Thursday, December 30, 2004

BitTorrent's my buddy!

Back in the day (waaaay back in the day), when Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh took over the town of Antelope, OR, I was going to start a fan club. Bhagwan had a fleet of Rolls Royces - more than ninety of them - and I figured that maybe Bhagwan would want to share the "wealth" with me. I'd look pretty good, tooling around in a Rolls.

I had even come up with a slogan for the fan club - "Bhagwan's my buddy!" The logo would be a pair of interlocked Bs (for Bhagwan and Buddy), reminiscent of the pair of Rs that Rolls Royce uses.

Well, the Bhagwan died, Antelope belongs to its rightful owners, the cars have been sold, and the fan club never made it to member number 1. So what's a guy to do?

BitTorrent, of course! BitTorrent's my buddy!

I wanted to download the Open Community Edition of Xandros, but if you want it for free, you have to use BitTorrent. The concepts behind BitTorrent have been explained in other places, but it's essentially distributed file sharing. I downloaded the client last night, kicked off the download, and woke up to a completed download. Even better, I kept the client open today and have now uploaded about fifty percent more than I have downloaded. That means that I am officially not a leech.

But now what? I'm a kid in a candy store, a download junkie with a big pipe into my PC, so I -- I do nothing. I don't want stolen merchandise. I don't want what the sites coyly call "pr0n", and I don't want CDs full of "ambient house music". What I do is leave my client running, providing others with a place to grab the Linux distribution.

I have found some good sites, like Legal Torrents, File Soup, and a place to download some good books (torrent links at the bottom), but nothing else compelling.

At the end of the day, though, BitTorrent is just another way to grab files. What you grab is up to you. Whether you stick around and leave the client running, providing a better pipe for somebody else's download, or whether you leech and run, it's up to you.

Just like a lot of other stuff in life. The biggest reason for people leaving churches? "Because they want to".


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