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FTP info regarding SIMTEL20

Rob Harper harper at NIC.FUNET.FI
Sun Nov 17 11:01:24 EST 1991

*>Path: funic!fuug!mcsun!uunet!wupost!m.cs.uiuc.edu!vela!daemon
*>From: w8sdz at WSMR-SIMTEL20.ARMY.MIL (Keith Petersen)
*>Newsgroups: comp.binaries.ibm.pc.archives
*>Subject: SIMTEL20 archives info for Internet FTP users
*>Message-ID: <11414 at vela.acs.oakland.edu>
*>Date: 13 Nov 91 01:17:39 GMT
*>Sender: daemon at vela.acs.oakland.edu
*>Lines: 326

[File: SIMTEL20.INF                   Last revised: June 28, 1991]

   [Note: Due to disk space limitations the PC-Blue collection
   is temporarily off-line.  We are sorry for the inconvenience
   to our users.]

                     THE SIMTEL20 ARCHIVES


There is a colossal amount of free public domain and shareware
software for the CP/M, PCDOS/MSDOS, Macintosh, and UNIX operating
systems, and for the DoD standard programming language, Ada, in
several archives on WSMR-SIMTEL20.ARMY.MIL (IP host,
a DECSYSTEM-20 running the TOPS-20 operating system at White Sands
Missile Range, New Mexico.  Archives of correspondence for several
mailing lists are also available.

    [SIMTEL20 is a contraction of SIMulation and TELeprocessing, the
    name of the branch that originally purchased the machine and in
    whose building the system still resides, and the "20" in
    DECSYSTEM-20.  The convention of including the "20" in some form
    or another was popular with other DECSYSTEM-20 systems at the time
    SIMTEL20 was named, such as MIT-XX at MIT and SCORE at Stanford.]

You can obtain these files using the InterNet file transfer protocol,
FTP (described in a following paragraph), with user-name "anonymous".
For a login password, use "guest", your host-name, or any other string
of printing characters.  Throughout this message, FTP examples are
given in a GENERIC syntax.  You will have to consult either local
documentation or your friendly system wizard to learn the actual
syntax used with your local mainframe operating system.  For the sake
of brevity, the full host name "WSMR-SIMTEL20.ARMY.MIL" will be
dropped from further references to SIMTEL20 in this discussion.  Also
please note that square brackets may be used in place of angle brackets
in referring to directory names.  For example, pd1:[msdos.filedocs]
is the same as pd1:<msdos.filedocs>

There are many helpful files in the default ANONYMOUS ftp directory.
Please look at these if you have need for further information on
specific collections.

To obtain directory listings, connect to SIMTEL20 via FTP and get
these files:


There is also a comma-delimited directory listing in each top-level
directory, FILES.IDX, which is suitable for importing into a database
program.  This file may be of greater use than the crclst files
because it can be compared against an earlier version of the same file
to produce a complete list of files added and deleted from the
archives.  Using the comma-delimited fields it is possible to build a
script for FTP to maintain a parallel archive.  FILES.IDX can be
printed or displayed with a simple BASIC program.  For more information

The <CPM>, <MSDOS>, and <MACINTOSH> archives are the ones to watch for
the very latest offerings, as they are updated frequently.

The <CPMUG>, <SIGM> and <PC-BLUE> archives contain software distributed
by the CP/M Users Group, the SIG/M Users Group and the PC-Blue Users
Group respectively.  This software is available on diskettes from the
associated user groups, and the archives are updated as new volumes
are issued.  The <PC-BLUE> archive contains software for the IBM-PC
and similar machines.

The <MSDOS> archives also contain software for the MSDOS and PCDOS
operating systems; but these archives are locally managed, and
therefore are updated more frequently than the <PC-BLUE> archive.

The <UNIX-C> archive contains a variety of UNIX tools.  Those which
apply specifically to CP/M are in the directory <UNIX-C.CPM>.

The <ADA> archive is growing rapidly. Information about this archive
is in directory PD7:<ADA.GENERAL>.  In general, the archived software
is very good, having been worked-over and refined by many users.  The
documentation and comments tend to be complete and informative.

Files in all of these archives can be obtained using the FTP procedures
described in this message.

