Go to the previous, next chapter.

FTP (Mining the Net, part II)

Hundreds of systems connected to Internet have file libraries, or archives, accessible to the public. Much of this consists of free or low-cost shareware programs for virtually every make of computer. If you want a different communications program for your IBM, or feel like playing a new game on your Amiga, you'll be able to get it from the Net.

But there are also libraries of documents as well. If you want a copy of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, you can find it on the Net. Copies of historical documents, from the Magna Carta to the Declaration of Independence are also yours for the asking, along with a translation of a telegram from Lenin ordering the execution of rebellious peasants. You can also find song lyrics, poems, even summaries of every ``Lost in Space'' episode ever made. You can also find extensive files detailing everything you could ever possibly want to know about the Net itself. First you'll see how to get these files; then we'll show you where they're kept.

The commonest way to get these files is through the file transfer protocol, or ftp. As with telnet, not all systems that connect to the Net have access to ftp. However, if your system is one of these, you'll be able to get many of these files through e-mail (see section Advanced E-mail).

Starting ftp is as easy as using telnet. At your host system's command line, type

ftp site.name
@fnindex ftp site.name

and hit enter, where ``site.name'' is the address of the ftp site you want to reach. One major difference between telnet and ftp is that it is considered bad form to connect to most ftp sites during their business hours (generally 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time). This is because transferring files across the network takes up considerable computing power, which during the day is likely to be needed for whatever the computer's main function is. There are some ftp sites that are accessible to the public 24 hours a day, though. You'll find these noted in the list of ftp sites.

How do you find a file you want, though?

Until a few years ago, this could be quite the pain -- there was no master directory to tell you where a given file might be stored on the Net. Who'd want to slog through hundreds of file libraries looking for something?

Alan Emtage, Bill Heelan and Peter Deutsch, students at McGill University in Montreal, asked the same question. Unlike the weather, though, they did something about it.

They created a database system, called archie, that would periodically call up file libraries and basically find out what they had available.

In turn, anybody could dial into archie, type in a file name, and see where on the Net it was available. Archie currently catalogs close to 1,000 file libraries around the world.

Today, there are three ways to ask archie to find a file for you: through telnet, ``client'' Archie program on your own host system or e-mail. All three methods let you type in a full or partial file name and will tell you where on the Net it's stored. If you have access to telnet, you can telnet to one of the following addresses: @host{archie.mcgill.ca}; @host{archie.sura.net}; @host{archie.unl.edu}; @host{archie.ans.net}; or @host{archie.rutgers.edu}. If asked for a log-in name, type


and hit enter.

When you connect, the key command is prog, which you use in this form:

prog filename

followed by enter, where ``filename'' is the program or file you're looking for. If you're unsure of a file's complete name, try typing in part of the name. For example, PKZIP will work as well as PKZIP201.EXE. The system does not support DOS or Unix wildcards. If you ask archie to look for PKZIP*, it will tell you it couldn't find anything by that name. One thing to keep in mind is that a file is not necessarily the same as a program -- it could also be a document. This means you can use archie to search for, say, everything online related to the Beetles, as well as computer programs and graphics files.

A number of Net sites now have their own archie programs that take your request for information and pass it onto the nearest archie database -- ask your system administrator if s/he has it online. These ``client'' programs seem to provide information a lot more quickly than the actual archie itself! If it is available, at your host system's command line, type

archie -s filename

where filename is the program or document you're looking for, and hit enter. The -s tells the program to ignore case in a file name and lets you search for partial matches. You might actually want to type it this way:

archie -s filename |more

which will stop the output every screen (handy if there are many sites that carry the file you want). Or you could open a file on your computer with your text-logging function.

The third way, for people without access to either of the above, is e-mail.

Send a message to @email{archie@quiche.cs.mcgill.ca}. You can leave the subject line blank. Inside the message, type

prog filename

where filename is the file you're looking for. You can ask archie to look up several programs by putting their names on the same ``prog'' line, like this:

prog file1 file2 file3

Within a few hours, archie will write back with a list of the appropriate sites.

