Mike Gleason and Bruce Grubb's Mac ftp list lists over 200 mac anonymous ftp sites (some with notes), over 65 Mac web pages, contains some instructions on how to use anonymous ftp and find files as well a format chart showing which programs decompress and decode which files and a section on how to use certain decoded files.

Mac-FTP-list, HTML Version 4.2.0


From: BruceG6069@aol.com (Bruce Grubb)

This is a update (Dec 1, 1996) to Mike Gleason and Bruce Grubb's Mac ftp list. It lists over 200 mac anonymous ftp sites (some with notes), over 65 Mac web pages, and contains some instructions on how to use anonymous ftp and find files as well a Format Chart showing which programs decompress and decode which files and a section on how to use certain decoded files.

To Mike Gleason for the original Mac-FTP-list and giving me permission to continue it.
To Tim Jones, reichh45@potsdam.edu, and Robert C. Best III (author of the excellent HTML editors, HTML SuperText and HTML Web Weaver) for the work that the HTML verison of the Mac FTP list possible. HTML Web Weaver is available at any good info-mac mirror in the /comm/html/ directory.

Note to World Wide Web users:The html version of the mac-ftp-list is composed of four crosslinked files which CANNOT be renamed: mac-ftp-list.html, ftp-list.html, www-section.html, and site-notes.html.

The advantage of this set-up is not only is it easier for me update and edit but people can go directly to the ftp-list section without slugging through the rest of the document.

Changes: format chart, ftp.support.apple.com, and shadowmac information updated;

Added sites/URLs: ftp://ftp.midata.fi/pub/mac/;

Defunct sites/URLs: chemotaxis.biology.utah.edu; ftp.linkline.be; ftpbio.bgsu.edu;

Note: Mike Gleason no longer supports this list and has given me his kind permision to continue it.

Revisions posted monthly to the USENET newsgroups comp.sys.mac.comm, comp.sys.mac.misc, comp.sys.mac.apps, and comp.sys.mac.games.misc.


.hqx files
sumex-aim.stanford.edu {Info-Mac}, mac.archive.umich.edu, their mirrors and http://members.aol.com/BruceG6069/mac-ftp-list.hqx.
Compressed version is an .hqx file which contains a text version of the Mac-FTP-list.
.txt file
Format chart section; format-chart-116.txt, same sites as .hqx file.

The fixed font must be in a monospaced font such as Monaco 9pt, Courier 10pt, or PC equivalent for this page to be readable.

Copyright 1996 by Bruce Grubb with document concept and portions of its text Copyright 1991 by Mike Gleason. May be freely distributed and archived.

Please send newly discovered macintosh sites (with IP numbers and directories to check if possible), bug fixes, and comments to:

Internet: BruceG6069@aol.com
AOL: BruceG6069

For folks new to ftp

The first column of stuff in the data below is the site name. Usually you can either type in the URL ftp://sitename/file/pathway/ on a browser or run ftp from a unix shell account and type open and then the site name. But some computers don't like the names (or don't have all of them) and prefer the next column of stuff, the IP addresses. If you try either method with the IP number and it doesn't bite, it isn't gonna work. Due to recent IP# changes and 'dymatic addressing' many sites on the HTML version can be accessed by both the sitename and the IP#. Sites with only one link use the IP number rather than the site name. For example the wuarchive.wustl.edu URL is rather than ftp://wuarchive.wustl.edu/systems/mac/. As I update site they will become dual linked until the entire list is set up this way.

Most mac ftp sites have encoded their files with BinHex 4.0 which end in the suffix ".hqx". To decode these files, you can just download them to your mac and use Stuffit Expander to decode and expand them, reguardless of whether they are Stuffit (.sit) or Compact Pro (.cpt). This is much better than in the old days when you had to download a file to your mac, use Compact Pro or Stuffit to decode it, and THEN, figure which program you needed to use to decompress it.

In days long past one had to have a unix shell account to use FTP. Today there are a whole host of options available - from commercial services such as CompuServe and AOL to local and national ISPs. In addition there are dozens of communication programs for the Macintosh that that make using Telnet and FTP much eaiser now than years ago. A list of such programs can be found at both Joel Klecker's (formally David L. Oppenheimer's) excellent comp.sys.mac.comm FAQ and at The Mac Orchard web page. Most of these programs are also in the subdirectories of /info-mac/comm/ on many info-mac mirrors.

On a unix shell account, ftp prompts you for a username and password; you send "anonymous" as the username, and your email address as the password. Most browsers will do this automatically if they have been set up properly. For the few that don't or can't try doing your URLs in this manner - ftp://anonymous:email_address@site.name/
For Mike Gleason email_address would be mgleason@cse.unl.edu and for me it would be BruceG6069@aol.com.
I should mention that browsers make poor FTP clients and can generate "This FTP server does not support passive mode" on the sites with the 'DM' note. Also there are a few sites that use non-standard names (with spaces or non-printable [>ascii 127] characters) which can create problems for both unix shell accounts and browsers. It is better to use something like Anarchie or Fetch for ftp either of which avoids these problems.

