One thing I maybe haven’t made especially clear is that I’ve spent the past 2 and a half weeks with my MacBook running solely Mac OS X (bar a brief dip into Ubuntu under Parallels Desktop). In other words, it’s been a while since I used Windows outside of work or fixing other people’s computers.
This is actually a deliberate thing. I’m playing things by the book, which means that if I want to install Windows on my MacBook, I’m going to need a proper Windows license, and not just download a pirated version for free. With Vista coming… sometime in the next few months, there’s little point in forking out for a Windows XP license (and I no longer get a freebie one just for being a university student). I do have Windows Vista Beta 2 on DVD (and should be able to get RC1 when it’s officially available) but running Vista on a Mac is difficult at the moment – running it through BootCamp means deleting a partition (which you then have to restore when an OS X update comes out) and running it as a virtual machine requires Q, which is still Alpha quality software. That’ll improve – Parallels should support it in future and I imagine that a new version of BootCamp will do too – but right now, I’m ‘stuck’ in OS X.
Bear with me, I do have a point to make here. 🙂
The point is that I now need to replace some of the applications that I was still needing to use Windows for – a list is here – and among those was Shareaza, which is a formidable open source peer-to-peer client for Windows. It supports Gnutella and G2 (an improved version of the Gnutella protocol) and eDonkey2000, and I was hoping to find a good, free replacement for it. So far, I haven’t.
The king of peer-to-peer clients on the Mac is Acquisition, but it’s shareware and I don’t use P2P enough to really warrant spending £10 on it. So I was pleased to come across Acqlite, which is very similar to Acquisition but is completely free and open source.
The interface is very similar and it offers the same iTunes integration. It doesn’t offer G2 or eDonkey2000 support, but then eDonkey2000 has been marginalised by the shutdowns of a number of core servers and by BitTorrent. G2 support would be nice, though. Still, it’s a formidable client and worth looking into.
As for BitTorrent, BitRocket looks interesting. It’s a very new client and only at version 0.1, but manages to balance the power of clients like Azureus with a nice interface and good speed. I haven’t had much time to play with it but it looks very nice.