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Old 06-24-2010, 08:24 AM   #1
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Puzzle Challenge: Collecting lots of files from many people?


Equipment: 200 recorders (of various types). 200 students. 200 laptops. 150 USB drives. 1 wifi network. $0 budget. 1 receiving laptop with 1 USB 1.1 drive, a basic Internet connection, and 5 GB of storage space.

Problem: Each student will make 1 audio recording, 2 to 10 minutes in length, of varying quality and format. What is the most efficient way to collect all of the recordings and put them on the receiving laptop?

Note: The recorders, laptops, and USB drives are personally owned, so they cannot be collected.
 
Old 06-24-2010, 09:19 AM   #2
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An email address?

If it's lowlife students and you don't want the trouble of sorting things, simply get them to upload to an ssh or ftp server in the form Lastname_Firstname.format. Those with only usb keys will have to get onto the college network, but that's not your worry.
 
Old 06-24-2010, 10:06 AM   #3
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Have the students upload the recordings somewhere, either directly like business_kid says, or on a file sharing site. I expect the recordings to be reasonably small as most digital recorders use wma or mp3. However, if they record for a really long time you may need a bigger HDD.
 
Old 06-24-2010, 11:15 AM   #4
XavierP
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You'll need to set rules for file sizes - 5Gb is not a lot space.

To contribute, obtain the addresses of all the students and plot their movements. Dress in dark grey or black clothing. Break into their houses while they sleep and use their USB keys to put the data onto your laptop.

Or do the ftp thing, whichever is easier.
 
Old 06-24-2010, 05:33 PM   #5
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Some interesting ideas. I have some questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid
An email address?
My first thought, but I wonder if this will cause problems for the school library's wifi connection as so many files would be uploaded? About 40 files would be uploaded per day over a span of 1 week. Also, what happens to a Hotmail account when the storage capacity limit is reached within one week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid
If it's lowlife students and you don't want the trouble of sorting things, simply get them to upload to an ssh or ftp server in the form Lastname_Firstname.format. Those with only usb keys will have to get onto the college network, but that's not your worry.
Can I get an ssh or ftp server on a budget of $0? I don't think there is a network here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H
Have the students upload the recordings somewhere, either directly like business_kid says, or on a file sharing site.
Is there a simple way for them to send to a file sharing site but leaving the files all private, so only I can access them? Can anyone recommend a site to use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by XavierP
You'll need to set rules for file sizes - 5Gb is not a lot space.
Do you know of any easy-to-use freeware or open source software I can tell them to download that will help them to reduce the file size, without them actually having any knowledge of file formats or codecs?
 
Old 06-25-2010, 05:18 AM   #6
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Linux comes with servers for free. However, you'd have to give each student their own account, to make sure they can't steal others' work.

How about the following: Instruct all the students to upload their file to megaupload/rapidshare/depositfiles etc, and email you the link. To help you download the files, use JDownloader, which will do all the waiting and captcha-solving to you.

Your hard drive space gives 25.6 megabytes per student, but you don't want them to fill it all. I'd say set a 20 megabyte limit - and emphasise that it's a LIMIT not a target! Making their file fit within the size is their problem - even for a long ten-minute recording 20 megabytes is generous, only likely to be exceeded by uncompressed formats.

Last edited by cantab; 06-25-2010 at 05:20 AM.
 
Old 06-25-2010, 06:35 AM   #7
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Well many file sharing places have an option to keep the file private, or at least to put a password. I can't really recommend any, just search for them.
 
  


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