August 22nd, 2008
Today I released a new and improved version of the fileai.com applet software, adding some major upload bandwidth throttling improvements in addition to greatly reducing the time it takes to resume extremely large (I’m talking larger than 5GB here) transfers.
If any of you have experienced waiting up to a minute or more for extremely large transfers to resume or maybe had your internet connection suffer as a result of simultaneously transferring a large number of files with a large number of people, then this release should fix both of those issues.
And as always, any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.
July 16th, 2008
Some people are surprised when the files they download using fileai.com don’t come down at the hundreds of kB/s they are used to seeing when downloading things from the web. The reason for this is simple: fileai.com doesn’t involve downloading things from a server, it’s about transferring files peer-to-peer. The person you are downloading from simply cannot upload to you as fast as you can download from them, so it’s simply a case of them being the “weakest link in the chain” when it comes to your transfer.
Most people using broadband these days are in a similar situation: They can download at a much faster rate than they can upload. You can see this for yourself by visiting sites like Speedtest.net that measure your Internet connection and let you know what your maximum upload and download transfer speeds are, like this:
Some people are amazed at how little upload bandwidth they actually have.
The good new is this: Download rates can be improved greatly when, like Bittorrent, more than one person is downloading the same files from the same person at the same time. Multiple downloaders also attempt to connect with and simultaneously upload to and download from one another, increasing everyone’s overall download speed and lightening the load on the original uploader.
So the next time you are annoyed that your transfer is taking so long, don’t blame me.
Blame your friends.
July 8th, 2008
Yesterday I received an e-mail asking if there was a way to limit the number of times a transfer is downloaded. Their reasoning was:
“Then I can guarantee that somebody will only download one copy of a particular file or I can create an offer where the first 50 people get to download something for free etc.”
Since this was one of the features I had on my short list of TODO items, I figured it would be the next one to be implemented.
So now you will see that there is a “Limit the Number of Download Transfers” option available now when you are getting ready to start a “Send Files” transfer. (Naturally you can also limit the number of Uploaded Transfers when you choose to “Receive Files” instead.)
Once that number of transfers has been reached, all further connections will be denied. (Specifically, it’s counting the number of unique computers that have been connected to the transfer, not the actual transfers themselves. The reason for this is just in case someone gets disconnected from the transfer and needs to resume where they left off.)
So give it a try, and let me know what you think!
July 5th, 2008
Today I received some insightful feedback from a reader named “Shirley” from velvetblues.com regarding her experience using fileai.com. In her comment she said that she “received a security warning and opted out” when trying to use the site for the first time.
Unfortunately, I understand where she’s coming from. In this day an age, when you’re browsing the web and a window pops up entitled “Security Warning” most peoples’ initial reaction is to click the “Cancel” button. The problem is, that’s the way Signed Java Applets work on today’s modern browsers, and a Signed Java Applet is what enables fileai.com to do cool things like accept drag-and-drop files, negotiate through gnarly firewall and router network configurations, and transfer files directly without having to upload them to a server.
There is one thing I can do to make the Security Warnings a little less scary, but it’ll cost me $300 - $500 to do so.
If I purchase a Code Signing Certificate from Verisign or Thawte (the same companies that sell SSL Certificates that make web pages secure) then my Signed Java Applet Security Warnings will change from this:
to something like this:
(Obviously they won’t say “Northwestern University”, but you get the idea.)
So I guess the questions is: If I spent the $300-$500 to buy a Code Signing Certificate to make the Security Warnings say that my Signed Java Applet was “Verified”, would that make any of you more willing to click “Run” or “Trust”? Or is just the fact that there is a Security Warning staring you in the face enough to make you go somewhere else?
Thanks for all the great feedback, and please keep it coming!