In all three cases, if there is a system that has your file, you'll get a response that looks something like this:

Host sumex-aim.stanford.edu

Location: /info-mac/comm FILE -rw-r--r-- 258256 Feb 15 17:07 zterm-09.hqx Location: /info-mac/misc FILE -rw-r--r-- 7490 Sep 12 1991 zterm-sys7-color-icons.hqx

Chances are, you will get a number of similar looking responses for each program. The ``host'' is the system that has the file. The ``Location'' tells you which directory to look in when you connect to that system. Ignore the funny-looking collections of r's and hyphens for now. After them, come the size of the file or directory listing in bytes, the date it was uploaded, and the name of the file.

Now you want to get that file.

Assuming your host site does have ftp, you connect in a similar fashion to telnet, by typing:

ftp sumex-aim.stanford.edu

(or the name of whichever site you want to reach). Hit enter. If the connection works, you'll see this:

Connected to sumex-aim.stanford.edu.
220 SUMEX-AIM FTP server (Version 4.196 Mon Jan 13 13:52:23 PST 1992) ready.
Name (sumex-aim.stanford.edu:adamg):

If nothing happens after a minute or so, hit control-C to return to your host system's command line. But if it has worked, type


and hit enter. You'll see a lot of references on the Net to ``anonymous ftp.'' This is how it gets its name -- you don't really have to tell the library site what your name is. The reason is that these sites are set up so that anybody can gain access to certain public files, while letting people with accounts on the sites to log on and access their own personal files. Next, you'll be asked for your tpassword. As a password, use your e-mail address. This will then come up:

230 Guest connection accepted. Restrictions apply.
Remote system type is UNIX.
Using binary mode to transfer files.

Now type


and hit enter. You'll see something awful like this:

200 PORT command successful.
150 Opening ASCII mode data connection for /bin/ls.
total 2636
-rw-rw-r--  1 0        31           4444 Mar  3 11:34 README.POSTING
dr-xr-xr-x  2 0        1             512 Nov  8 11:06 bin
-rw-r--r--  1 0        0        11030960 Apr  2 14:06 core
dr--r--r--  2 0        1             512 Nov  8 11:06 etc
drwxrwsr-x  5 13       22            512 Mar 19 12:27 imap
drwxr-xr-x 25 1016     31            512 Apr  4 02:15 info-mac
drwxr-x---  2 0        31           1024 Apr  5 15:38 pid
drwxrwsr-x 13 0        20           1024 Mar 27 14:03 pub
drwxr-xr-x  2 1077     20            512 Feb  6  1989 tmycin
226 Transfer complete.

Ack! Let's decipher this Rosetta Stone.

First, ls is the ftp command for displaying a directory (you can actually use dir as well, but if you're used to MS-DOS, this could lead to confusion when you try to use dir on your host system, where it won't work, so it's probably better to just remember to always use ls for a directory while online).

The very first letter on each line tells you whether the listing is for a directory or a file. If the first letter is a d, or an l, it's a directory. Otherwise, it's a file.

The rest of that weird set of letters and dashes consist of ``flags'' that tell the ftp site who can look at, change or delete the file. You can safely ignore it. You can also ignore the rest of the line until you get to the second number, the one just before the date. This tells you how large the file is, in bytes. If the line is for a directory, the number gives you a rough indication of how many items are in that directory -- a directory listing of 512 bytes is relatively small. Next comes the date the file or directory was uploaded, followed (finally!) by its name.

Notice the README.POSTING file up at the top of the directory. Most archive sites have a ``read me'' document, which usually contains some basic information about the site, its resources and how to use them. Let's get this file, both for the information in it and to see how to transfer files from there to here. At the ftp> prompt, type


and hit enter. Note that ftp sites are no different from Unix sites in general: they are case-sensitive. You'll see something like this:

200 PORT command successful.
150 Opening BINARY mode data connection for README (4444 bytes).
226 Transfer complete. 4444 bytes received in 1.177seconds (3.8 Kbytes/s)

And that's it! The file is now located in your home directory on your host system, from which you can now download it to your own computer. The simple get command is the key to transferring a file from an archive site to your host system.

