All posts by The Register

gtorrent-ncurses: Not quite ready for prime time

It’s no secret I’ve been an rtorrent fan for nearly a decade now. It has its shortcomings and at times it seems to lack some features that the new kids have. But overall, it has been a reliable standby.

That doesn’t mean it’s the best way of doing things though, and when you stop trying new things, that’s when you get old.

But gtorrent-ncurses — the text-only option to the full gtorrent — might not be the one to take the throne.

2014-09-16-jsgqk71-gtorrent-ncurses

It looks like a good start, and as best I can tell it is actually working. But that interface looks suspiciously broken, and as best I can tell, there are only two controls: “a” for add a torrent, and “q” for quit.

No progress indicator. No bandwidth meters. No throttling controls. No help screens, priority settings, peer lists, sharing ratios, tab completion for adding files … the list goes on.

I only looked briefly at gtorrent’s full graphical interface, so it may be that it’s possible to get those things from the full X-based UI. They are suspiciously missing from the text-only version though, and in this day and age, more than a dozen years after the original BitTorrent, it’s a little hard to overlook.

I’m willing to give gtorrent-ncurses the benefit of a gestation time, and come back to it later. Like I said, it appears to be working, even if the “interface” wasn’t doing much to tell me that. I’ll be back in a little while. 😉

Tagged: client, download, manager, torrent

Read More

truncate: Arbitrarily chopping things off

When I mentioned that there were useful and interesting tools in coreutils and util-linux and bsd-games (and I should probably add binutils), I wasn’t exactly thinking of truncate.

2014-09-16-6m47421-truncate

truncate wasn’t on my list when it began five years ago, or even in later additions. I can see why: It’s a rather arbitrary and vicious tool, snapping off files at predetermined lengths and leaving the remainder to flutter away in the wind.

I can’t think of any exact use for truncate aside from determining an exact, to-the-byte length of a file, perhaps for some sort of network testing or disk performance check. And considering the leftovers are summarily discarded, it’s a lethal decision to use it.

truncate follows the same flags for size and units as split and some other toys from coreutils. If you’re familiar with much of what’s in the suite, it will only take you a second to get used to truncate.

And that’s about all I can think of to say about truncate. Use wisely. 😉

Tagged: cut, data, file, split

Read More