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uTorrent now in Mac beta

November 27, 2008 Leave a comment

utorrentBefore completing my switch to the Mac platform my favourite bittorrent client on Windows was uTorrent. It combined a good feature set with good performance and tiny system resource requirements. It was unavailable for Mac OS until recently when some alpha versions with limited functionality appeared. That’s now changed with the release of a Mac beta available from mac.utorrent.com. The site makes it clear that this is beta software so may contain serious bugs, but anyone looking for a lightweight bittorrent client should give this great piece of free software a try.

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Post Updates

March 5, 2008 Leave a comment

AriaThings are a bit quiet at the moment so I thought I would update a couple of my recent posts concerning Aria and Virgin Media. First, I returned a graphics card to Aria on Friday 15th February after it was found to be dead on arrival. The parcel was signed for at Aria on 18th February, and on 21st February I received an email notifying me that the item had been passed to the technical department for testing. The email advised that I should receive testing details within three days but please allow up to 28 days. That was the last I heard concerning the matter. On 22nd February £32.25 was refunded to my credit card by Aria. That’s pretty quick testing so thumbs up for that, but a short email confirming that the card was faulty and the money would be refunded would have been nice. One week from sending the faulty part to having the money refunded is good service compared to several other companies I no longer use, so I have no problem continuing to recommend Aria.

Virgin MediaMore good news on the Virgin Media cable modem front as well. Since the replacement arrived I have had no further lock-ups and the new model appears to be handling the 20Mbit connection better. Last week I replaced my Belkin router (manageable by internet explorer only) and benq 802.11b wireless access point with a Netgear wireless router. On Sunday morning I started a large bittorrent download and was amazed to see the download speed hitting 2.4 MB a second, way faster than the previous high of 1.9MB/s. I still think Virgin Media are being unclear about their ‘unlimited’ broadband and the customer service is poor, but at least I have a connection that can hit peak download speeds for 20 minutes before the cap kicks in.

The EU backs bittorrent

February 23, 2008 3 comments

The EU have invested $22 million in the development of an open-source bitTorrent client. The BBC are one of the largest groups involved in the effort, planning to use the new client to stream TV programs. According to the article on Torrent Freak more than half of all bittorrent users are downloading TV episodes and the broadcast companies are waking up to the this.

There’s just one problem with this. A large amount of ISP’s are currently limiting the bandwidth available for bittorrent on their network. Virgin media have had a download cap in place for a while, and also appear to be limiting bittorrent in other ways. If I use bittorrent all the other internet traffic slows down, even if the torrent is only using 500Kb/s out of my theoretical 2,500Kb/s maximum download speed. So much for unlimited internet.

At a time when software like Tribler is appearing to make it easier to find and download bittorrent content, we may end up not being able to use it at all. Just remember that bittorrent users are selfish and inconsiderate (I know that’s crazy, but it’s Virgin Media’s view). Bear in mind that this is an unlimited service they’re talking about.

The problem here is that bittorrent is become a standard for sharing content. If ISP’s don’t get on board and give their customers what they want they risk losing out. ISP’s who plan ahead and invest in equipment that can handle the demand will take the customers. Instead of demonising the ‘greedy users’, why not stop spouting marketing crap and give us what we pay for?