Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sharing stuff between computers

I've been using Mepis from a 4GB pendrive all day on my EeePC 901 and it really is working very well. Of course, I can't be sure that I'm not going to run into the bad-block problem that meant I had to completely overwrite the pendrive a few days ago. Had things really been that critical I think I would have been able to get into at least the /home partition from one of the other OSes and saved most of my important stuff.
Two annoyances that I've noticed so far are that I can't subscribe to feeds in Opera (bld 4566) without Opera crashing. I can of course manually subscribe to the feeds which is just a bit more tedious.
The other is that I haven't figured out yet how to toggle between languages from the panel. Although the kchar option is available, this is not even remotely suitable for efficient typing in Portuguese. This needs researching.
It's been quite some time since I've seriously used KDE and today I discovered the NewServer function which allows you very simply to serve all sorts of stuff from your computer to any other computer on your network. I had previously used Woof for this but I really think this is better as you can serve a whole directory without having to tar compress to a single file. What's more, you can open as many servers as you want with unlimited downloading from all. I'll have to find how to make this available in Gnome which is what I mostly use.
I was pretty excited when I first heard about OperaUnite but disappointed when I first tried it out.
I knew it had recently been much improved and I tried it out again today from Mepis 8 on the pendrive. The receiving computer was another EeePC 901 but with Windows XP installed.
I tried the Fridge, File Sharing, Photo Sharing and Media Player and can confirm with delight that everything worked perfectly for me. This is absolutely marvelous as I can now "share" music and other stuff with friends in Ireland from Brazil. The only problem for me is that because I work with quite a number of OSes, I won't be able to keep the server going continuously for others to avail of.
On the other hand that old Pentium III, 20 GB, 256 MB RAM machine I have at home can now become a useful, and very easy to set up, server which I can use to make available 20 GB of documents, photos and music to wherever I happen to be. Of course, I can extend the 20 GB to over 1 TB for less than €100 by buying an external HD.

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