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Anarchie Rules

The more I use Universal Resource Locators (URLs) to identify Internet resources, the more I like them. For one thing, URLs help with composing TidBITS because they offer a standard way to refer to FTP sites and directory paths. More importantly, URLs are great because of Anarchie, a new $10 MacTCP-based tool from Peter Lewis <[email protected]>, a prolific Macintosh shareware programmer.

Anarchie does something that I’ve wanted for quite some time. It searches Archie servers for files stored on anonymous FTP sites and once it’s found those files, it retrieves them via FTP. It’s a thoroughly simple and powerful idea, but Anarchie is the first Macintosh program to fully implement it (and yes, I know TurboGopher can do the same thing, but it’s not as slick as Anarchie for file retrieval). You could also copy the file listings from the Archie results if you wished, and option-copying them copies them in URL format. Needless to say, I use this feature heavily when checking resources I mention in TidBITS.

That search and retrieve function would be cool enough in its own right, and that’s what Anarchie 1.0.0 did, along with the nice capability to retrieve a file if you entered its URL (copied from TidBITS, for instance). But many URLs are directories, and don’t point at a specific file. Anarchie 1.0.0 couldn’t handle that situation, but the just-released Anarchie 1.1.0 can. It displays the contents of the directory and you can browse down the hierarchy from that point. Archie doesn’t yet know where Anarchie 1.1.0 is located, but you can find it on my FTP site. ftp/anarchie-110.hqx

In addition to the basic features of the previous version (Archie searching and retrieval), 1.1.0 adds bookmarks that point directly at an FTP site or specific FTP site directory. Fetch from Jim Matthews uses a similar idea, and, like Fetch, Anarchie includes a few pre-installed bookmarks. However, Peter did a good thing for the Internet community by compiling a comprehensive list of the main FTP sites of interest to Macintosh users, including a large set of Info-Mac and Umich mirror sites. If you’ve found FTP frustrating recently, since the main Info-Mac and Umich sites at <> and <> have been overloaded, use a mirror site instead. Since not everyone has a System 7 Mac with a MacTCP connection to the Internet, I’m appending the full list of bookmarks to this article. Similarly, Anarchie includes a full set of Archie servers so you can use one closest to you and easily switch among them without remembering cryptic Internet addresses.

Anarchie 1.1.0 is scriptable and recordable, so this should open up Internet file retrieval to some extremely necessary automation. I’m looking forward to the day when you can select a URL in TidBITS, hit a hot key or select an item from a menu, and have Anarchie snag the file for you instantly. Or perhaps the script could add the URL to a list of files to retrieve at a later time. Anarchie supports Frontier’s Menu Sharing and includes some Frontier stuff from Leonard Rosenthol to get you started.

Clever touches abound. You can sort any list in Anarchie by name, date, size, host, and so on. Anarchie automatically decodes MacBinary files, enables you to create Finder icons for bookmarks, uses a new window for each directory to make browsing back easy, and can view a file (although you must set up a suffix map in Fetch for this to work, at which point Anarchie downloads the file and asks the application you chose to display the file). Finally, Anarchie’s About box displays the number of searches you’ve made, the number of files you’ve transferred, and the number of kilobytes you’ve transferred. Anarchie translates this into a rating, but I don’t know when you move up from Beginner, or how many levels there are. Do read the documentation because there are a number of tips and small notes that you won’t otherwise discover.

Perhaps my only complaint is that Anarchie doesn’t appear to show .message files that are supposed to display when you access certain FTP servers, such as <>. Actually, I also wish that Archie servers were updated more frequently, but that’s not Peter’s fault.

Overall, Anarchie is a must have for your Internet tool kit. Despite the slowness of Archie servers and the continual problems with finding new files via Archie, Anarchie has proved itself time and time again for me in the short time I’ve used it. I’m writing my shareware check to Peter right now, and I strongly urge you to check out Anarchie, and if you think it’s as good as I do and use it, to send Peter a check as well. Highly recommended.

Bookmark list
 Classes for
 Info-Mac (Australia)
 Info-Mac (Austria)
 Info-Mac (Canada, Partial?)
 Info-Mac (Finland)
 Info-Mac (Finland, MacBinary)
 Info-Mac (Germany)
 Info-Mac (Germany, H, Partial?)
 Info-Mac (Germany, K, Partial?)
 Info-Mac (Germany, S, Partial?)
 Info-Mac (Hawaii)
 Info-Mac (Iowa)
 Info-Mac (Israel)
 Info-Mac (Japan, IIJ)
 Info-Mac (Japan, Osaka)
 Info-Mac (Japan, Tokyo)
 Info-Mac (Netherlands)
 Info-Mac (Sweden)
 Info-Mac (Switzerland)
 Info-Mac (UK)
 Info-Mac (WU Archive)
 Intertext (Fiction Magazine)
 Microlib (UTexas)
 Quanta (SF&F Magazine)
 Redback (Australia)
 Switch (Switzerland)
 Umich (Australia)
 Umich (France, delayed?)
 Umich (Germany)
 Umich (Germany, delayed?)
 Umich (Israel)
 Umich (Japan)
 Umich (Sweden)
 Umich (Switzerland)
 Umich (Taiwan1)
 Umich (Taiwan2)
 Umich (UK)
 Umich (orst)
 Umich (uiowa)
 Umich (WU Archive)

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