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Sharing Files January 4, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Information, Online Tools.
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AllPeers  File sharing is about to take on a new face. A company in Prague is producing AllPeers, which they have designed to work as an extension to Firefox, a free browser from Mozilla. This will allow you to share files over the web with others. The new technology, using a process called BitTorrent, can speed up the process and allow users to pull the file from a variety of sources. 

Previously, you have been able to store files in a central location, perhaps on a server, then other users could access that server to pick up the files. Since this system works a little differently, everyone who has a copy of that file can offer up a part of the file, even if the original sharer is off line. 

For those teachers who do not have access to university storage space and want to share images, documents, even sound files with a community of users, this application holds a great deal of potential. A few scenarios might include the storage of images from a field trip that students and parents can then use for writing up reports about that they saw. You could then invite students in other classrooms around the school or around the world to participate in the sharing of images. 

A teacher could also post an mp3 sound files of a student performance or Science Fair entries. The question arises; why not simply e-mail the items? Sure, you could but the issue is storage for future users, people new to the team, parents new to the school, and students who are without e-mail addresses. There is a great deal of potential. 

I spoke with Rick, our Computer Operations Support Specialist, who has gradually become entranced with the potential of FireFox as a browser. He has found the tools available are quite amazing and time saving. I will have to get him to share some of his insights.

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