Using Bit Torrent…after 30 days
I've been using Bit Torrent now for the last 30 days. It is a little confusing since there doesn't appear to a site for novices who want an easy to use P2P system. Here's my short guide with what I know so far:
* "Azureus":http://azureus.sourceforge.net/. First, you have to select a client. I've tried a bunch so far and Azureus seems like the most user friendly. You can see downloads and get lots of statistics. It is a Java application and has crashed for me a few times though.
* "Isohunt":http://isohunt.com/. The second thing is that you need a search engine. Unlike other file sharing applications, Bit Torrent separates the search from the download. These search engines go up and down all the time and disappear too, but I've found Isohunt to be pretty reliable for finding .torrent files. These are the magic cookies that tell clients like Azureus where to get the files.
* "Xchat":http://www.xchat.org/. Many of the Torrent files are on Internet Relay Chats. This bizarreness reminds you what the Internet was like circa 1980. Basically, you have to go to a chat room, utter some strange incantation then wait in line until you can do a download from a server somewhere. I haven't actually successfully done this yet, but Isohunt has reasonably complete automation to do this.
Other references include:
* Bittorrent Client Links. A good summary of the top clients.
* "Bit Torrent":http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent/ is incredibly basic. Has a separate user interface for every download and doesn't tell you much about what is going on. One interesting behavior you'll see is that many clients using this code preallocate an entire file, so pretty soon your hard disk gets filled with empty files if you have many failed downloads. The advantage of course is that there is less fragmentation.
* "ShaD0W clients":http://www.bittornado.com/faq.html. HE has two that are popular, the firs is called shadow experiemental and the new one is called bittornadio. Haven't tried these yet.