PLEASE NOTE:  Due to the large number of files available, the archive
maintainers cannot possibly attempt to validate the proper operation of
the various programs.  When a program bug is reported, immediate action
is taken to either correct the error or remove the offending program
from the archives.  Still, users must understand that all archive
programs are offered AS IS, and the archive maintainers specifically
disclaim any liability should these programs malfunction or cause
damage, incidental or otherwise.  When testing ANY new software, be
certain that all information stored on disk is backed-up before you
start, so that you can recover if files are damaged or erased.  This is
particularly true if you have a hard disk, in which case malfunctions
can be spectacularly disasterous.


Files are stored in two formats: Text files such as those with names
that end with DOC, HEX, INF and ASM are sometimes stored as ASCII
files, but sometimes these files are stored in binary compressed
form.  Binary storage is also used for executable (COM and EXE) and
library/archive files  (LBR and ARC).  All binary data are stored as
four 8-bit bytes per 36-bit SIMTEL20 word, with the low-order four
bits of each word filled with zeros.  If such a file is interpreted
as a contiguous string, as will happen if a straight binary transfer
is made to a 16 or 32-bit UNIX machine, the four zero filler-bits per
36-bit group will cause rather bizarre and frustrating results.

For information on ARC, ARK, LZH, ZIP, ZOO, LBR, squeezed and crunched files,

Although the type of storage used for a particular file can usually be
inferred from the file-name, this is not always true.  It is a good idea
to check the appropriate "crclst" of "idx" file to ascertain the storage
format used for each file of interest.  Now, and for the foreseeable
future, storage formats for files in the <SIGM>, <CPMUG> and <PC-BLUE>
archives can be determined from their "generation numbers", as shown by
the FTP directory command.  For example, the FTP command:

  dir pd1:<pc-blue.vol001>

will yield results of the form:

  ...and so on

All files with names ending in ".1" are stored in binary format, and
those with names ending in ".2" are stored in ASCII.  This relationship
will continue to apply for files in the <SIGM>, <CPMUG> and <PC-BLUE>
archives until further notice.

WARNING: Because the public domain archives on SIMTEL20 consume a huge
amount of disk space, storage capacity will be conserved by the
greatest practical use of libraries, archives, crunched and squeezed
files, all of which are stored in binary format.  If you cannot
properly transfer binary files, you are going to be VERY FRUSTRATED!
If you need help, please contact your local system wizard and provide
him/her with a copy of this message.  Having done that, if you are
still unable to make things work correctly, send a message to
Action at WSMR-SIMTEL20.ARMY.MIL and someone will try to help you.
Please provide the following information:

 1. Machine and operating system  (e.g., VAX-11/780, 4.3 BSD UNIX)
 2. Network software in use  (e.g., 3-Com UNET)
 3. Complete list of available FTP commands  (e.g., GET, PUT, etc.)

Important files in the <CPMUG> and <PC-BLUE> archives are the
CATALOG files. These files, which are stored in ASCII, contain the
"-CATALOG.nnn" files from all the volumes of their respective archives.
To obtain these composite catalog files, connect to SIMTEL20 via FTP
and get these files:


Similar files exist for the <SIGM> archive, but they are stored in
squeezed form.  These files, when unsqueezed, yields SIG0.CAT and
SIG1.CAT (the catalog).


(NOTE: That's "L-and-three-zeros" in "vol000")


FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, a formalized procedure for
moving files among machines on the Defense Data Network (DDN) and other
networks that connect with the DDN.  The protocol is implemented by a
program often called FTP.  The different mainframe operating systems
implement FTP with variations in command syntax.  Some systems have the
remote-file-name precede the local-file-name in the command.  Others
reverse this order.  Some versions have the whole command on a single
input line, while others use multiple lines.  Read the documentation
for your local system, or consult a friendly system wizard for the
details of your local FTP command syntax.

UNIX users can do something like "man ftp" for on-line instructions.
However, not all UNIX FTP programs are called "ftp", so you may have
to snoop around in the system directories or ask a system wizard for
the correct local name to use with the "man" command.  ITS users can
do ":INFO FTP", and "HELP FTP" works on TOPS-20 and some other
operating systems.  I will be happy to update this message with
pointers to other sources of on-line documentation if they are sent
to w8sdz at WSMR-SIMTEL20.ARMY.MIL.

FTP transfers from SIMTEL20 can be made with user-name "anonymous".
Use GUEST for the password.  For anonymous logins, SIMTEL20 supports
the FTP "change working directory" command.  (Your local syntax may
be something like CD, or CWD).  Ignore t

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