Rsync vs Bluetooth

Sometimes the Solution is Surprisingly Simple

I found myself facing a frustrating dilemma when attempting to transfer about 20GB of data from my wired-connected Pi 2 server to my wirelessly-connected MacBook. To my dismay, the transfer speed was averaging a measly 100KB/s, and I certainly didn’t have 72 hours to spare.

As any geek would, I immediately sprang into action.

Now, I’m well aware that using a Pi as a server might not be the most optimal choice, but given its technical limitations, it remains a practical solution. After all, it’s a mere RM150 computer driven by a RM20 microSD card and a RM30 power supply. I expected a transfer speed of around 4MB/s, or at the very least, no less than 2MB/s. Clearly, something was amiss.

I initially attempted to initiate the transfer via SSH, but to my dismay, the speed plummeted even further to a disappointing 60KB/s. Determined to find a workaround, I delved into the realm of NFS, which promised improved performance for networked *nix PC-to-PC transfers. Thankfully, this yielded a slight improvement, with the speed reaching 120KB/s. At least progress was being made, albeit slowly.

In a desperate bid to salvage the situation, I rebooted the Pi and closed all applications on my MacBook, hoping to see a miraculous speed boost. Alas, no significant change occurred.

Then, a stroke of insight hit me – I decided to turn off my mouse to prevent further distractions caused by the persistent low battery pop-ups. And lo and behold! The transfer speed instantly jumped to a respectable 2MB/s! It seemed that signal interference was the culprit all along.

Eager to capitalize on this newfound discovery, I took things a step further. I promptly shut down Spotify, disconnected the Bluetooth speaker positioned across the room, and disabled Bluetooth on my Mac. Miraculously, my transfer speed skyrocketed to 5MB/s. Problem solved.

Ironically, I hadn’t encountered this peculiar behavior before, as my previous MacBook Pro relied on a wired mouse. However, upon switching to the 12-inch MacBook, I found myself thrust into the world of wireless connectivity and the requisite dongles. Radio interference had been virtually non-existent or too subtle to notice in the past.

In conclusion, the wireless world still has its quirks and drawbacks. Perhaps it’s a sign that I should stick with my trusty old MacBook Pro after all.

Posted October 18, 2017