Azureus – killer SWT app

I’m helping out a friend by helping him install Fedora Core 3. I’d rather get him to use OS X, but Fedora is free and lets him leverage some existing hardware. One step at a time, right?

Fedora (which in my mind is really RedHat Linux 10) has grown to take up 5 CDs: 4 regular and 1 recovery CD. It is about a 2.29GB download, which is quite a lot.

By the way, isn’t it kind of funny how your old posts never expire from Google or any other search engine? Result #15 on Google for “luis de la rosa” is RedHat 2.1 networking seems to drop…. I mean…. Pentium 60? NE/2000 card? RedHat 2.1? Is any of this stuff useful to anyone anymore? It seems like this post should be exiled to wander in the desert wasteland like the retiring judges in Judge Dredd.

So I try downloading from a mirror the ISOs. Well I wanted to get them before tomorrow afternoon and it looked like it was going to take all weekend. This is with a mirror that I usually get good results with when downloading Eclipse, meaning it is relatively close to me.

I thought, this isn’t working for me. Why not join the Torrent for Fedora Core?

So I did.

I downloaded Azureus. This is the #1 project on SourceForge. It is a BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) client. Best of all, it is written in Java and utilizes SWT. It looks quite nice on OS X and performed superbly. I downloaded the torrent above and then dragged it from Finder into the Azureus. Its UI is good and I really like the Norton Utilities disk-defragmenter-style of showing you how your files are arriving piece by piece. I think the tab metaphor is overused, though. It needs a non-pixelated dock icon on OS X and could use more documentation. Also I wonder if it would benefit from hosting on top of the RCP. It would also be nice to drag a URL into Azureus, bypassing the torrent download step. But these are really minor compared to the results.

The results? Well I’ve got a killer SWT app on my Mac, which is nicely deployed as an OS X app (rather than just an executable JAR, which is OK, but doesn’t fit in that well.) It is only 5.4MB on disk. Oh and I downloaded all of Fedora Core 3, 2.29GB, all in an hour and 18 minutes, roughly 4.1Mbit/s or 513kB/s. Much faster than the regular download from my favorite mirror site.

To burn the CDs, I tried using FireStarter FX for OS X, which is in beta. This seemed to burn the ISOs well and had a decent drag and drop interface. I tested out the CDs on my Windows box and they turned out well.

Now I’m ready to install Fedora…