I’ve been meaning to try Collanos for a while and got the opportunity to do so when my wife needed to share some files with a friend. Observations….
Its slow to start on my machine (but this is not a major issue). The functionality is good with the ability to add files, post-its, tasks, URL’s, and persistent chats to a workspace. These are then transferred peer to peer to participants of the workspace, that traffic being encrypted using a 256 bit AES algorythm.
The interface is intuitive, clear and simple. The invitation mechanisms are simple (although do need the other person to have a pre-existing account). Account registration is quick and simple. File transfer was quick and made efficient use of available bandwidth.
Cross platform support wins over some alternative peer to peer technologies (Collanos plays with Windows, Mac and Linux). Cost is zero and the business model appears to be wait for a richer feature version of the software and then pay for that if you need those features. And the new features I’d like to see would be:
- Folder share at an OS level. Groove allows this and that is superb, avoiding the need to upload files to the workspace.
- Some form of optional relaying service to cache encrypted data on a server ready for participants to log on (again stealing from the Groove model).
- Better discussion support.
- Better support for rich text (i.e. ability to paste images to allow annotation between workspace members).
- A calendar (possibly linked to google).
Running on Vista
Lots of people make reference to problems on Vista. I have had no problems by taking the following approach. When installing I installed using the admin account. However I ensured that the workplace folder in a location that the account which would run Collanos had no issues accessing.