Peer-to-peer filesharing touches downBy Chris Williams. Published: 22nd Apr 2003, 01:16:03 | Permalink | Printable
New client brings RISC OS to Gnutellanet
Alpha Programming have today announced the launch of CocoGnut, a peer-to-peer file sharing application for online RISC OS users. Until now users have been almost begging for filesharing software for RISC OS since the demise of the Audiogalaxy and Napster networks while Windows users enjoy the proprietary Kazaa network. Is CocoGnut a welcome corner stone? Will it matter that CocoGnut is a commercial app although, to be honest, most affordable?
The CocoGnut website features screenshots and an online manual for you to peek at if you want to see how the bundle of joy works. In our test drive of CocoGnut, we were able to search, queue and download various MP3s and TV episodes. The software requires at least RISC OS 3.5 and a modest 28kbps internet connection although we feel 512kbps broadband is a much, much better recommendation. Lots of features including Gnutella support, a funky statistics window and the ability to download files whilst behind a firewall are all in there although uploading (aka sending files) isn't implemented yet but appears high on the to do list.
Peer to peer?
Ok, here's a brief introduction. Peer-to-peer networking is essentially a huge network of computers finding files for users. Basically, you enter some search terms and your filesharing client contacts other computers on the same peer-to-peer network to see if they have the file you're looking for. These computers then contact other computers to find the required file. This continues until the file is found and downloading begins. There's no central server controlling searches (like a website search engine), instead clients are in constant contact locating and freely distributing files - hence the term peer-to-peer.
It's no secret that filesharing networks are full of MP3s, e-books, cracked software and other more dubious content (parents beware) and all told, the large majority of filesharing users enjoy the ability to download whatever album or film they want and all for free. Understand that we are really not getting into the moral (and legal) debate right now.
Welcome to Gnutellanet
CocoGnut works on the multi-platform and popular Gnutella peer-to-peer network, connecting to other online Gnutella clients to seek out files requested by the user and fetching them once found. Gnutella clients exist for many OSes including Linux, Windows and now of course RISC OS.
"No-one owns the Gnutella network, which means that it cannot be shut down by hackers or government organisations", explains Alpha Programming's Marc Warne in his announcement, "unlike networks such as the original Audiogalaxy system, where clients such as the Satellite client for RISC OS are no longer usable."
You may recall that Marc Warne with Justin Fletcher developed the freeware RISC OS client for the very popular MP3-swapping-galore Audiogalaxy network which caved into RIAA pressure mid-2002. Despite this set back, developer Marc obviously wasn't going to take "no" for an answer when it came to filesharing on RISC OS.
Oh, one more thing. Raise your hand if you want CocoGnut. Good. Uh ok, put your hand down if you're an Iyonix user because CocoGnut sadly isn't 32 bit compatible (yet) although Aemulor may do the trick.
CocoGnut website (plus pricing and ordering details)
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