Live Spins

R A Jon Hamelin jon_hamelin at
Tue Nov 13 20:49:31 UTC 2007

Bill Davidsen wrote:
> R A Jon Hamelin wrote:
>> Frank Cox wrote:
>>> On Sun, 11 Nov 2007 11:34:57 -0800
>>> R A Jon Hamelin <jon_hamelin at> wrote:
>>>> I have had bad experiences with torrents and will not use them again.
>>> What's wrong with the torrents?  I downloaded F8 that way the other 
>>> day at a
>>> very healthy pace.
>>  Hi Frank:
>> A little over a year ago I downloaded a file - 4.3 GB - from what I 
>> thought was a safe site. After installing the program, my computer 
>> rebooted by itself and all hell broke loose. I no longer had a 
>> functioning BIOS. In addition it wiped my hard drives. Checking with 
>> the site in question, I discovered that the file should have been 3.8 
>> GB.
> Obviously the fault of torrent, because if you downloaded that same 
> 4.3GB file by ftp... wait, it still would have done the same thing, 
> because the problem was the content not the delivery system. Blaming 
> torrent for the effects of bad content is like blaming UPS because you 
> ordered one thing and got another.
> You didn't get 4.3GB instead of 3.8GB because of torrent, you got it 
> because it started out bad at the original source (including the 
> possibility of having a bad .torrent file to start with). And you 
> didn't do the check for size and checksum *before* you used the file, 
> and probably let something run as root or actually booted it, or it 
> couldn't have reached the BIOS or rebooted the machine... In other 
> words you didn't follow best practices and as a result something bad 
> happened, and you didn't have a backup of critical data.
>> In my opinion bit torrents are a security issue. Having lost 3 days 
>> worth of irreplaceable photos from a commercial shoot and the 
>> contract, it was an expensive lesson for me.
> Torrent is safer than any download from a single site, because any one 
> site can only corrupt a fraction of the overall content, and because 
> there is a crc on every small part of the download. That makes it very 
> hard for any undetected problems to get through, assuming you check 
> the sum of the files, etc.
> The "expensive lesson" involves backups, verifying anything you 
> download before use, and other best practice issues.
1) The torrent was started from a https site, which I assumed to be 
secure. When I contacted the site owner, they had their security look 
into the problem and the conclusion was that one of the seeders managed 
to maliciously  alter the torrent. This affected  in the neighborhood of 
18 people/companies . 

2) It was downloaded to a XP box. Had I been on my Fedora or Solaris 
box, such damage would not have happened. The torrent was zipped and 
everything started happening when I unzipped the file, not on install. I 

3) I had just transfered the photos from the SD cards and had not had 
time to back them up. My boxes are all backed up to my server at 3 AM 
every day.

4) My original post was to inquire if the Developer spin was available 
via a straight download, not to discuss the pros and cons of torrents. I 
downloaded the F8 DVD as a regular download in 42 minutes. Why would I 
want some insecure software exposing me to who knows what risks for 12 
or so hours? No Thank you.

So once again I will try to inquire if the spin is available as a 
straight download and if so, could I be pointed in the right direction. 
I presently use OpenSolaris Developer Edition and would be very 
interested in comparing it to the Fedora Developer Spin.


R A Jon Hamelin

Hamelin Graphics
324-1985 Wallace St
Vancouver, BC  V6R 4H4

778 327 9302

More information about the fedora-list mailing list