0949: "File Transfer"

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charonme
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby charonme » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:30 pm UTC

skydrive
bayfiles
google docs

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Steve the Pocket
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:38 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
KShrike wrote:Just like I tell haters of other fandoms, we get that you don't like this comic. Now go on, shoo, and leave us alone that like it.


See? That's just why I can't leave this place.

At least when you criticize, you give reasons. Idiotsss is probably just a troll, and a pretty unsubtle one at that. And speaking of which, KShrike, you really need to learn what "troll" means. It doesn't mean what you think it means.
cephalopod9 wrote:Only on Xkcd can you start a topic involving Hitler and people spend the better part of half a dozen pages arguing about the quality of Operating Systems.

Baige.

Faux
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Faux » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:40 pm UTC

Can't post links, but I use jetbytes

Summary - You select a file, it gives you a link. Send that link, when the receiver clicks it starts downloading.

Both machines need to be online during transfer, but it's so easy to set up I have the GF's aunt send stuff to the GF's mother with it, and the hardest part was getting her to find the file through Windows File Open API. Or maybe it was teaching her how to use yahoo email. Or maybe it was teaching her to cut and paste... (you get the picture)

Not so reliable for anything over 1GB I've found, but anything less I've had no troubles with. Of course, if you're sending something that big, there are probably better options, outlined elsewhere in this thread (torrent happens to be my favorite).

mojo-chan
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby mojo-chan » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:43 pm UTC

You can upload any file type to Google Docs now, including password protected 7zip archives. You then get an easy to share URL to pass on. Free accounts get 1GB of space, I pay $5/year for an extra 25GB.

Microsoft's Live thing gives you 25GB of free space too, but you have to use a shitty Silvershite browser plug-in to upload more than a couple of files at once.

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MarioH
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Re: omnibus-filetransfer

Postby MarioH » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:56 pm UTC

radtea wrote:Looks very cool. I've taken the liberty of posting the link:


Thank you. :-)
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rhomboidal
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby rhomboidal » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:58 pm UTC

Megaupload and mediafire are quite the awesome, especially mediafire. Just upload the file and share the link. They even support resuming paused/broken downloads.

That said, I'd still like to have instant transfer via quantum tunneling/entanglement. It might be offered as a premium service.

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TaylorP
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby TaylorP » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:59 pm UTC

BAReFOOt wrote:PROTIP1: All instant messengers support file transfer. That has been the standard way since 1996 with ICQ. Nowadays everyone has something like a Google mail adress. And with MS there's MSN. Which always means they have an instant messenger account too, and can accept file transfers when loogged in. Even with the web interface.


The transfer rates in ones I've used (WLM, Skype) are always ridiculously slower than they should be. It makes transferring larger files impractical, but for files that are a bit too big to email it's a pretty good solution.

mivadar
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby mivadar » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:51 pm UTC

When I can arrange both parties to be online at once, I usually zip the files, and transfer them through some messenger service (yahoo messenger, skype, whatever).
When I can't arrange both parties to be online at once, for files under 1 GB, I tend to use googledocs (wait for it to be downloaded, then delete).

If the other party is completely computer illiterate, or I need to transfer larger files, trouble starts.

And yes, I actually mailed a USB stick internationally last week, and will probably mail another one soon.
(Different reasons -
case 1: I had to transfer 10 GB of data, and beside not knowing where the heck to upload it, the person I would send it to has a slow enough internet connection that it would probably take them 20 hours to download;
case 2: 750 MB of data, person on the other end doesn't seem to be able to open a googledoc link and successfully download a file :roll: )

But yes, it tends to be a hassle, and with every advance that's kicking around on the web, it's astonishing that it's a hassle.

imtheguru
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby imtheguru » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:39 pm UTC

Typically:
  • Sneakernet, when possible.
  • Post office or Apache, for non-sensitive information.
  • sftp (over ssh), for sensitive information. Use an ip forwarding service to maintain permanent domain names to your machines.

And avoid
  • ftp, because it's unencrypted
  • Service-based file transfer (Gmail, Gdocs, Dropbox etc.), because you don't own the hardware storing the documents.

Oh and first post to these forums.

Cheers.

Jamaican Castle
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Jamaican Castle » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:46 pm UTC

rhomboidal wrote:That said, I'd still like to have instant transfer via quantum tunneling/entanglement. It might be offered as a premium service.


It wouldn't be practical. You'd need a separate quantum link to each recipient, unless you want to route it through a middleman. But if you wanted to do that, you wouldn't need any quantum whatsits.

