off NATs until they traverse them, and the file is transferred at maximal speed without any external server (maybe throw in some compression/encryption). Sadly, when I Googled for such a thing I came up empty.[/quote]

http://www.whitsoftdev.com/ssft/

9KB. One side needs a public-facing IP. Compress and encrypt it yourself. There's even a python script. If you don't like it... it's really not that hard to write your own.


[quote=poxic]I don't know about a USB cable, because I'm probably too old to know it well enough. >.< I have used a twisted-pair cable* to directly network one computer to another, though. Works pretty darn well, once the cable (~$15) is purchased and any necessary retrofitted software is installed on pre-XP Windows boxen. (I've never tried this with non-Win systems. YMMV.)[/quote]

I have MADE a crossover cable from a standard CAT5 by cutting it open, untwisting the wires and then twisting the bare copper around itself. I used a crimper, a penknife, duct tape and my hands. It was 100 feet long, and I even used the brown and blue twistedpairs to give my dad and mum bedroom phones (so they can both talk at the same time to the same caller). This was when I was 16, so shut up about parents' basement. Amazingly, it worked perfectly for 5 years, even though the naysayers said I needed a solder..

http://www.whitsoftdev.com/slimftpd/

Later I got them a router and restored my crossover to a normal cable. Still works.

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hvm
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby hvm » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:02 am UTC

I suspect Randall often uses the webcomic to make people talk about some issue he's having to find out a solution. Not that I'm against that, I really want to find a better way of transferring files.

The method I'm using now is Yahoo IM + FTP for online transfers and USBdrives + external HDDs for really large transfers. I'm also using mail for important things I need for school but just as a failsafe in case the computer I'll be working on has a quirky USB port or something.

Dropbox and other sites are impractical since I have to upload and then send the link which doubles the transfer time, not to mention the privacy issues.

The (uTorrent + private tracker + link to friend) idea seems nice though since you get perfect pause+resume on the transfer and integrity checks. Additionaly if you need to give it to more people it's a lot faster this way.

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Scaraban
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Scaraban » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:07 am UTC

Game_boy wrote:Is it possible (with software) to use a USB cable to connect two computers directly together for file transfer? I'm always doing the email-self thing with my desktop and laptop because finding and using a USB stick takes much more time.

Easier just to use crossover ethernet cable at that point if you've got them both physically near each other and just want to drag and drop the data down the line.

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GulliNL
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby GulliNL » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:18 am UTC

I never thought I would ever say this, but; Randall, get out of my head!

There, I said it.

Just yesterday I was struggling to send 70MBs of pics I made of my little niece to her dad, all the services I knew either wanted me to register, both the sender and receiver, or began to whine when the file became bigger than 25MBs. I actually went into winrar to see if there was an option for cutting the .zip up into smaller pieces like you did in the old days with ARJ. Remember ARJ? That was awesome, the first DOS command I knew by heart, I was 8 years old and ARJ-ing the hell out of bootlegged software :P I even remember getting Duke 3D on 90 floppy disks from a friend of mine, neatly cut into 1.4MB pieces.

Those were the days.

By the way, my brother in law still hasn't seen the pictures...
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby GulliNL » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:25 am UTC

Hah, I remember the same guy I got the Duke 3D disks from one day had to give me a part of our essay he made for our school project. His printer was broken so he burned it on a CD. This was still in the days when CD's were REALLY expensive and no one had ever heard of NERO so there was no option whether to finalise a disk or not. Probably the most expensive 4 pages of text he ever made :P
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