aku-aku: v.. To move a tall, flat bottomed object (such as a bookshelf) by swiveling it alternatively on its corners in a "walking" fashion. [After the book by Thor Heyerdahl theorising the statues of Easter Island were moved in this fashion.] source: LangMaker.com. Aku Aku also has another meaning to the islanders: a spiritual guide.
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Posted by dav at 2004 June 7 07:10 PM
File under: Geek

This afternoon I noticed my Internet connection was crawling and after poking around I discovered that PeopleFallingOver had linked to a 29 meg video file I created a few years ago (the video, btw, is the infamous amateur video of the wedding reception floor collapse in Tel Aviv on May 25, 2001; I set it to music by Godspeed You Black Emperor! and stretched it out for effect. Yes, it is macabre, but the video is so compelling I couldn't help myself).

I started looking around for someplace else to host the file with a fatter pipe than my house. The ever knowledgable Boris on #joiito quickly pointed me to freecache.org. Freecache is a rather smart system:

FreeCache works by moving content "hot spots" on the web closer to users. This provides several advantages to various parties involved: Users get faster downloads, content providers pay less for Internet-bound traffic, and ISPs pay less for Internet-originating traffic.

The nice thing about it is neither the user who will be doing the downloading (the PeopleFallingOver users) nor the person doing the hosting (me) have to download or install any software to take advantage of the freecache.org network. As the host, I only had to have my webserver automagically redirect all requests for http://myhost.com/myVideo.avi to http://freecache.org/http://myhost.com/myVideo.avi instead. Now when the user requests the video from my server, it actually causes it to be cached on a nearby Freecache caching server so subsequent requests will be shared between my original host and the Freecache servers around the world! Genius!

So if you'd like to see the video, czechy doubt here (courtesy of freecache).

Update: 12 hours later, it appears to be working. My apache log shows many more downloads but my ISP connection doesn't seem to be overtaxed.

(nods to Sean).


Call it a fortuitous coincidence. I saw it just this morning on Seb Paquet's weblog. :)


Posted by: Boris Anthony on June 7, 2004 07:34 PM

How does this compare in practice/effectiveness to Bit Torrent?


Posted by: Thomas on June 7, 2004 09:27 PM

Good question, Thomas. And it's answered at the freecache site: http://www.archive.org/about/faqs.php#FreeCache

Why not BitTorrent?

BitTorrent is good and similar to FreeCache in that it balances download "horizontically". BitTorrent uses other BitTorrent clients for this balancing; these clients often become un-available after a particular file is not popular anymore. The FreeCache system utilizes permanent FreeCaches that don't go away (although particular files get flushed out after a while). Unlike BitTorrent, the FreeCache system is transparent to the end-user. No new client or server software is required, and the files do not need to be converted. To offer a file via the FreeCache system, all you need to do is prefix the URL with http://freecache.org/

BitTorrent is a w e s o m e and Bram is a genius, but freecache is a worthy addition to the arena.

Posted by: Dav on June 7, 2004 10:51 PM

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