Saturday, June 20, 2009

Opera Unite in WinXP

Now, you may know that I am not a Windows user, but occasionally it might be necessary to try it just to test something.
Opera Unite is such a marvellously promising service that the very poor performance I saw when I tried it a few days ago was a major disappointment. Knowing that Opera doesn't quite see eye to eye with Linux, I tried Unite from Windows XP on my old Dell Dimension 4550.
Now first I should mention that it's not just me that has this problem and seems to be an Opera server thing.
Note that temporary respite from the failure of Unite to launch its services may be obtained by:
1. Unchecking uPnP in Configuration (and re-chececking if it happens again)
2. Watching for a Yellow warning triangle on the Unite icon at the bottom left of the page and restarting Unite when directed.
In any event when I tried it today from Windows XP, it actually worked quite well (although by no means perfectly) and I got all of the services to work, yes, every single one File Sharing, Fridge, Media Player, Photo Sharing, Web Server (although I never tried The Lounge).
I was very happy that the Media Player worked. It'll be really interesting to play music from my Mac in Ireland when I'm in Brazil next month. That should impress a few people.
However, I found that when downloading a file (.tgz) while in File Sharing, the download rate was very slow (typically 20 KB/s although varied between 3-40 KB/s).
Earlier I had "woofed" the same 93 MB file from the Mac to the Dell at 2200 KB/s.
A consequence of this low transfer rate is that streaming for Media Player is too slow so that the music breaks up. Playing a second time, however, is perfect.
But, given that Opera Unite is actually in Alpha (not Beta as Opera 10 is), it looks like this could really be a wonderful service when all the major bugs are squished.

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