Here's a sample unix shell account ftp session:

% ftp
ftp> open wuarchive.wustl.edu
Connected to wuarchive.wustl.edu.
220 wuarchive.wustl.edu FTP server (...) ready.
Name (wuarchive.wustl.edu:bgrubb): anonymous
331 Guest login ok, send your complete e-mail address as password.
Password (wuarchive.wustl.edu:anonymous): bgrubb@scf.nmsu.edu
230-  If your FTP client crashes or hangs shortly after login please try
230-  using a dash (-) as the first character of your password.  This will
230-  turn off the informational messages that may be confusing your FTP
230-  client.
230-  You are user number 221 out of a possible 225.
230-  All transfers to and from wuarchive are logged.  If you don't like
230-  this then disconnect now!
ftp> cd systems/mac/
ftp> get ./info-mac/help/recent-files.txt Info-MacRecentFiles
ftp> get ./umich.edu/mac/00help/newfiles.txt umichRecentFiles
ftp> get ./info-mac/game/cumulonimbus.hqx cn.hqx
ftp> quit
% sz cn.hqx

Keep in mind that some sites may disenable the anonymous login for a while: during certain hours of the day, for maintainance reasons, or because of too much heavy traffic. Most will tell you the reason for refusing anonymous login, but a few will say nothing more than 'User anonymous unknown' or 'connection refused'. Keep this in mind when a site on this list results in either of these responses.

Power User Notes:

If you want to read a file on a remote site, but don't want download it, and are not using a WWW browser, quit ftp, page the file, then restart ftp, try "get myfile.txt -" and ftp will dump the file to your terminal. Also exploit ftp's pipe and shell abilities, like "get myfile.txt |more" will do the same as above, except using "more" to page the file. On the other hand, Web browsers can read these files on-line without all this hand waving.

If you need to know the IP address of an ftp site, a common unix program called "nslookup" can help. With some versions, "nslookup ftp.apple.com" would spit out "" Doing the reverse is dependent on how your site is set up. Some sites require reversing the address and using the in-addr.arpa domain with the lookup type set to "ANY", while others can use the address as written. There is now a Mac version of this program called DNS lookup.

Most files you'll get off ftp are in binhex (.hqx) format. Since almost all present modems support V.42bis and MNP5 compression (4:1 and 2:1 respectivly) it has actually become faster to download them to your machine and THEN decode them. The reason is simple; text files like .hqx, .uu, and .txt can be compressed allowing the modem to increase throughput for these files by 50% to 100%. Already compressed files like .bin, .sit, and .pit receive little if any benefit from V.42bis and MNP5. This results in .hqx files being downloaded as fast or faster than .bin files. This combined with background decoding/decompression (like StuffIt Expander) and Web browsers has effectivly rendered downloading .hqx to an unix box and decoding it there obsolete.

Almost all Mac shareware compression utilities can be found at an Info-Mac mirror in the info-mac/cmp directory.

Here's a handy chart to keep track which programs unmangle which formats:
                                                     unix  gzip  .uu/ .b64/
Macintosh         .cpt .sit .hqx .bin .arc .zip .tar  .Z  .gz/.z .uue .mime*
Stuffit Expander**  D    D    D    D
 w/ DSEE**          D    X    X    D    D    D    D    D     D     D
ShrinkWrap 2.1.0*^  D    D    D    D    D    D    D    D     D     D
StuffIt Lite***     D    X    X    X    {see note below}
StuffIt Deluxe***   D    X    X    X    D    D    X    X     D     X
ArcMac                                  X
BinHex 5.0                    D    X
Compact Pro 1.5.1   X   D/N   X
Decoder                                                            D    D
Extractor 1.2.1     D   D/N   D
HQXer 1.1                     X
MacCompress                                            X
MacGzip                                                D     X
MPack 1.5.1                   D                                    D    X
SunTar 2.1.0                  X    X              X                X
UU Lite                                                            X
uucd 2.4.4                                                         X    D
UUTool                                                             X
YA-Base64 1.2.9                    D                               D    D
ZipIt 1.3.5                   D    D         X

Other                                                unix  gzip  .uu/ .b64/
computers         .cpt .sit .hqx .bin .arc .zip .tar  .Z  .gz/.z .uue .mime*
binhex.exe                    X
binhex-pc-13                  X
extrac.exe          D
macutil (unix)
 hexbin                       D                                    D
 macunpack          D   D/U                            D           D
mcvert (unix)                 X    X
MPack                         D                                    D    X
PKZIP                                        X
SITEX10.EXE (win)        D    D    D    D    D               D     D
unsitins.exe             D
xferp110 (win)                X                                    X

N = Cannot decode .sit dlx {Type SITD} files
D = Decode only
X = Encode and decode
U = Uncertain or Unknown

.sit refers to both 1.5 and dlx. Otherwise a '/' is used {1.5/dlx}.
.hqx = BinHex4; .bin = MacBinary (BinHex5)
Note: Almost every Mac communications program can decode .bin files.

