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koschei (147)


Um. Me. Iain Truskett. Can be found as either Spoon or Koschei around the place, and as Braxiatel in rare circumstances. Um. Cool. Ta.

My perl svn repository [] if you want bits of code by me. Also see [] for most of them in action.

My friends [], foes [], fans [], and freaks []. And you can see what my friends are journalling [].

And everybody's journals [] (in order of updating).

Journal of koschei (147)

Wednesday October 03, 2001
04:24 PM

Writing articles and network communities

[ #866 ]

Well, I've got half of the Ignis article written. and Unreal Tournament installed. Then I'll install TacOps and fritter away my time with that.

My article is mostly about the topic of 'community' with regards to the Hall network. It talks about Jabber, IRC, network games, our internal web board and file sharing (in addition to the typical stuff about the network/lab status). With any luck it will make people more aware of what they can do with the network.

Admittedly, if they pay as much attention as they have to virus warnings and my frequent urging for the installation of antiviral software, then nothing will really change. The number of people who have called me to say that they're infected with some sort of virus is just silly. I guess the old maxim that people don't take preventative measures until after they've lost something (um, "once bitten, twice shy") holds true for viruses as well as backups.

I was impressed by one of them: they actually had their important files backed up. Very rare. She gets bonus points.

At Hall, we have our own private OpenNap, Jabber and IRC servers. Private in the sense that anyone in the appropriate class B subnet can access them (which covers both our Hall, the other Halls and anyone else on campus). Over the year I've managed to get a number of people (around 40-50) using the Jabber server (helped a little by a Perl script that acts as a bot on Jabber and maintains a user list that includes people's status; and when the bot doesn't recognise what you say as a special command it uses Chatbot::Eliza to talk, in German).

IRC was more problematic - I'd decided on Jabber and a few weeks later found out how easy it was to run an IRC server. So the IRC server we have doesn't have many users. It will be promoted a fair bit next year though (when everyone sets up their machines on the network). It will, however, get a workout on Sunday when our CS tournament is played. My next journal entry will mention the CS side of things in more depth.

OpenNap is damned useful. A guy at one of the other Halls set up a server earlier in the year. A few weeks ago it had some problems and I set up a backup server so people wouldn't be without the servers in the event of one or the other dying. For reasons not fully elaborated upon, the guy's shut down his server, so mine is now the primary server. It should get a fair bit of use now.

Interestingly, there appear to be modules on CPAN to handle client-side Napster (or OpenNap), but no server modules. I'll chuck that on my TODO list for a rainy Sunday.

Somewhat annoyingly, there appears to be a dearth of good OpenNap clients for Windows (and perhaps everything else). Best setup I've found is the AudioGalaxy one where the server is able to recognise that two files are identical. eDonkey apparently can do this as well, and I'm told that if you want to download stuff it can open the file from several locations and download different segments simultaneously (great for when you've got a faster connection than the average fellow).

Obvious question though: does anyone really use file sharing stuff (be it gnutella, opennap or other) for legitimate purposes?

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