off topic computer question

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A fellow I know, but never met. He's got two computers. Desktop running XP, and laptop running Vista. He wants to copy a couple gb of files, from one to the other.
So far, he's been copying some with a flash drive, and dump them onto the other computer. It's taking a long time.
Suppose he takes a USB cable, from one computer to the other. Would each computer show up as another drive, to the other? Use windows explorer to click and drag and drop? Send the data through the USB cable.
And what if one of the computers was turned off? Would the USB cable provide enough power to spin the other drive, and allow the data transfer?
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On Tue, 28 Jul 2009 20:33:41 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Can't he do other things while it's happening? Like read alt.home.repair?

YOu can't do it that simply. At best-buy, staples or office-depot, probalby best buy, maybe all 3, they had a device that is designed for this. It was only about 20 dollars iirc, maybe 24. It might have had teh orange geek guy on the label, but maybe not. If you look in the USB cable area, I think that's where it is. It might have had some little box in the middle.
When things like this were done with serial cables from one serial port to the other (very slow, slower than printer ports) a regular serial cable wouldn't work. A null modem was needed, one in which two of the wires reversed on their way from one end to the other. (They cost no more to make than a regular serial cable, but might have been a little more expensive because there were 100 times as many of the other ones made. This may not be the same issue USB cables face -- I don't know -- but at least we hanven't gone backwards.

No, not nearly, and in addition, there is no way it would get from the USB port back to the power supply and from there to the harddrive to power the harddrive. Even an exteranl harddrive, or a harddrive case (used to turn a plain old harddrive into an external harddrive. Under 10 dollars) for which they would love to be able to use it like you want, requires a wallwart to power it.
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On Tue 28 Jul 2009 06:06:39p, mm told us...

We have two desktop PCs and a laptop at home, all connected to a home network via a router. Configured correctly, any of the three machines has total access to either of the other two. Transferring files between them is very fast.
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On Tue, 28 Jul 2009 20:33:41 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

Not in my neighborhood.
Make the data hard drive a slave and just copy the data unto the master drive. Or, burn on a DVD.
Then remove the slave drive.
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One's laptop, other is desk. The old fart is in the nursing home, doubt he's got any tools.
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On Wed, 29 Jul 2009 19:00:40 -0400, against all advice, something
to say:

He needs, maybe, a Phillips screwdriver.
'Course, then there's knowin' how . . .
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

I don't think so. Even if he could, USB connection speed is terribly slow for that sort of thing.
The better way is to network the two computers. Each PROBABLY has a network port built in, so it's merely a matter of a cat-5 cable connecting them and following the steps outlined in the networking wizard.
Of course the instructions are in geekeze, so he'll need the help of a 12-year-old male.
An alternative, assuming both can access the internet and he has a high-speed connection, is to use the 8-or-so Gigabyte storage offering of Google Mail and send the files as attachements from one machine while retrieving them with the other machine.
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wrote:

Yes, I hadn't though of that or the router (EVen though just tonight for the first time it occurred to me if I want to have a second computer, I should network them.

LOL, but true.

Isn't that still slow because the email protocol is slow, including for attachments. I was always told not to email programs for example, because they are long, but to ftp them to webspace, and then have the other guy ftp them back down. File Transfer Protocol. There are free ftp programs if this comes up a lot. (Sometimes urls use FTP without you're asking them too, especially those heirarchical libraries I used to see. Browsers seem to have what they need to handle ftp for the last 15 years or so. But you still need a separate program to access private webspace with no webpage or software surrounding it. Like what your ISP offers you. It's like you can put up bookshelves and a card catalog, to help people get what they want, or you can just put a book there with an address named after your book, your file. I don't do any of this. )
In addition, you remind me, it surprised me to find out there are real issues in emailing attachments. A friend has a Mac and I would sent to him two files every week or so, one .rtf and one .htm . Each file had a standard font and a fairly rare one. It turned out, he coould read the .rtf pretty well, but not the .htm files. And it turned out his file length was a few hundred bytes shorter than what I sent him. I think maybe the missing bytes had held the second font information. I think maybe some special character in the file was treated as an end of file marker, but I never found out. The problem seemed to get bad when I switched from win98SE to XP, even though my email program was the same, exactly the same, still running from the C: partition (Because Eudora doesn't really get installed in windows. It just has to sit there>)
During testing, I decided to try Outlook Express to send the files. When I sent the same files to him, and the opposite was true. The .rtf file was bad and the .htm file was good. Even when I sent the files to ME and read them with Eudora, that was true.
I thought attachments were always exactly what one sent when they got to the receving end, but it seems to be much more complicated.

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Email is a silly idea for lots of reasons:
1. DSL and Cable Internet services will download data pretty fast but they are VERY slow to upload. It will kill you on GByte data volumes.
2. As you say the protocols associated with email and attachments carry a significant overhead.
3. Few mail systems accept very large attachments. Gmail is more generous that most but the limit is somewhere around 10-15MB.
Much better to network the computers:
1. Point-to-point with a cross-over cable. This is the cheapest option.
2. In a star network with a relatively inexpensive hub.
3. A full network so that both computers can share your internet connection as well as each others storage, and maybe a printer or two.
Option #3 is pretty inexpensive these days and offers so much utility that it's simply not worth messing around with options #2 or #3.
You can buy a good quality router/firewall and a bunch of good quality cable for less than $100 and both computers can share anything. Just do it.
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On Wed, 29 Jul 2009 03:22:42 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

I don't know if it is good quality or not, but OPtimized Cable Company had Cat5E 100 feet with no-snag covers for 25 dollars, no charge for shipping, when BestBuys had 50 feet for 38 dollars.
Opt has lots of lengths and lots of colors and doesn't charge much more for Cat6 either.
I haven't used it yet, to go from the second floor to the basement, but my needs are small and if it is low-quality, I probably won't be able to tell.
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wrote:

An architect/homebuilder by the name of Tom Tynon writes a column in the Houston Chronicle. You could probably find the one of this past week in which he advocates a "booster" tank to go along with a tanked (in my college days that meant something else) water heater. The picture showed what looked like a small tankless unit. Said it provided instant, constant hot water as it somehow signaled the tank to heat up more water. ??????
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Damn, I guess I'm tanked. How this got onto this thread baffles me.
wrote:

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Thanks for the idea. This might work for data too. ....OKay, I googled "data tank" and they come from 1 quart/1 kilobyte, all the way up to 40,000 gallons/3 terrabytes. I guess I won't know what size I need until I've started using the cable.
I saw your second post too. :)
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Good ideas, thanks.
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Is he using USB-1 or USB-2.
I have an XP system and I replaced the USB-1 card with a USB-2 card and the speed of the USB drive is very much faster. I would guess it is close to the speed of my hard drive.
Freckles
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You would guess wrong...
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wrote:

Wow! Sight unseen and you know more about my system than I do? Amazing!
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Freckles wrote:

He doesn't have to know more about your system if he knows more about transfer rates.
USB-2 theoretical maximum bandwidth is 480Mbit/s. In the real world, counting system overhead, packet information, and the like, the actual transfer rate is about 25-60MByte/s for USB-2.
Your ordinary SATA hard drive (bandwidth of 3Gbit/s) will move data at around 300MByte/s - about 50 times faster.
Here's a comparison chart (scroll down): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA
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wrote:

He's right. Unless of course, your computer was built in 1982 and the hard drive is an MFM or RLL type.
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