It is very simple actually (although not as fast as using a dedicated web server like nginx). Just use python:
python -m SimpleHTTPServer
That's it ! After running this line, the files in your current folder will be accessible over port 8000, so you can send your pears a link like this: http://YourIPHere:8000/ , and they will be able to read the shared folder.
You can change the port very easily too - just append it at the end of the last command, like this :
python -m SimpleHTTPServer 11001
That will run a webserver for the current folder over port 11001, instead of the default port 8000.
Stopping the python webserver process is simple too - just type Ctrl-C, like you would do for any other long running shell process.
How to make switching of tabs in google chrome or chromium fast again after upgrading to version 14:
Switching of tabs is something that you need to do many times each day, if you are a power user and read many web pages. So slow tab switching really affects the perception of Google Chrome as a snappy, fast and bugfree usefull browser.
So whithout further ado, here is the quick solution for the slow tab switching:
Move your bookmarks from the 'Bookmarks Bar' to a new folder under 'Other Bookmarks' and now the tab switching should be snappy again in both Google Chrome and Chromium.
The 'Bookmarks Bar' is the default folder in which new bookmarks are added, and people like me, having the habit to bookmark every interesting page they visit for improving customization and later searchability, soon will collect a large number of bookmarks in this folder, thus slowing chrome more and more.
I can not remember the exact version where the slowdown started, but I think it was around Google Chrome version 14. Previous to that version, I had aproximately the same large amount of bookmarks, but chrome was snappy. After that, I thought that it was a problem with the development version of chrome, and I've used chromium for a while, because it remained fast (and it lags several versions behind on my machine). A couple of weeks ago, I've updated chromium to version '14.0.835.202 (Developer Build 103287 Linux) Ubuntu 11.04' and it started to lag, just like google chrome.
Moving the bookmarks to a different folder, as suggested here: http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=87235
really helped, and google chrome is fast again .