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vivea

Sharing networks and their dedicated programs

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vivea

I want to download some Chinese stuff to help me study, but apparently the Chinese store everything in a kind of network called Baidu. I'm not sure if that's a site, a server group, or a p2p network like our torrents, but everything is there. And to access it one has to download a baidu client. Does anyone have some experience with it? Is it safe? It should be if everybody in China uses it, but still. Alas, I've found no alternative ways to download anything from baidu, the direct link is hidden well.

 

Another popular tool seems to be something called Thunder. Again, I have little idea what it is, a server group or a p2p network. Most sites offer only baidu downloads, but some offer downloads with Thunder, which seems to be the only other service the Chinese use. I have no idea what that is, has anyone dealt with it? Is it safe?

 

I've heard bad things about China, like their most-used programs have spying functionality, most likely these are exaggerated myths, and I honestly don't care if the Chinese government spies on me studying Chinese. However, I don't want to walk into some ordinary trojan, now that would be bad.

 

So please tell me what you think of the Baidu client and Thunder, and maybe there are other things I should know about? (And goddamit, why can't they use direct links for anything? This is a major reason why I suspect that these two are p2p network clients)

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刘二航

I'm chinese.I can read these for you.My English isn't good.

Baidupan:Do you know googledrive?The baidupan like googledrive.It's baidupan's link pan.baidu.com

It can share file with your friends.

You can register a Baidu account with your mobile phone and login to baidupan.(It have Web page.)

Baidu has other social tools,like Tieba(tieba.baidu.com).

Tieba is a chinese peopel gathering place.

Thunder:like btorret.you can download file by it.

Thunder Squeezed a lot of shared resources.

It's chinese the fastest download tool.

Why can't it use a web page?When you need to download large files,you need a stable connect.But operators in China always like to make small moves in downloading, these two tools are against the operators of this behavior, you can rest assured.(Somebody use baidupan to deposit adult video or use thunder to download AV,but there was no accident.So don't worry about privacy)

Suggest that you download and use anti-virus software scanning,make sure your computer safe.

哎。说了这么多,就是,这两个软件是良心而生的,没有他们中国的宅人怎么过。

 

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Publius

Thunder or Xunlei is a multi-thread, multi-protocol download accelerator/manager that supports downloading from P2P networks such as BitTorrent and eDonkey. It also uses its own thunder:// protocol for download links (which you can use a protocol converter to translate back to something normal). Basically it's adware + spyware. It has a bad reputation in the P2P world, being banned on almost every BT server outside of China. It's been documented that Xunlei client will scan your hard disk (not only the files you downloaded using Xunlei but the entire hard disk) for potential resources to upload in the background. It will sneakily take up your upload bandwidth even when it's ostensibly idle. (That's why it's so fast, having millions of users' bandwidth at its disposal). Stay away from Thunder.

 

Baidu Wangpan is a cloud storage service provided by Baidu (the heavily censored Chinese equivalent of Google). To download larger files from Baidu cloud, you need their dedicated client. (There are ways to reveal the direct http:// download link, for example, using this script, but the download is very slow and unstable). To use their client you need a Baidu account. To register a Baidu account you need a Chinese mobile phone number. To have a working mobile number in China, you have to register it real-name, i.e. showing an ID card. Given Baidu's track record, I wouldn't be surprised if it's part of the government's surveillance effort. Baidu Pan client is not P2P as far as I know. It's relatively innocuous. However, I still recommend you install it on a separate machine, ideally a virtual machine.

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Jim

I signed up to Baidu because a client wanted to use it to send me a video file and it was treacle slow due to being deliberately throttled if you're not a VIP member as I recall. 

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vivea

Thanks, everyone.

 

So, in effect, it's impossible for me to sign up to Baidu b\c I have no Chinese phone number? In that case, my only option seems to be that script Publius mentioned. I tried it, but to no avail. Do you have to be registered on Baidu to use it properly, too? Publius, please walk me through how to use it, since you have knowledge about this script!

 

As for Thunder, it sounds like its background activities can be dealt with by banning it in the firewall when it's idle. But I'm afraid most downloads are on baidu anyway. It would really help if I could somehow access them.

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大块头

@vivea If you want to find Chinese tv shows and movies to watch, you can often find them uploaded to Youtube. Another service I've heard about is Viki, which has a bunch of free Chinese language media with English subtitles.

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大块头

(although if you're a beginner I would probably point you towards the ChinesePod beginner podcasts instead of native-level material)

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vivea

Watching Chinese movies is certainly not for my level, but a lot of other native-level stuff almost is. I'd helped myself to learn another language with supplementary native-level materials, and I've been working as a translator of it ever since. I know pretty well what to look for at each level, I just mostly can't find it, not with everything beyond 10 megabytes requiring an access to baidu...

 

I hope that someone will answer my previous post (above this one) and help me figure out how to access baidu with that script, since I really doubt that anyone here has a spare Chinese phone number to help me register. But if someone would do that, please PM me, I'd be very grateful!

.

 

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大块头

Amusingly, I was able to use Google to find a workaround (good luck using Baidu to do that...).

 

According to this question on Quora, it is possible to register with a non-Chinese phone number. You just need to visit this link (which doesn't appear to be shown anywhere on the main registration page). I tested it with my USA phone number and it worked.

