Sunday, March 18, 2007

sneakernet in miniature

I was starting to transfer a largish media file from my primary computer to my MythTV computer over my home network (which consists of one cheap hub and some cables), when I realized it might be faster to copy the file to one of my USB thumb drives and carry the drive over to the MythTV computer.

I started to transfer the file onto the thumb drive, when I realized that it was going faster, but not really fast. In addition, I would need to transfer the file off the thumb drive and onto one of the internal drives in the MythTV computer, to ensure speedy access for viewing.

Finally, I decided to switch to burning the file to a CD (the file wasn't that large). The burner's so quick that it took no more than a few minutes. Having the file on disc meant that I didn't even need the copy on my primary computer, so I removed the file after burning. The MythTV computer could play the video straight from the disc, which meant it didn't take up any space on the MythTV computer either. Transferring by CD was a solution that was fast (only the time to burn the file to CD), cheap (I bought my current stack of blank discs so long ago I actually don't remember what the cost was), convenient (this tech is well-established and well-supported all around), and storage-efficient (as long as CD-reading is snappy enough, the data only needs to take up space on one medium - given that the data's not vital in any sense). What's AppleTV?

A still better solution may have been to stream the file from one computer to the other over the network, but the amount of time/effort required to set it up would be tedious. Or is it? Speaking out of my laziness, I simply don't know, although I have heard good things about VLC.

1 comment:

  1. Since the time I wrote this, I discovered that the real culprit of the slow network transfer was the network card connected to the hub, an ancient (but free!) specimen which was auto-negotiating a creeping rate. The replacement card is doing great.