It wouldn't be instant, either, since the computer takes a non-zero amount of time to register what it's seeing, and then reassemble the file. It would probably be fast, though.

As for premiums, having seen what people will charge for simple copper wires I hesitate to ask what they think this service would be worth. Probably more than the GDP of some small African countries.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby soundandfury » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:53 pm UTC

You mean there are still people who don't run an HTTP server on their local machine, which runs *nix continuously and has an uncrippled Internet connection?

Then again, I suppose I'm atypical, as I've written three HTTP servers in the last two years - and get my Internet connection from JANET. Still, there's no excuse for sneakernets to move files between computers on the same LAN, where HTTP really can be zero-configuration (unlike the various folder-sharing systems which are flaky because they need, and guess, their configuration settings, and often make it difficult for you to force a manual configuration). Plus HTTP is universally supported, unlike SMB or MSN (both of which have Linux clients that don't really work, thanks to the lack of a meaningful spec.).

Other possibilities: rsync; netcat, as someone mentioned above (I've lost count of the number of times recently I've used netcat and tar to copy stuff between boxen at work recently); also git - if you don't need privacy you can even just use github as the sharing server. Sure, non-technical end-users might not be able to cope with git - but github exposes files over the Web too.
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Ayelis
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Ayelis » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:25 pm UTC

Us Web Developers know how to re-encode our digicam-encoded BMPs/TGAs as JPG files.
(And resample them at a reasonable resolution, instead of 36000x28800!)

Just sayin'. (++pwned!)
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limecat
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby limecat » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:29 pm UTC

Best method for file transfer that (im assuming) noone has mentioned yet:

Write an AutoIt script to convert the file from Binary to ASCII string, then paste the contents into pastebin (will they take 25MB of raw ASCII?)

Then the guy on the other end just needs to convert from ascii to binary again. Its a breeze. Really.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby tetsujin » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:36 pm UTC

Is file size limitation on e-mail attachments really an issue these days? I know it was for a while, it wasn't at all uncommon for ISP-supplied mail servers to limit people to 25MB total (or something in that neighborhood) for all the mail they had stored on the server.

But now we have gmail, and everybody else who wants to compete with gmail - storage quotas measured in gigabytes and all that. I guess if you were dealing with a really huge file it could still be a problem...

Oh, and my knee-jerk reaction to this comic is "scp" - but on the other hand... Ever transferred a huge file with scp and had the connection crap out on you before transfer finished? I don't think scp provides an option for resuming an interrupted transfer.
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wagner
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby wagner » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:38 pm 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.


While firewire is a peer-to-peer architecture that allows such transfers, USB is a host to device architecture. It is not designed to allow two hosts to connect. If you could actually find a type-A to type-A cable for sale, it would at best not function, and at worst burn out one of both machines. While there is nothing technically stopping someone from building a PC with a type-B (device) port, allowing another host to connect to it, no one outside phone and PDA manufacturers have done so. There are some specialized devices that do allow this, using an active "cable" with a device in the center, to manage communication between the two hosts. I know LapLink used to sell such a cable before ethernet became commonplace.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby wagner » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:48 pm UTC

drachefly wrote:So, web services it is. Too bad windows didn't come with ftp?


Eh? Windows Explorer and IE both function as ftp clients, or you could use the command line 'ftp' if you really wanted. You can also install IIS and run an FTP server, or at least you could on the last several versions of Windows I've owned. Maybe that's not an option on the cheap shit 'Home' versions.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby wagner » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:54 pm UTC

Jamaican Castle wrote:
rhomboidal wrote:That said, I'd still like to have instant transfer via quantum tunneling/entanglement. It might be offered as a premium service.

It wouldn't be instant, either, since the computer takes a non-zero amount of time to register what it's seeing, and then reassemble the file. It would probably be fast, though.


It wouldn't be instant anyway, since you're not actually transferring any information. You have the result of the teleportation, but since you don't know the initial state, you cannot decode any information from it. You need to know the state of the remote particle after encoding, to decode the information that was put into your particle.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby uiri » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:33 pm UTC

bigjeff5 wrote:That is, Linux is the least user-friendly consumer OS on the market.


What about Haiku? Or one of the *BSDs? Linux Mint is just as user-friendly as Windows, for most people. I don't think that it is that any time Microsoft tries to bundle more software, some people cry monopoly, but rather Internet Explorer represents a large part of Window's networking awareness so of course it'll be crippled if bundling Internet Explorer amounts to a monopoly (given IE's market share, only a monopoly could produce it. Chrome and Firefox really are superior browsers.)