If the first letter on the line starts with a d, then that is a directory you can enter to look for more files. If it starts with an r, then it's a file you can get. The next item of interest is the fifth column, which tells you how large the item is in bytes. That's followed by the date and time it was loaded to the archive, followed, finally, by its name. Many sites provide a README file that lists simple instructions and available files. Some sites use files named Index or INDEX or something similar.

If you want to download more than one file at a time (say a series of documents, use mget instead of get; for example:

mget *.txt

This will transfer copies of every file ending with .txt in the given directory. Before each file is copied, you'll be asked if you're sure you want it. Despite this, mget could still save you considerable time -- you won't have to type in every single file name.

There is one other command to keep in mind. If you want to get a copy of a computer program, type


and hit enter. This tells the ftp site and your host site that you are sending a binary file, i.e., a program. Most ftp sites now use binary format as a default, but it's a good idea to do this in case you've connected to one of the few that doesn't.

To switch to a directory, type

cd directory-name

(substituting the name of the directory you want to access) and hit enter. Type


and hit enter to get the file listing for that particular directory. To move back up the directory tree, type

cd ..

(note the space between the d and the first period) and hit enter. Or you could type


and hit enter. Keep doing this until you get to the directory of interest. Alternately, if you already know the directory path of the file you want (from our friend archie), after you connect, you could simply type

get directory/subdirectory/filename

On many sites, files meant for public consumption are in the pub or public directory; sometimes you'll see an info directory.

Almost every site has a bin directory, which at first glance sounds like a bin in which interesting stuff might be dumped. But it actually stands for ``binary'' and is simply a place for the system administrator to store the programs that run the ftp system. Lost+found is another directory that looks interesting but actually never has anything of public interest in them.

Before, you saw how to use archie. From our example, you can see that some system administrators go a little berserk when naming files. Fortunately, there's a way for you to rename the file as it's being transferred. Using our archie example, you'd type

get zterm-sys7-color-icons.hqx zterm.hqx

and hit enter. Instead of having to deal constantly with a file called zterm-sys7-color-icons.hqx, you'll now have one called, simply, zterm.hqx.

Those last three letters bring up something else: Many program files are compressed to save on space and transmission time. In order to actually use them, you'll have to use an un-compress program on them first.

There are a wide variety of compression methods in use. You can tell which method was used by the last one to three letters at the end of a file. Here are some of the more common ones and what you'll need to un-compress the files they create (and these decompression programs can all be located through archie).

@ftable @code

  • .txt
  • .TXT By itself, this means the file is a document, rather than a program.

  • .doc
  • .DOC Is another common suffix for documents. No de-compression is needed, unless it is followed by

  • .ps
  • .PS A PostScript document (in Adobe's page description language). You can print this file on any PostScript capable printer, or use a previewer, like the PD GhostScript.

  • .Z This is a Unix compression method. To uncompress the file, type

    uncompress filename.Z

    and hit enter at your host system's command prompt. If it's a text file, you can read it online by typing

    zcat file.txt.Z |more

    at your host system's command line. There is a Macintosh program called MacCompress that you can use on your machine if you want to download the file (use archie to find where you can get it!). There's an MS-DOS equivalent, often found as u16.ZIP, which means it is itself compressed in the ZIP format.

  • .zip
  • .ZIP An MS-DOS format. Use the PKZIP package (usually found as PKZ201.exe or something similar).

  • .gz The GNU project's compression format. A variant of the PKZIP format. Use gunzip filename.gz to uncompress.

  • .zoo
  • .ZOO A Unix and MS-DOS format. Requires the use of a program called zoo.

  • .Hqx A Macintosh format that needs BinHex for de-compression.

  • .shar A Unix format. Use unshar.

  • .tar Another Unix format, often used to compress several related files into one big file. Use tar. Often, a ``tarred'' file will also be compressed with the .Z method, so you first have to use uncompress and then tar.

  • .TAZ Sometimes used for compressed archives .tar.Z, that are stored on ``3 letter suffix only systems'' (aka MS-DOS).

  • .Sit A Macintosh format, requires StuffIt.

