Ivor O’Connor

June 16, 2009

Benefits Of Hard-Wiring

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 6:34 pm

Moving data from one laptop to another over a wireless network is slow.  Slow if you have many many GBs to move like I do. Earlier this week it took me over eight hours to move the data across the wireless network.  I learned my lesson. I have gone back to a wired configuration on certain machines. The same backup done today over a wired network looks like it will take about 40 minutes. So much better!  Additionally I can still surf the net with no network lags while doing the transfer. Furthermore the computers immediately find the network instead of taking a while after everything has already booted up.

So I’m going to get out an old 8-port 100Mib  switch from storage and stick it next to the stack.  Given the disks on each machine all peak at less than 50MB/s the hundred Mb switch will be ok.  Probably throttling the speeds down to 10MiB/s. And since average disk speeds are around 3MiB/s all will be good enough.  (I see the network currently is pushing somewhere between 0 and 10MiB/s and the transfer rate over the last 10 minutes is 4.5MB/sec.)

I ordered some new Cat 6 2′ cables from Triangle Cables at a $1.20 each. I got them in every color available and two 7′ cables. They even come complete with my favorite  snagless boots. The cables are short enough to keep everything clean and well-organized. Maybe someday I’ll buy a gigabit switch for $70 or so but I don’t see it being worth the money.  (Unless I find it for $5 at a neighbors garage sale like I found the two wireless routers I am currently using. Why is it people don’t understand that though they look like toy plastic trash they do work and do cost lots of money?)



  1. I am interested in moving all data from an HP laptop to a Toshiba laptop, Vista Ultimate to Vista Home edition. Is this worth even trying, since it’s downgrading op systems? I read your article about hardwiring being better than wireless, but I’m afraid I’m rather daft when it comes to these machines and their software. They are both way above my head. I can’t even interpret your article; even it is way over my head (not the speeds; I get that but the switch, I don’t understand). Can you answer whether it is worth trying, and if so, explain in simple terms the hardwiring required for the transfer?

    Comment by Lydia Wenglar — October 24, 2009 @ 3:31 pm

    • I believe a hub can only transfer data across it’s connection serially. Imagine all wires coming to a stop light and waiting. If there are only 3 wires going into it, say one for the internet and one for each laptop then only one must ever be waiting. A switch on the other hand can establish multiple connections at the same time with no waiting. Almost like having a road with cloverleaf connections between all of them so nobody ever comes to a stop light and waits.

      The switch vs hub is not an issue though. They both do the same thing. That is allow the computers to transfer data between them. Your problem is figuring out what data to transfer between the two laptops. Moving all your data into a particular directory helps. Then you merely need to copy the directory to the new computer. However with M$ they go out of their way to make it not that simple. The complicated part is not moving the data but moving the programs. You’ll probably have to install all the programs all over again from scratch. There are applications you can pay for that will do this to some extent.

      You really need to upgrade your operating system to Linux/BSD. I’m using Ubuntu/Debian/Linux. Ubuntu is a friendly environment that is easy to understand even if you never need the great tools that are part of Linux.

      For instance I’ve tweaked my environment quite a bit to solve the problem you are facing. New laptops get their hard disk reformatted and Ubuntu installed over the M$ Vista that usually comes with it. Then I run a script synchronizing the laptops programs and data to the other laptops. Any changes made on this laptop or the others get spread across the others as long as connected to the local net or the internet every hour or so. Thanks to the tools that come free with Ubuntu like GIT, CRON, and SSH. (However learning these tools are a pain.)

      Comment by ioconnor — October 24, 2009 @ 8:28 pm

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