I find my homeserver (yes, my ISP's ToS forbids it but they don't enforce such provisions, although I haven't seen any ports blocked.) to be rather useful, and surprisingly I don't think I've ever had to transfer a file FROM someone else TO me, and I'm the type to always carry two USBs (one live, because I hate windows, and one for data, both formatted as ext2)

I think creating a torrent ought to suffice, although it may not work as well as USB-affixed flash memory for the typical email-to-self scenario. I'm unfamiliar with torrenting, are there servers which will offer to be more than just a tracker; to be the first seed for a torrent?
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Jamaican Castle
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Jamaican Castle » Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:21 am UTC

soundandfury wrote:You mean there are still people who don't run an HTTP server on their local machine, which runs *nix continuously and has an uncrippled Internet connection?


I do hope this is sarcasm... Remember, the point of the comic isn't that there's no solution for the tech-savvy, it's that there's no solution for your hypothetical granny whose computer experience begins and ends with cheap consumer products.

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soundandfury
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby soundandfury » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:56 am UTC

Jamaican Castle wrote:
soundandfury wrote:You mean there are still people who don't run an HTTP server on their local machine, which runs *nix continuously and has an uncrippled Internet connection?


I do hope this is sarcasm... Remember, the point of the comic isn't that there's no solution for the tech-savvy, it's that there's no solution for your hypothetical granny whose computer experience begins and ends with cheap consumer products.


Was it not sufficiently obvious that it was sarcasm? I shall have to work harder on my application of linguistic signposts.
That said, though, there is an element of 'ha ha only serious' about it: the solution is not to make brittle misconfigured non-standardised crap - that is to say, consumer products - but rather to start teaching the hypothetical grannies how to use a real computer. Because they can learn it, dammit, if we only bothered to teach them.

I'm not suggesting that Aunt Tillie should learn to program; I write HTTP servers because for me it's fun, but you don't have to be able to write one to use one. In fact, in the same way many existing distributions will, by default, have a 'Sharing' or 'Public' or similar folder in $HOME that's shared over Samba, we could have such a 'Public' folder shared by default over HTTP, and a nautilus extension for "link to file" that pops up a message box with the URL to point people at that file. The only problem there is if you're behind some NAT, in which case whoever administrates the network would need to be able to apply the necessary configuration. Dynamic IPs aren't a problem, because your box knows what IP it has at the moment, and the link doesn't need to be persistent. From the non-technical user's point of view, there would be no configuration necessary, just stick files in your ~/Public to share them, and click links to get files from others. No need, either, for the receiving side to implement anything new; existing systems all have Web browsers, so we gain from network effects instead of having to fight them like the 14 15 competing folder-sharing standards. You wouldn't have to worry about security, either - browsers already have mechanisms to prevent downloaded data from being executed straight away (eg. on *nix in most browsers, when you download an executable file it's not chmod +x), whereas folder-sharing systems have to handle this anew. In fairness, there is the problem of the server's security; it would have to be fairly well hardened, and probably implement bandwidth limiting too. But to a large extent the existing security methods used in webservers could be set up to produce the desired effect.

It's clean, simple and elegant. Which is probably why no-one does it.

As for the matter of open ports and ToS, there are enough ISPs that don't actually block the port that this method could gain traction (hell, it can even use other ports if incoming connections are allowed at all - just make the nautilus box use a :portno in the link), at which point consumers would start to care if their ISP didn't let them do it. Then we just leave the free market to take its impartial and majestic course :)
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bigjeff5
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby bigjeff5 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:11 am UTC

uiri wrote:
bigjeff5 wrote:That is, Linux is the least user-friendly consumer OS on the market.


What about Haiku? Or one of the *BSDs? Linux Mint is just as user-friendly as Windows, for most people. I don't think that it is that any time Microsoft tries to bundle more software, some people cry monopoly, but rather Internet Explorer represents a large part of Window's networking awareness so of course it'll be crippled if bundling Internet Explorer amounts to a monopoly (given IE's market share, only a monopoly could produce it. Chrome and Firefox really are superior browsers.)