  • .ARC A DOS format that requires the use of ARC or ARCE. @end ftable

    A few last words of caution: Check the size of a file before you get it. The Net moves data at phenomenal rates of speed. But that 500,000-byte file that gets transferred to your host system in a few seconds could take more than an hour or two to download to your computer if you're using a 2400-baud modem. Your host system may also have limits on the amount of bytes you can store online at any one time. Also, although it is really extremely unlikely you will ever get a file infected with a virus, if you plan to do much downloading over the Net, you'd be wise to invest in a good anti-viral program, just in case.

    The Keyboard Cabal

    System administrators are like everybody else -- they try to make things easier for themselves. And when you sit in front of a keyboard all day, that can mean trying everything possible to reduce the number of keys you actually have to hit each day.

    Unfortunately, that can make it difficult for the rest of us.

    Connect to many ftp sites, and one of the entries you'll often see is a directory named bin.

    You might think this is a bin where interesting things get thrown. It's not. ``Bin'' is short for ``binary,'' i.e., the programs that make the ftp site work, to which you won't have access anyway.

    Etc is another seemingly interesting directory that turns out to be another place to store files used by the ftp site itself. Lost+Found directories are used by Unix systems for some routine housekeeping -- again, nothing of any real interest.

    Then, once you get into the actual file libraries, you'll find that in many cases, files will have such non-descriptive names as V1.1-AK.TXT. The best known example is probably a set of several hundred files known as RFCs, which provide the basic technical and organizational information on which much of the Internet is built. These files can be found on many ftp sites, but always in a form such as RFC101.TXT, RFC102.TXT and so on, with no clue whatsoever as to what information they contain.

    Fortunately, almost all ftp sites have a ``Rosetta Stone'' to help you decipher these names. Most will have a file named README (or some variant) that gives basic information about the system. Then, most directories will either have a similar README file or will have an index that does give brief descriptions of each file. These are usually the first file in a directory and often are in the form 00INDEX.TXT. Use the ftp command to get this file. You can then scan it online or download it to see which files you might be interested in.

    Another file you will frequently see is called ls-lgR.Z. This contains a listing of every file on the system, but without any descriptions (the name comes from the Unix command ls -lgR, which gives you a listing of all the files in all your directories). The .Z at the end means the file has been compressed, which means you will have to use a Unix un-compress command before you can read the file.

    And finally, we have those system administrators who almost seem to delight in making things difficult -- the ones who take full advantage of Unix's ability to create absurdly long file names. On some FTP sites, you will see file names as long as 80 characters or so, full of capital letters, underscores and every other orthographic device that will make it almost impossible for you to type the file name correctly when you try to get it. Your secret weapon here is the mget command. Just type mget, a space, and the first five or six letters of the file name, followed by an asterisk, for example:

    mget This_F*

    The FTP site will ask you if you want to get the file that begins with that name. If there are several files that start that way, you might have to answer n a few times, but it's still easier than trying to recreate a ludicrously long file name.

    FTP Sites

    What follows is a list of some interesting ftp sites, arranged by category. With hundreds of ftp sites now on the Net, however, this list barely scratches the surface of what is available. Liberal use of archie will help you find specific files.

    The times listed for each site are in Eastern time and represent the periods during which it is considered acceptable to connect.


    @host{ftp.uu.net} Has Amiga programs in the systems/amiga directory. Available 24 hours.


    @host{atari.archive.umich.edu} Find almost all the Atari files you'll ever need, in the atari directory. 7 p.m. - 7 a.m.


    @host{pit-manager.mit.edu} (aka @host{rtfm.mit.edu}) The pub/usenet/rec.arts.books directory has reading lists for various authors as well as lists of recommended bookstores in different cities. Unfortunately, this site uses incredibly long file names -- so long they may scroll off the end of your screen if you are using an MS-DOS or certain other computers. Even if you want just one of the files, it probably makes more sense to use mget than get. This way, you will be asked on each file whether you want to get it; otherwise you may wind up frustrated because the system will keep telling you the file you want doesn't exist (since you may miss the end of its name due to the scrolling problem). 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.