*   .b64/.mime (Base 64) refers to the encoding format used by the 
    Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension.  For more information consult
    the MIME FAQ.
**  DropStuff with Expander Enhancer is an $30 shareware addon for Stuffit
    Expander.  DSEE is also used by other programs {marked with a *^} 
    to expand files.  Current versions are 4.0 and 4.0.2b2 respectively as of 
    this writing.
*** Stuffit Deluxe 3.5/4.0 translators can be used with Stuffit Lite.
    Current versions are 4.0.0 and 3.5.0 respectively as of this writing.

Other formats

PC format common to European sites. Decoded by unArjMac, DeArj, and SITEX10.EXE (win).
Disk Doubler {Mac} format. Decoded by DDExpand and DiskDoubler.
DOS/Windows executable file (program); also used to create self-extracting archives. An .exe file used as a self-extracting archive can usually be decompressed with Stuffit Expander w/ DSEE.
.html (.htm)
WWW document. Used by WWW browsers such as Netscape and lynx.
Mac disk image. Decoded and/or mounted by DiskCopy, Disk Image Mounter, Disk Charmer, ImageMaster, and ShrinkWrap.
Microsoft Disk Image Utility and Winimage formats, respectivly. Decoded and/or mounted by ShrinkWrap. Note that .img is also used as an graphic file extension and needs GraphicConverter to view.
old PC/Amiga format, replaced by .arc and .zip; decoded by MacLHA, French KISS 2.1.0, and macunpack.
old {~1989} Mac compression format created by PackIt programs, replaced by .sit. In general, a program that handles .sit files can decode .pit files as well.
AppleLink package format, replaced by .sit. Decoded by all present Mac StuffIt programs.
Mac format, decompresses itself and needs no external programs.
Unix shell archive. Decoded by Unshar.
another name for .tar.Z
another name for .tar.z and .tar.gz {do not confuse with .tar.Z}.
ASCII text file. Other suffixes include .abs
Early {~1993} suffix for Gzip files. Due to confusion with the UNIX 'compress' suffix {.Z} it was abandoned in favor of the .gz suffix.
old {~1989} PC/Amiga format, replaced by .arc. Decoded by MacZoo and MacBooz.

CAUTION: While Gzip is aimed at replacing the .Z format, they are different unix compression formats, and the suffixes are NOT inchangable. Many sites now support on-the-fly translation of these formats; just type in the file name minus the .Z or .gz suffix.

WARNING: .hqx, .txt, and .uu files are the ONLY files that can be downloaded in ASCII mode; all others must be downloaded in BINARY {IMAGE} mode for the file to decompress properly. This is especially true of ".bin" and "unpacked" files. Otherwise you will get errors like "unreadable file" or "file is corrupt" when you try to decompress them.

If you need further information please check out the comp.compression FAQ or David Lemson's compression chart.

Finding files and programs

If you are looking for a specific mac file or program you will want to use one or more of the many databases or search engines available, some of which are listed below. Since I only keep track of sites I have no idea where individual files are located, which is why I have included lists of archie sites and Web search engines. Please note that database information is not always up-to-date and files and sites listed may no longer exist.

Using files

Here are some tips if you have downloaded a file and are not sure how to open it. First, do NOT ask people what program opens the file. Odds are that no one will know how to deal with the file.

The reason is that DOS's three letter extension allows 26^3 or 17,576 possible file formats. The Mac is even more of a nightmare with two four letter tags each one allowing 250^4 or 3,906,250,000 different possible combinations. So, on the Mac not only does one have over 3 billion possible formats to choose from but also 3 billion possible programs to choose from. Compounding the problem is the fact that certain three letter extensions can really be any one of several different formats and in DOS people create their own three letter extensions.

The best thing to do is to try and see if there is any way to figure out what broad type of file it is: Word Processor, picture, or sound.

Word Processor
RealView 2.2 (/info-mac/text/) will will read most of these out there.
GraphicConverter (Shareware, $30, /info-mac/gst/grf/) is one of the most powerful shareware graphic programs for the Mac, able to view, create, and edit over 77 different graphic formats including .gif, .png, and .jpeg. But even it cannot view Photoshop, Canvas, Pixel Paint, or .cel formats.
Sound files
Sound App 2.1.1 (Freeware, /info-mac/gst/snd/) will play most sound format out there including .mod, .wav, .au, and .aiff.
Movie files
Sparkle 2.4.5 (/info-mac/gst/mov/) for QT and .mov formats; MS Internet Explorer viewing of most .avi formats.
Other files
Hopefully there is a document file that tells you what is needed otherwise it is pretty much a lost cause.

List of Mac FTP sites
Mac WWW section
Notes on Mac FTP sites

Mac-FTP-List-html maintained by Bruce Grubb.
Last updated Nov 1, 1996