I agree with the last statement, but not to the degree I believe you think Chrome and Firefox are superior. The statement just before that didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, so what follows may or may not actually be in response to that. Anyway, they are both vastly superior to IE6, sure, but they really only edge out IE8 by a little (Firefox I'd say is a tossup - it really only has extensions over IE8, and I've never been a big fan of those) and IE8 is on the way out. In the US, Microsoft's legal troubles really had nothing to do with bundling software - that was simply the catalyst. What they did was coerce vendors into not bundling competing software (i.e. Netscape). Netscape managed to cut its own throat with Mozilla, in spite of winning that particular battle. However thanks to that we have a wonderful open source browser now :). Europe, on the other hand, overreacts to everything, and so in Europe Microsoft can't bundle anything, including IE. That is bullshit, but not really important to me except that it pretty much guarantees that MS will not be bundling any new software with their OS, since it could trigger major anti-trust action in the unified countries that represent half of their install base. We'll just be getting slightly enhanced versions what is already there, and that's it. Thanks EU! Anyways...

The problem with every Linux distribution I've ever experienced (and I've experienced several, but by no means anywhere remotely close to all) is when things don't work right, they are an absolute nightmare to fix. For example, back in the days when wireless was, shall we say "unreliable" (that's being extremely kind, if you are unfamiliar with the struggles of wireless in Linux over the years), if Linux didn't have your driver in the kernel, you had potentially days of troubleshooting in store to get it to work. Even if you had the driver available, you were probably looking at a kernel recompile. That's a bit beyond Grandma's capabilities. No distribution I've used deals with this, and the reason is because this is related Linux's core design. Whereas in Windows Grandma just pops in the CD, hits play, and everything works (well, 99% of the time, anyway - driver writers can be idiots on occasion).

The wireless is just an example, obviously in recent years wireless itself has gotten much better, though even three or four years ago it was rather difficult to set up a wifi connection without entering magic code from a web site (assuming you didn't know how to use the command line tools, which I didn't).

The other problem with Linux is less than super popular software. If it isn't in a repository, you are invariably expected to compile it yourself. Configure/make/make install don't seem that difficult, but it is infinitely more difficult than double-clicking "setup.exe", and there is a large portion of the population who is either incapable or unwilling to deal with it. I still don't understand why this has not been dealt with. The job is almost done, just package everything up in a standardized setup file and it's done (sort of like the Windows MSI or the Mac DMG). But Linux devs seem to think it's "good enough" and don't make the next logical step to improve usability. This same attitude is -everywhere- in Linux development - just look at a Linux GUI compared to its Windows or Mac counterpart. There is almost always a significant dearth of features compared to the command line version of the same apps. Average users suck at command lines.

There is certainly plenty to like about Linux (I for one love repositories - that idea was downright brilliant), and it is easily the most versatile OS available, but the occasional hard problems general lack of user friendliness (again, haven't tried the distros you mentioned, but I can't see the problems being fixed without some serious, serious work - the kind that isn't likely to happen in a free distro imo) make it not worth my time. If it isn't worth my time to deal with it, how can I then recommend it to people who are even less tech savvy than me?

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby TiLt » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:32 am UTC

ssh (with public keys) + nautilus = super easy file transfers without the use of passwords and the added benefit of remote access to a shell.

*EDIT*
Forgot to add Avahi to that list, hostnames are much easier to use than IPs when they are short.
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby jpk » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:55 am UTC

bigjeff5 - no offense, but you're really not familiar with linux, are you? I mean, yes, there are some problems with installing linux on some machines (it took me a few tries to work out the wireless on a Sony netbook that a friend gave me), but you're talking about problems that haven't been problems on standard machines for about five years. Hell, you can buy a machine from Dell with Linux installed and ready to go - Grandma can use this. And while there are certainly going to be projects floating around in all stages of prime-time-readiness, and all sorts of distribution models, from makefiles and shell scripts (which usually work pretty smoothly, in my experience) to full-fledged installers that look and work exactly like the installers on "real" operating systems. So when you see a funky "cd down into the install directory and run install.sh" README file, you can bet that you're looking at a quick tool that someone knocked out, probably for developers, which nobody expects grandma to use, or else you're looking at somebody's first project, and they haven't figured out the distribution stuff yet.

