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AOL FTP Additions

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Several readers commented on our review in TidBITS-290 of AOL and CompuServe's internal FTP clients, mostly to note that AOL's recently released Web browser also provides FTP features. Although these features are available to any Mac AOL user, since they exist in a separate program from the main AOL application, it may not be entirely fair to compare them to the internal FTP features in CompuServe Information Manager.

Dave Martin <dave@gerg.tamu.edu> writes:

In the article about the AOL and CIS FTP clients, you left out a few things about AOL's FTP client. For one, it does allow the user to connect to a remote host as something other than anonymous - you can mark a checkbox to ask for username and password upon connecting. Also, users can now upload files to the remote host once connected. This last feature was a recent change made via one of those darn online database updates that you see every now and then.

Of course, using AOL 2.6 you can use the AOL Web Browser to do FTP. Though still a bit crude, the interface is much better than the client internal to AOL. It does offer a nice dual-directory Font/DA Mover-style display (if you prefer) which shows files on the remote host and files on your local drive for easier uploading and downloading. It is slow; however, since AOL grabs the data from the source machine and then sends it on to the user, you have to expect slowdowns in any Internet transaction.

Les Jones <macfaq@aol.com> adds:

Your review of AOL and CompuServe's FTP features overlooked AOL's Web Browser, which is more useful for FTP and Gopher than the main AOL application. The browser stores frequently used FTP sites and directories for re-use, correctly uses URLs to the file level, and automatically decodes files in AppleSingle, BinHex, StuffIt, and uuencode formats. The browser also has a respectable set of tools for managing a remote FTP site - uploading files, creating directories, and renaming and deleting files and directories.

All of these features are easy to miss, because AOL's Web Browser features aren't well documented. Version 2.6 of the AOL FAQ will be finished in a few weeks, and will be fully updated for AOL 2.6 and the Web Browser. Look for it then in:

ftp://ftp.tidbits.com//pub/tidbits/tisk/info/

 

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