Sunday, 4 January 2009

4. Moving around files to a nearby friend

I often want to move around files or a piece of text, from one computer to another that is nearby. It may be because I use two computers or I want to transfer to a friend sitting next to me. Traditionally I would have sent an email and waited patiently for it to arrive. Alternatively I can use the USB memory stick, plug it in, transfer, unplug, re-plug, open and transfer. But there are several alternatives.

One way that saves waiting for email is to use Skype. As long as there are two accounts to transfer between (i.e. if you are sending it to yourself, you need to have two Skype accounts) then it is easy. Just drag and drop the file, wait for the recipient to "accept" it, and the job is don. A useful alternative for plain text I have been using recently is EtherPad. I simply copy the text into my EtherPad account page and it instantly (serious, no delays) appears in the browser on the other computer. It could not be simpler!

Skype
Etherpad

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