Laptops these days seem to be almost free if they're more than a few years old, and you can run current Linux installs on some pretty old gear. I'd suggest you get yourself a cheap machine, install the latest release of Ubuntu, and try using it for a few weeks before you tell us what Linux is like. I'm not speaking as a fan-boy here - I actually use a Mac, myself - but I just don't like this sort of "I tried Linux once and it didn't work" stuff. Keep current if you're going to bitch about it. You're complaining about solved problems.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Miscellaneous101 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:31 am UTC

VPN is a good option. Tertiumsquid touched on it briefly. It's a 'Virtual Private Network' which simulates a LAN over the internet. Myself and many of my friends use 'Hamachi', a VPN program. Then you just need to worry about Vista not talking to windows 7, or XP wondering what on earth is going on in the homegroup. Stupid Microsoft...

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Anonymously Famous » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:55 am UTC

I keep trying Linux, but I only really have a laptop, and it's one of those whose wireless card doesn't play nice with Ubuntu. I once went through the trouble of going through the Ubuntu forums to figure out how to get it to work, but when I did, connections to wireless networks were usually spotty (though it may be fine now). So now, if I try a live CD and it doesn't work with my wireless card, I keep using Windows, because it does everything that I need it to do.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby StClair » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:47 am UTC

There is a significant portion of the Linux userbase that is actively (or passive-aggressively) opposed to making it more user-friendly, because then stupid people would be able to run it, and then how would they be able to tell who has stars on their bellies?

Computing is a privilege, not a right; if you can't compile your own kernel or do everything from the command line, you don't deserve to use a PC or be on the internet. And you certainly don't deserve to run a real, manifestly superior (just like its users) OS.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby jpk » Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:21 am UTC

StClair wrote:There is a significant portion of the Linux userbase that is actively (or passive-aggressively) opposed to making it more user-friendly, because then stupid people would be able to run it, and then how would they be able to tell who has stars on their bellies?

Computing is a privilege, not a right; if you can't compile your own kernel or do everything from the command line, you don't deserve to use a PC or be on the internet. And you certainly don't deserve to run a real, manifestly superior (just like its users) OS.


Again, you're living in a timewarp. There are probably some slackware fanatics who can be described that way, but if you just look at the Ubuntu installers and the desktop environment, it's pretty clear that these people are not winning any battles in the linux community.
Myself, I prefer to live in the command line rather than the "mother, may I" world of the GUI interface, but the nice thing is - I can do that in linux. Any linux operating system, I can start a command shell and do anything I need to do from the cli and never see the x-top. Those who prefer the pointy-clicky stuff, they can boot into a windowing environment and look at shiny metaphors all day if they want. It's your choice. Both ways let you do what you want, and if you want to do it some other way, both are pretty easy to configure if you want.

The neat thing is, because linux is so open to messing with it, ordinary users tend to get further into the machine than they do with Windows - or with a Mac, for that matter. Four years ago, my girlfiend was using a dying windows box that her friend had cobbled together for her - the thing would crash if you spoke to it in a harsh tone, it couldn't really do much, it was a TPOS, but she had it and she just kind of got along with it, and she knew nothing about how it worked. When it died, she asked a bunch of techy people, including me, what they thought she should replace it with, and we all said, you can buy a Dell with Linux installed, and it's reasonably priced and the things you do will run better than the equivalent machine with Windows installed*. So she bought the machine and now she's comfortable operating at the command line, tinkering with stuff, and the idea of writing a shell script to do something doesn't seem like an odd one, like it did a few years ago. She's not some sort of linux geek, but she's taken a lot more ownership of the machine than she ever did with the Windows machine, just because it's there to take. And this sort of transformation, I think is the result of a concerted effort to make the machine more accessible to ordinary people, not some conspiracy to complicate the thing.

*true - my work issued me a similar machine, though more recent, with XP. It takes significantly longer to boot and windows loses on every side-by-side comparison of performance, ie MSOffice versus OpenOffice, or OpenOffice on both machines, or whatever.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby mivadar » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:06 am UTC

Re the Linux user-friendliness thing ...
Some things are very simple. The big problem is a combination of compatibility (to designed-for-windows systems), and that if something doesn't work, it really doesn't work.

I am running linux on my home computer and laptop, and I'm happy. I have a simple WPA wireless router, and for everything I want to do at home, Ubuntu is perfect.
However, at work with the same laptop, I'm dead.
It took me three days to configure my laptop to connect to the secured wireless in the building, mostly re-writing configuration files by hand. My VPN access is hit and miss, and I still can't connect to a single networked printer. (Setting the same thing up in windoze took me 15 minutes.)
The software I need to use for half my work simply doesn't exist on any other platform than windows - doesn't run under emulation (and it hasn't been for lack of trying), and writing my own is not an option.
etc.
(By the way, in places where there is a near-complete windows hegemony, often Mac users have similar problems ... My conclusion is not that Linux doesn't work - it is that if You need to be compatible with systems / work with people the majority of whom use a particular system, use the same, or You'll spend half Your life troubleshooting.)


