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Woah: Samba Server for Android!

Samba is the thing you (or your dad) probably use in your office to jump onto public drives through the lan as if the thing was another folder on your hard drive, drag and dropping, double clicking, printing, the whole nine. Both PCs and Macs do Samba, along with Linux and UNIX (for which it was first developed and not by Microsoft). Developed by XDA’s JimmyChingala, now we can connect to our phones over Samba using his creatively-named app Samba Filesharing.

A few months back I reported about SwiFTP, an FTP server for Android that using proxy magic would let you connect to your phone even over cellular. Connecting through wifi rather than the USB line has advantages, like not needing to let your computer completely mount your chip with exclusive access and not dealing with another lower-powered cable. But FTP is over a lot of people’s heads, needs an FTP client or an understanding that if you hit Start > Run > explorer ftp://me:mypass@myipaddress:2121/sdcard you’re good to go; whereas with Samba, you can hop on your SD chip either by navigating through your local network on which you’d see your phone or just hitting Start > Run > phone (or whatever you name your phone). On Macs, it’s probably easier than that. Other than that, and I guess being able to execute a Windows exe from your phone as if it were on our hard drive (handy for a portable rootkit toolkit adventure I suppose), not much upside to this over SwiFTP (or using a Samba client on the phone for that matter, but that ain’t nearly as cool).

Downside? It appears to be a hair slower than FTP and even more hairs slower than USB for reading, but around 1MB/s reading ain’t nothing to sneeze at especially if you’re just unloading a bunch of pictures you just took. Mileage of writing probably varies based on your SD chip’s class and your wifi and lan’s speed. But for doing this and that and just to impress yourself with another cool thing you can do with Android, it’s worth the installation. Oh, one more downside, you need root, but if doing something like this caught your attention enough to read this far, good chance you’re already rooted.

Not on the market, gotta sideload. Here’s the post with the download and basic instructions (unzip, drop the apk on your sd card, install it with a file manager like astro, run, config settings, enable), here’s the discussion thread. Jimmy doesn’t want personal donations though if you’re in the mood to throw him some scratch redirect that money toward Cancer Research or Animal Welfare. Stand-up guy apparently.

Thanks Jimmy, keep it up.

Doug Simmons

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