Q&A: Is there a way to share files with students without a network?

Question by : Is there a way to share files with students without a network?
I’m stumped. My instructor want’s to have a file share on the network where his students can access files for class, but the I.T. director, my supervisor, says that he can’t use the network or use ad hoc between computers (any platform. The computers we’re using happen to me iMacs, others are Windows XP machines). The first reason is because with large files and multiple students essentially streaming data at the same time would bog the network down (it’s not a very fast network and the school can’t spring for infrastructure upgrades). The second reason, the ad hoc idea, is because there’s a policy against it. No ad hoc on school computers. It would be a workaround since we can’t use the school’s network, but policies are policies.

So now I’m wondering, other than sneakernet (which is what my instructor hates to do because it takes so long at the beginning of the class), what other ideas are there? I’ve found USB flash drive duplicators on Amazon, but those are Expensive (with a capital E, natch’). Maybe something can be done with a couple of 7 port hubs and special software that automatically takes control of those hubs as a poor man’s duplicator? I know there are software solutions for doing this one flash drive at a time, but I’m thinking batch duplications, several at once to cut the time it takes to push out the files to each student. This might not be the best idea, which is why I think I’m probably unaware of better solutions. The files being copied are close to 2GB in size, smallest being about 500MB. Video files. And of course, no use of the network, period. Even for cloud storage. Any ideas?

Best answer:

Answer by Toomuchtime
OK, there are a couple of options.

1.) PirateBox. These motherfuckers are badass. Sit the thing down and the little bugger is like a lil’ server, nomming up and puking out whatever the hell you want it to.

2.) A LAN network. Cat5e is cheap as shit (about 5 cents a foot), so you just daisy chain a bunch of switches and profit.

3.) Patriot Memory Xporter Rage. These have transfer speeds of up to 25 or so MB/s. It may not be as fast as the other options, but if you really must put on the running shoes, these are the way to go.

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