As to home servers ... I haven't had a home ISP so far that allows setting one up (just out of curiosity now I checked the T&C of half a dozen providers around - all of them have a ban), and most "unlimited" internet subscriptions around have a "fair use" restriction, which is somewhere on the order of 100 GB traffic / month (after which they won't switch You off, but if it happens a few times, You need to give a darn good explanation what You've been doing with the connection, ideally not containing the words "file sharing", "server" or "work related" for them not to terminate the contract).
Anything which has less prohibitive terms is - prohibitively expensive.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby noneuklid » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:46 am UTC

A few people have mentioned VPNs, and I also say Hamachi. Ad hoc FTP and private torrents do just as well, require little knowledge to set up, and require virtually no technical knowledge on the recipient's part -- they just click a link.

And that's assuming you both don't have an AIM/MSN client sitting around. Sure, IMing is pretty dead in the age of text messages and twitter, but I think most people still at least have the clients. (I use Trillian almost every day to send funny links to my roomate. Yes, our computers are in the same room. But I mean really, are you going to spell out a youtube URL to someone?)

It is kind of funny that there's neither a click'n'go peer-to-peer utility built into modern OSes nor a universally known dominating web service for this. I suppose megaupload/rapidshare are, but I agree that while I've never seen porn ads directly on those sites they do seem kind of shady.

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Richard.
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Richard. » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:05 am UTC

I had a friend mail me a USB drive because his internet interfaced with the file-uploading websites was too crappy to handle a big upload.

When I take a picture on my phone, I have the option to instantly send it to a friend or to Facebook. That should be extrapolated to the PC interface. I wish some giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. could integrate this into a social network; for instance Facebook or G+. Drag and drop a file or folder of files onto a friend's name and, with a permission (either preset by the recipient earlier or allowed in real time), the file is transferred to a dedicated destination folder that they chose when they created their account on the site. It would have the full support of the Facebook, G+, etc. infrastructure along with the convenience. No more flaky upload sites. Only a solid system.
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby pinkgothic » Sat Sep 10, 2011 12:03 pm UTC

I'm one of those tools who is infinitely glad when DCC ports aren't blocked.

...unfortunately, they almost always are. :x *tears out hair*

So, yeah, back to the drawing board. ._.
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Anonymously Famous » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:43 pm UTC

StClair wrote:There is a significant portion of the Linux userbase that is actively (or passive-aggressively) opposed to making it more user-friendly, because then stupid people would be able to run it, and then how would they be able to tell who has stars on their bellies?

Whether or not this statement is technically correct (all the Linux users I know are all for user-friendly distros), I like the Dr. Suess reference.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Ehsanit » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:37 pm UTC

I have actually emailed files to transfer them to the same physical machine!

I was just starting out with VirtualBox running Ubuntu, and hadn't sorted out the shared folders yet but I did have Internet. It worked out faster and simpler to log into my own email on the physical and virtual box and send/receive. Admittedly they were small files. For bigger ones I used a Flash disk to complete a similar "same computer transfer".

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby GenericAnimeBoy » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:10 pm UTC

There are plenty of perfectly good solutions for file transfers from person to person, with no middleman. I wonder why none of them really ever caught on... </sarcasm> :roll:
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby phillipsjk » Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:32 pm UTC

I blame the "War of filesharing" that has been going on since 1996. The powers that be don't want it to be simple to transfer files. For example, the latest Apple tablets have no USB ports*: barring sneakernet. People have brought up ISP restrictions: bans on hosting files-servers were reasonable for dial-up connections. With always-on connections, I feel the real reason is the (ISP's) fear of being named in a copyright infringement lawsuit. As far as I can tell, the restrictions imposed on your Internet connection drop off dramatically once you start spending over $300/month, almost regardless of bandwidth usage.

One suggestion not mentioned yet: Mesh Networking. That is something your grandma may be able to use, but may have trouble setting up to work reliably. Governments and ISPs have dropped the ball; possibly for their own gain: if a mesh makes sense, they should have built it out and made it available to the public already (like Wellington New Zealand has done. Cities (in the US) have been sued for rolling out broadband networks.