    Computer Ethics

    @host{ftp.eff.org} The home of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Use cd to get to the pub directory and then look in the EFF, SJG and CPSR directories for documents on the EFF itself and various issues related to the Net, ethics and the law. Available 24 hours.


    @host{pit-manager.mit.edu} The pub/usenet/misc.consumers directory has documents related to credit. The pub/usenet/rec.travel.air directory will tell you how to deal with airline reservation clerks, find the best prices on seats, etc. See under Books for a caveat in using this ftp site. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.


    @host{uarchive.wustl.edu} Look for recipes and recipe directories in the usenet/rec.food.cooking/ recipes directory.

    @host{gatekeeper.dec.com} Recipes are in the pub/recipes directory.


    @host{rand.org} You'll find text files about the Esperanto artificial language in the pub/esperanto directory. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.

    Evolutionary Computation

    @host{lumpi.informatik.uni-dortmund.de} If you're interested in one possible future of computation, and also are interested in global optimization problems, evolutionary biology and genetics, you might want to take a look at this server. For an overview on the field, you should get the file pub/EA/docs/hhgtec.ps.Z, aka @fyi{The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to Evolutionary Computation}. Available 24 hours.


    @host{ftp.germany.eu.net} Run by Germany's EUNet group, i.e. it's located at the University of Dortmund, Germany's backbone site of the European part of the Internet, thus termed EUNet. It's the European default server for MIT's X11 windowing system releases, and also ``mirrors'' several important sites; e.g. in pub/packages/gnu the GNU project's default server, etc. Available 24 hours.

    @host{iraun1.ira.uka.de} Run by the computer-science department of the University of Karlsruhe in Germany, this site offers lists of anonymous-FTP sites both internationally (in the anon.ftp.sites directory) and in Germany (in anon.ftp.sites.de). 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.

    @host{ftp.netcom.com} The pub/profiles directory has lists of ftp sites.


    @host{ncsuvm.cc.ncsu.edu} The SENATE directory contains bibliographic records of U.S. Senate hearings and documents for the past several Congresses. Get the file README.DOS9111, which will explain the cryptic file names. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.

    @host{nptn.org} The General Accounting Office (GAO) is the investigative wing of Congress. The pub/e.texts/gao.reports directory represents an experiment by the agency to use ftp to distribute its reports. Available 24 hours.


    @host{nptn.org} This site has a large, growing collecting of text files. In the pub/e.texts/freedom. shrine directory, you'll find copies of important historical documents, from the Magna Carta to the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation. Available 24 hours.

    @host{ra.msstate.edu} Mississippi State maintains an eclectic database of historical documents, detailing everything from Attilla's battle strategy to songs of soldiers in Vietnam, in the docs/history directory. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.

    @host{seq1.loc.gov} The Library of Congress has acquired numerous documents from the former Soviet government and has translated many of them into English. In the pub/soviet.archive/text. english directory, you'll find everything from telegrams from Lenin ordering the death of peasants to Khrushhchev's response to Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis. The README file in the pub/soviet.archive directory provides an index to the documents. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.

    Hong Kong

    @host{nok.lcs.mit.edu} GIF pictures of Hong Kong pop stars, buildings and vistas are available in the pub/hongkong/HKPA directory. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.


    @host{ftp.eff.org} The pub/internet-info directory has a number of documents explaining the Internet and Usenet. Available 24 hours.

    @host{nic.ddn.mil} The internet-drafts directory contains information about Internet, while the scc directory holds network security bulletins. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.


    @host{info.umd.edu} U.S. Supreme Court decisions from 1989 to the present are stored in the info/Government/US/SupremeCt directory. Each term has a separate directory (for example, term1992). Get the README and Index files to help decipher the case numbers. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.

    @host{ftp.uu.net} Supreme Court decisions are in the court-opinions directory. You'll want to get the index file, which tells you which file numbers go with which file names. The decisions come in Word Perfect and Atex format only. Available 24 hours a day.


    @host{ftp.unt.edu} The library directory contains numerous lists of libraries with computerized card catalogs accessible through the Net.


    @host{nptn.org} In the pub/e.texts/gutenberg/etext91 and etext92 directories, you can get copies of Aesop's Fables, works by Lewis Carroll and other works of literature, as well as the Book of Mormon. Available 24 hours.

