February 11, 2005

Gathering By The Fire

This week's Casa Article is all about swapping stories and other things around the electronic fire. In olden times we would gather by the fireside to share stories and experiences. Today with great distances separating us it can be more difficult, but recently I stumbled across a piece of free software called Grouper at http://www.grouper.com that allows you to do that same sharing of information on your own private file sharing network via the Internet.

With a few mouse clicks you and up to 29 buddies can instantly share most any file from machine to machine, including photos, videos, songs and documents. To get your personal network started you simply download a small client from the Grouper Website, sign up for an account, and when prompted, type in the name of your first network, or "group." You then key in e-mail addresses for a few friends, and they'll soon receive links where they too can download the Group client and seamlessly join your new group.

Once your network is up and running, sharing files is a snap. An Explorer-like interface lets you instantly move files from your Windows file tree to your Shared folder, a repository that's exposed to the entire group. Anyone who wishes to retrieve a file can simply navigate to this folder, find the file, and double-click on it.

When it comes to photo sharing, this app doesn't offer quite as many tools as dedicated services such as OurPictures or ShareALot, but Grouper does much more than mere photo sharing, and it's free.

Posted by gandlwoods at February 11, 2005 02:48 PM