*There is no DRM-free, write-protectable, reasonably cheap, reasonably large floppy replacement. SD-Cards come close (but use CPRM with device revocation), as do USB sticks (few have a write-protect tab), as do CD-Rs/DVD+R (not re-writeable), as do CD-RW/DVD-RAM (no write protection), CF cards are DRM-free, but expensive and lack write-protection.
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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby bigjeff5 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:53 pm UTC

jpk wrote:bigjeff5 - no offense, but you're really not familiar with linux, are you? I mean, yes, there are some problems with installing linux on some machines (it took me a few tries to work out the wireless on a Sony netbook that a friend gave me), but you're talking about problems that haven't been problems on standard machines for about five years.


I have used Linux off and on for the last 15 years or so, most recently I switched from Vista to Linux when Vista was having "issues" - I'm quite familiar with its progression over the years, and I don't think in the two years (having used Linux for about a year as my desktop machine) since I switched back to Windows Linux has changed all that radically. I could, of course, be wrong. Anything is possible.

I'm also well aware that the problems stay pretty much the same, they just change faces as the OS progresses (just like most OS's, actually).

The wireless problem was just an example that I thought people would be familiar with (and hey you were!), it was actually the Atheros driver issue I was talking about, because it was an extremely common wireless card, especially for laptops, with any number of kludge fixes until a driver actually made it into the kernel (I think it's still done post-install on most distros, actually, because it's still legally questionable and they won't officially bundle it, but the problem is essentially well solved). After that was a shoddy GUI for the wireless, which was still horrible two years ago and hadn't gotten any better in the year that I'd been using Linux. It was not the problem that turned me off Linux the last time I used it (which, as I said, was about two years ago).

The problem that finally turned me off Linux most recently was an audio problem - something that had been "fixed" and "just worked" for a long time. Except that a program I installed from the repository broke it, and no amount of twerking could fix it. After several days of troubleshooting and attempting various fixes from the net, I finally got audio to work. I was never able to get it back to full functionality, though, and at that point I just thought "what exactly am I getting out of this?" In almost 20 years of using Windows (started with 3.1, which sucked monkey balls, but was apparently way better than 3.0) I've never had a problem as bad as that* (I did skip ME, so that may have helped), and the wireless problem a few years before was almost as bad. And this was caused by software in the official Ubuntu repository - the stuff that is supposed to "just work".

I have to admit that I've never seen a non-repository Linux program that had the auto-installers (I remember one group trying to standardize an installer, but it was going nowhere) so that particular problem may have been largely dealt with in the last couple years. But then, I didn't install a whole lot of that kind of software, most came from repositories (which is a brilliant way to install software - absolutely no complaints with that!). The stuff I did install, though, was a pain in the ass.

In any case the reason I've quit using Linux every time I've quit using Linux has always been the pretty much the same - too much work when all I want is a desktop.

The point is not that there are problems. Every OS has problems. The point is that when there is a problem in Linux, it is almost always an absolute nightmare to fix. These kinds of nightmarish problems may become rarer as the OS progresses, but there always seem to be a lot more of them than in Windows. Windows tends to have smaller problems more often that are a lot easier to fix (though these too becomes less common as the OS progresses). These issues are rarely, if ever, show stoppers, and less savvy users can deal with them. It just makes Windows easier to use as a desktop machine.

So yeah, your friend may be just fine on a Linux install, as long as she doesn't mess with things too much she probably won't run into the issues I have. However, she probably would have been even happier if you'd just given her a clean Windows install instead.

Like I said, I've got nothing against Linux. I think it's great that Linux is a viable alternative, and I do cheer for it whenever I can. However, I find myself wasting more time fixing problems than I am comfortable with when I use it as a desktop machine, so I don't use it as a desktop machine. If I wouldn't use it myself, I can't in good conscience recommend it to someone who wouldn't have the slightest clue what to do when it breaks. With a Windows or Mac machine, if all else fails at the very least they can call someone local and get real, hands on support. With Linux you're pretty much on your own unless you have a personal friend who is an expert, and that's just not acceptable for most people. If you are willing to make yourself available to help your friend get past the hard problems so she can enjoy Linux, then I think that's admirable, and more power to you. That doesn't really scale up to the general population, though, as most people don't have access to a Linux expert, while they do have access to a Windows expert (even if it is just Geek Squad *cringe*).

If someone needs to build a server for just about any reason and they don't have money to burn, I wholeheartedly recommend Linux every time - the OS excels at server stuff, anything from super tiny to ridiculously huge, and frankly, commercial server licensing is stupid expensive. That's a use that, to me, would be worth the trouble you can run into with Linux, because it is otherwise cheap and it's GOOD at it. As a desktop, though, not so much.