    @host{world.std.com} The obi directory has everything from online fables to accounts of Hiroshima survivors. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.


    @host{sumex-aim.stanford.edu} This is the premier site for Macintosh software. After you log in, switch to the info-mac directory, which will bring up a long series of sub-directories of virtually every free and shareware Mac program you could ever want. 9 p.m. - 9 a.m.

    @host{ftp.uu.net} Carries copies, or ``mirrors'' of Macintosh programs from the Simtel20 collection in the systems/mac/simtel20 directory. Available 24 hours a day.

    Movie Reviews

    @host{lcs.mit.edu} Look in the movie-reviews directory. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.


    @host{wuarchive.wustl.edu} This carries one of the world's largest collections of MS-DOS software. The files are actually copied, or ``mirrored'' from a computer at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range (which uses ftp software that is totally incomprehensible). It also carries large collections of Macintosh, Windows, Atari, Amiga, Unix, OS9, CP/M and Apple II software. Look in the mirrors and systems directories. The gif directory contains a large number of GIF graphics images. Accessible 24 hours.

    @host{ftp.uu.net} Carries copies, or ``mirrors'' of MS-DOS programs from the Simtel20 collection in the systems/msdos/simtel20 directory. Available 24 hours a day.


    @host{cs.uwp.edu} The pub/music directory has everything from lyrics of contemporary songs to recommended CDs of baroque music. It's a little different - and easier to navigate - than other ftp sites. File and directory names are on the left, while on the right, you'll find a brief description of the file or directory, like this:

    SITES        1528  Other music-related FTP archive sites
    classical/      -  (dir) Classical Buying Guide
    database/       -  (dir) Music Database program
    discog/         =  (dir) Discographies
    faqs/           =  (dir) Music Frequently Asked questions files
    folk/           -  (dir) Folk Music Files and pointers
    guitar/         =  (dir) Guitar TAB files from ftp.nevada.edu
    info/           =  (dir) rec.music.info archives
    interviews/     -  (dir) Interviews with musicians/groups
    lists/          =  (dir) Mailing lists archives
    lyrics/         =  (dir) Lyrics Archives
    misc/           -  (dir) Misc files that don't fit anywhere else
    pictures/       =  (dir) GIFS, JPEGs, PBMs and more.
    press/          -  (dir) Press Releases and misc articles
    programs/       -  (dir) Misc music-related programs for various machines
    releases/       =  (dir) Upcoming USA release listings
    sounds/         =  (dir) Short sound samples
    226 Transfer complete.

    When you switch to a directory, don't include the /. 7 p.m. - 7 a.m.

    @host{potemkin.cs.pdx.edu} The Bob Dylan archive. Interviews, notes, year-by-year accounts of his life and more, in the pub/dylan directory. 9 p.m. - 9 a.m.

    @host{ftp.nevada.edu} Guitar chords for contemporary songs are in the pub/guitar directory, in subdirectories organized by group or artist.


    @host{pit-manager.mit.edu} The pub/usenet/rec.pets.dogs and pub/usenet.rec.pets.cats directories have documents on the respective animals. See under Books for a caveat in using this ftp site. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.


    @host{wuarchiv.wustl.edu} The graphics/gif directory contains hundreds of GIF photographic and drawing images, from cartoons to cars, space images to pop stars. These are arranged in a long series of subdirectories.


    @host{ftp.nevada.edu} Photolog is an online digest of photography news, in the pub/photo directory.


    @host{nptn.org} In the pub/e.texts/religion directory, you'll find subdirectories for chapters and books of both the Bible and the Koran. Available 24 hours.


    @host{pit-manager.mit.edu} Look in the pub/usenet/alt.sex and pub/usenet/alt.sex.wizards directories for documents related to all facets of sex. See under Books for a caveat in using this ftp site. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.

    Science Fiction

    @host{elbereth.rutgers.edu} In the pub/sfl directory, you'll find plot summaries for various science-fiction TV shows, including Star Trek (not only the original and Next Generation shows, but the cartoon version as well), Lost in Space, Battlestar Galactica, the Twilight Zone, the Prisoner and Doctor Who. There are also lists of various things related to science fiction and an online science-fiction fanzine. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.


