Undergrad 2nd year, 2000.
During my studies, internet access was quite limited, and each student had a set quota of data they could download. Network usage however within the Australian academic network was free and fast, so there was great motivation to be ‘data localvores’.
Astro helped by crawling the university network (a set range of internal IP addresses), including all the residential colleges. These were regular students’ computers full of music, movies, games and such. Metadata for each ﬁle was indexed into a database, which could be queried using a easy web interface.
Files could be downloaded by clicking on the search results, or ﬁle shares browsed using your computer’s in-built SMB capabilities. This was a (much loved) side-project during my studies and needless to say was soon shut down when the RIAA started suing people left, right and centre.