Archive for the ‘Guides’ Category

The Git Parable – Thanks Tom Preston-Werner

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

The Git Parable a great article to read if you’re trying to understand Git.  I am working on a Social Mashup/Aggregator project that is going to use a framework called Newd by the CP+B Group.  The project was stored in github.  I needed a quick intro to Git so I could checkout the code and get started.  I found many articles on the basic Git commands but they all left me wondering how Git is different from SVN and how it really works.  I found The Git Parable to be the most helpful in explaining how Git works underneath.  It also helped me understand how GIT differs from subversion and how powerful it is.  If your new to Git or just want a greater understanding of how Git works The Git Parable is a must read.

Before You Connect a New Computer to the Internet

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Here’s some great guidelines and tips to secure your computer before you connect it to the internet.  It is intended for the majority of Internet users who don’t have an IT Department to lock down their computer from possible attacks.

A must read for anyone who has a computer connected to the internet.

BitTorrent Guide and FAQ

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

This a article will give you a very brief overview of BitTorrent and how to get started downloading files, movies, software using BitTorrent files (.torrent).

  • BitTorrent is the name of a protocol designed for transferring large files using a peer to peer architecture.
  • Usually the name of a BitTorrent file ends with .torrent, like an MS Word file ends with .doc.
  • BitTorrent files are usually called “Torrent files” for short.
  • Torrent files carry information about where to find the particular file you’re trying to download.
  • Before you can download a file, movie or software you must first download the Torrent file that contains information about the file of interest.
  • To find a Torrent file use one of these sites to search for what you want to download.  Then download the Torrent file to your computer.
  • Open the Torrent file using a BitTorrent Client.  A BitTorrent Client is an application that opens Torrent files and downloads the files of interest.   For the Mac my favorite client is Transmission.  See previous post called Best BitTorrent Client for Mac – Transmission.

Here are some BitTorrent terms that you may run into when reading other sites.

  • Peers – People who are currently downloading files which in turn shares the file with others.
  • Leeches – Similar to Peers but leeches are people who download files but do not share the files they are downloading.  The spirit of BitTorrent is to give a little, take a little.  Don’t be a leech and just take.
  • Seed or seeder – A person/computer with a complete copy of a BitTorrent file (At least one seed computer is necessary for a BitTorrent download to complete.)
  • Swarm – A group of computers simultaneously sending (uploading) or receiving (downloading) the a particular file. For example, if you start a BitTorrent client and it tells you that you’re connected to 10 peers and 3 seeds, then the swarm consists of you and those 13 other people.
  • .torrent – A file that contains information about the file you want to download.  It knows where the file you want to find the actual file you want to download.
  • Tracker – A server that manages the BitTorrent file-transfer process. When you open a torrent, your machine contacts the tracker and asks for a list of peers to contact.

To learn more about BitTorrent here are some great sites:

Best BitTorrent Client for Mac – Transmission

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

I’ve been using Azureus (now called Vuze) for awhile as my BitTorrent client.  I’ve also used XTorrent in the past.  I’ve never been very happy with either one.  I just want a very fast and lightweight app for downloading Torrents. I don’t need a video player or organizer.

After a few searches and reading some reviews I decided to try Transmission.  Here are some of the highlights from Transmission’s homepage:

The first item is what really caught my attention.  The download is fairly small, only 4.8mb for Mac OS X.  After downloading and dragging it into my Applications folder I launched it.  It gave a nice warning about file sharing (something I appreciated).  It launches much faster than both Vuze and Xtorrent. has posted a nice article on How to use Transmission as your BitTorrent Client.