    @host{atari.archive.umich.edu} The shakespeare directory contains most of the Bard's works. A number of other sites have his works as well, but generally as one huge mega-file. This site breaks them down into various categories (comedies, poetry, histories, etc.) so that you can download individual plays or sonnets.


    @host{ames.arc.nasa.gov} Stores text files about space and the history of the NASA space program in the pub/SPACE subdirectory. In the pub/GIF and pub/SPACE/GIF directories, you'll find astronomy- and NASA-related GIF files, including pictures of planets, satellites and other celestial objects. 9 p.m. - 9 a.m.


    @host{goya.dit.upm.es} This Spanish site carries an updated list of bulletin-board systems in Spain, as well as information about European computer networks, in the info/doc/net subdirectory, mostly in Spanish. The BBS list is bbs.Z, which means you will have to uncompress it to read it. Available 24 hours.


    @host{coe.montana.edu} The pub/TV/Guides directory has histories and other information about dozens of TV shows. Only two anonymous-ftp log-ins are allowed at a time, so you might have to try more than once to get in. 8 p.m. - 8 a.m.

    @host{ftp.cs.widener.edu} The pub/simpsons directory has more files than anybody could possibly need about Bart and family. The pub/strek directory has files about the original and Next Generation shows as well as the movies. See also under Science Fiction.


    @host{nic.stolaf.edu} Before you take that next overseas trip, you might want to see whether the State Department has issued any kind of advisory for the countries on your itinerary. The advisories, which cover everything from hurricane damage to civil war, are in the pub/travel-advisories/ advisories directory, arranged by country. 7 p.m. - 7 a.m.


    @host{ftp.uu.net} In the usenet directory, you'll find ``frequently asked questions'' files, copied from @host{pit-manager.mit.edu}. The communications directory holds programs that let MS-DOS users connect directly with UUCP sites. In the info directory, you'll find information about ftp and ftp sites. The inet directory contains information about Internet. Available 24 hours.

    @host{pit-manager.mit.edu} This site contains all available ``frequently asked questions'' files for Usenet newsgroups in the pub/usenet directory. For easy access, get the index file. See under Books for a caveat in using this ftp site. 6 p.m. - 6 a.m.


    @host{ftp.unt.edu} The antivirus directory has anti-virus programs for MS-DOS and Macintosh computers. 7 p.m. - 7 a.m.


    @host{vmd.cso.uiuc.edu} No password needed. The wx directory contains GIF weather images of North America. Files are updated hourly and take this general form: CV100222. The first two letters tell the type of file: CV means it is a visible-light photo taken by a weather satellite. CI images are similar, but use infrared light. Both these are in black and white. Files that begin with SA are color radar maps of the U.S. that show severe weather patterns but also fronts and temperatures in major cities. The numbers indicate the date and time (in GMT - five hours ahead of EST) of the image: the first two numbers represent the month, the next two the date, the last two the hour. The file WXKEY.GIF explains the various symbols in SA files.

    When things go wrong:


    Liberal use of archie will help you find specific files or documents. For information on new or interesting ftp sites, try the @news{comp.archives} newsgroup on Usenet. You can also look in the @news{comp.misc}, @news{comp.sources.wanted} or @news{news.answers} newsgroups on Usenet for lists of ftp sites posted every month by Tom Czarnik and Jon Granrose.

    The @news{comp.archives} newsgroup carries news of new ftp sites and interesting new files on existing sites.

    In the @news{comp.virus} newsgroup on Usenet, look for postings that list ftp sites carrying anti-viral software for Amiga, MS-DOS, Macintosh, Atari and other computers.

    The @news{comp.sys.ibm.pc.digest} and @news{comp.sys.mac.digest} newsgroups provide information about new MS-DOS and Macintosh programs as well as answers to questions from users of those computers.

    @vskip 0pt plus 1filll @flushright ``Welch ein Ort zum Pl@"undern!'' (What a place to plunder!) --- General von Bl@"ucher @end flushright