10:22 am - Grr... bad documentation, no cookie.
I've gotten annoyed lately at a technical oversight in some commonly-referenced documentation.
This isn't unusual for me, but this is a specific issue I feel should be aired out publically since it's something I think more people should know about.
If you use BitTorrent, set the number of upload slots between a third, and half the upload bandwidth you allocate. If you allocate 30 kilobytes/second to upload, allocate 10-15
upload slots. Almost every single document out there will tell you to set it to 2-4. Guess what? That only makes your upload speed vary wildly, and thus, your download speed will vary more wildly than it otherwise should.
I've noticed the average swarm speed smooth out noticably when I was only a peer, and the swarm had over 75 clients (seeds + peers) involved, just by bumping my upload slot setting up higher. Why? Because it means I'll have bytes queued up for numerous others, so even if one person suddenly stalls or lags out, I'll already have bytes queued up for nine other clients. Meaning my upload speed usually varies by a couple of dozen bytes
in a given hour. If I set it to the 'supposed' best settings, my upload speed varies wildly
from as low as an average speed of half of my allocated upload speed on average over a minute up to full throttle. This is bad.
Think of BitTorrent's download speed as having a random noise source (the outside world's upload speed to you) multiplied by your own internal noise source (your upload speed) and you'll get an idea of the effect a smoother, more consistant upload speed will give you. Now imagine if everyone out there had that consistant of an upload speed? Yeah... nice thought, isn't it? Smooth, constant traffic bubbling along instead of the hodge-podge most Torrents dribble you data at like a demonic roulette wheel at God's own craps table.1 comment