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vivea

OK this has finally worked! I used another phone number and deleted my post about my registration woes. I know the issue now: I used a password that was longer than required 14 symbols, but the site never told me about it. It just kept... well, not registering me :-)

 

Thanks a lot for this find, 大块头You're awesome. I hope that this registration is really enough and the site won't suddenly ask for an ID or something. ;)

 

And it still would be cool if I learnt how to use that script to get direct links. It sounds like baidu connection is really slow, so it would be helpful if I could use a third-party program to download a bit faster.

 

P.S. Hmm, you can't both 'like' a post and find it 'helpful' on this forum, but I do both.

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大块头

Sure, no problem. Welcome to the Chinese 内网.

 

Before you go and spend hours trying to find and download a bunch of media though, consider the resources I've mentioned in this thread. They are immediately available and the quality is probably just as good as any other content you'd find elsewhere...

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vivea

Among your resources I could only use ChinesePod, but it's a listening resource. What I need is reading, and without hearing the text spoken first. When your primary goal is reading, hearing it spoken first is cheating and completely defeats the purpose. Now, I know there are some reading resources for Chinese learners, too, like DuChinese and such, but they're too expensive, and while I'm not poor, I reside in a country with very different pricings than the ones where these programs and applications are usually made. I could buy one subscription, but no more, and I've already got the one I needed most. It's alright, though, don't worry about me, I can find whatever I need.

 

As for that baidu script to allow IDM downloads, I'm convinced that it doesn't work anymore. Maybe the trick it used got fixed and there's an update of it somewhere with a new one.

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大块头

If you are looking for reading material, I don't understand why you are so concerned about your download speed from Baidu. Most e-books are only a few megabytes...

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vivea

I won't always need only books? Besides, there are more reading materials than books. Old games (aimed at children) in certain genres, for example. Old ones typically don't feature any voice sound, so that's reading practice, too. Games tend to be better than text in the beginning as they automatically provide memorable context for words, and those you already know you encounter in the wild in a more memorable context than you would in a text. That helps to create a more effective mental network of the language, with stronger associations. Old games usually aren't big, but some of them might be. Mostly I just tend to worry about the future, though, and I like to have everything function perfectly from the very beginning.

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vivea

Here, one more reason why using a third-party program would be preferable: I tried to download Microsoft Applocale (they removed it from their site completely, but that's the best tool to switch the applocale!), which is about 1 single megabyte, and even then it got cut off. I downloaded it on the second try, and unfortunately the archive is damaged and cannot be open, but this is an indication of how poor the stability of baidu connection is. And it has no resume option.

 

To avoid creating an entirely new topic, does anyone know a safe link to a functioning Microsoft Applocale by any chance? I just can't seem to find a good upload of it anywhere, I wish I'd saved it before when I downloaded it from Microsoft. Are there other good programs that can switch a locale for a specific program to Chinese, both simplified and traditional?

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vivea

Is everyone joking when they say that baidu is slow? I just tried a bigger file and took note of its download speed: 5.1mbps! It was almost an instant download. I tried another bigger one and got ~500-600kbps. I wouldn't call that slow, either.

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Publius

It's a hit-and-miss business, depending on the popularity of the download, which server Baidu randomly selects for you, etc.

 

And let me remind you that it's safer to download from a trusted source than from a file sharing site like Baidu Wangpan. You don't want to learn it the hard way.

 

Sorry to hear that script no longer works. It's kind of like a cat-and-mouse situation. Baidu changes its algorithm from time to time.

 

I have a backup copy of apploc.msi from 2012. Haven't used it in years. PM me if you really need it.

 

If your primary interest is vintage games, wouldn't a virtual machine running the Chinese version of Windows 98/2000/XP be more convenient? Considering the source and the accompanied risk, not to mention comparability issues.

 

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vivea

Publius, thank you for your concern. Fortunately, the older games I have in mind aren't PC games, and fan translation patches or full images can't be infected. I'd love to play some DOS games, indeed, but I think I don't know any for my current level. That said, I'll keep your suggestion in mind, a VM it is when or if I decide to try a PC game.

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vivea

Yeah, thanks, I think for now these games are a little too advanced for me, though. I really should hit the books more than I do now.

 

If anybody is interested in how gaming can help, then I could point you to Zelda and Pokemon series as the simplest games. However, I do believe that as a tool for language-learning the Sims is the best. I've got the "The Sims (1) Complete Collection", and fellow simmers helped me figure out how to change the language recently. You see, the Sims games come with all languages at once, you just need to know how to edit the registry on your PC, and it has both simplified and traditional Chinese. The reason I say it's probably the best for learning is because it doesn't require you to understand texts (if only short ones), and there's a lot of stuff in the game that beginners have to learn about daily life anyway. Like, click on the fridge and learn how to say have breakfast, have dinner, have a quick snack, etc. Click on the bed and learn how to say "go to sleep" and "make bed". Click on the shower, learn how to take a shower, click on the car and learn how to say "go to work". Buy electronics and learn "to watch TV", "to switch the channel", "to listen to music". I think you can see what I mean. The game is great for beginners. In addition, you can read a lot in the Sims, the game features innumerable short descriptions of all of its objects in Buy Mode. There's no particular reason I mention Sims 1, either, I used to be a big fan and have all games from 1 to 3,  however, Sims 1 takes barely 3 seconds to launch, which allows me to switch it between Chinese and English version in a matter of seconds.

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