This is completely OT by now though.

In a lame attempt to tie this post in with the topic, +1 for thumbdrives and sneakernet, and fed-ex'ing a 2TB drive overnight beats any other cross-country/international distribution method I'm aware of in both time and cost. Encrypt the drive and it wins (or at least ties) for security too.

*Edited to explain exactly why I went from Vista to Linux a few years ago in the first place:

I bought a brand new laptop a few years ago came with Vista. On the very first boot I got a BSOD - not a good sign, but not necessarily Vista's fault as shoddy work by the OEM can cause something like this too. No BSOD's after that first one, so life was good. Except that Vista didn't automatically recognize my USB mouse. There was nothing special about this mouse, I've used it on a friggin Windows 98 machine and it was plug-and-play. Ugh. Easy to fix, but it's an incredibly stupid problem to have on a modern machine. So ok, whatever, dealt with it. Then about a month into using my laptop the keyboard and trackpad simply stop working. Reboot - still not working. Give plenty of time for the drivers to load up, as this is occasionally an issue with USB devices, but rarely those you've used before and never a PS2 device, which the internal keyboard and trackpad were - just covering the bases there in case the OEM had done something funky in the design of the machine. Nothing. I was done. It was obviously some kind of stupid driver problem, as the keyboard and trackpad both worked fine pre-windows boot. Again, probably not hard to fix, it might have taken up a half hour of my time to get things working right. However these problems were, in my opinion, simply not acceptable for a modern OS. Stuff that worked automatically in the previous OS should not suddenly stop working in the new OS. So I switched back to Linux instead of going back to XP and generally enjoyed it, except for the occasional nightmarish issue that cropped up once in a blue moon. When it got to the audio problem I was like "Why am I doing this? I never had this much trouble with Windows." I reasoned they had probably fixed the problems that had so thoroughly pissed me off before, and sure enough, they had. Though the USB mouse problem still cropped up in Vista on rare occasions. I use 7 now and haven't see that particular problem since.
Last edited by bigjeff5 on Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:46 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby dopefish7590 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:33 pm UTC

BAReFOOt wrote:PROTIP2: Opera Unite!! ’nuff said! (How the fuck is something like this not a common standard everyone has by now??)


Definitely. It is the way I have sent files, and it is so freaking easy... It's hard to believe that more people don't do this...

What you do is you point Unite to an area on your hard drive to be public, then BAM, you have a URL that can browse that folder on your drive remotely and download files from it... You don't need Opera to download stuff either, you can download stuff from any web browser... It also works with UPnP and is not affected by most firewalls and network restrictions.

You can also connect directly with an internal or external IP address on port 8840 by default if the third party server downloads are too slow for you. That way you can use your full bandwidth with it...

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby warcupine » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:10 pm UTC

Torrents won't work over a network which blocks P2P traffic, such as any belonging to my university.

Re: the tribulations of Linux user-friendliness:
I used Mandriva 2010 on my 2008-model laptop for a while; at some point the wifi stopped working. I detected networks but could not connect to them, with no discernible error, and no helpful information in dmesg. With brute force and awkwardness I discovered that Mandriva's "user-friendly" wifi GUI was corrupting my wireless configuration, in a way the OS could not detect and was unable to repair. According to the interblag, the same GUI had conf-breaking bugs like this for at least four years.

That's not something you can legitimately expect granny to fix.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby ManaUser » Sat Sep 10, 2011 11:22 pm UTC

phillipsjk wrote:*There is no DRM-free, write-protectable, reasonably cheap, reasonably large floppy replacement. SD-Cards come close (but use CPRM with device revocation), as do USB sticks (few have a write-protect tab), as do CD-Rs/DVD+R (not re-writeable), as do CD-RW/DVD-RAM (no write protection), CF cards are DRM-free, but expensive and lack write-protection.

According to the Wiki page on the SD format a company called Super Talent made SD cards (with lock switches!) sans DRM under the name "Super Digital", but apparently they've since fallen in line and switched to making normal SD cards, sadly.

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Re: 0949: "File Transfer"

Postby Colin Fiat » Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:49 am UTC

Why can't there be more real life feedback with data transfer other than time?
Mice should have more resistance when dragging large files.
USB sticks should weigh slightly more when they are full.
Windows with large data files should be more difficult to drag.


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