Mike Gleason and Bruce Grubb's Mac ftp list lists over 150 mac anonymous ftp sites (some with notes), over 110 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 4.5.5


From: BruceG6069@aol.com (Bruce Grubb)

This is a update (Jan 1, 2000) to Mike Gleason and Bruce Grubb's Mac ftp list. It lists over 150 mac anonymous ftp sites (some with notes), over 110 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.

The fixed font must be in a monospaced font such as Monaco 9pt, Courier 10pt, or PC equivalent for the columns in the Format Chart section to line up correctly

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 World Wide Web Weaver and HTML Web Weaver Lite) for the work that made 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 updated; http://www.ameritel.net/lusers/abrody/mac.html moved to http://www.index-site.com/mac.htm;

Added sites/URLs: None;

Defunct sites/URLs: None;

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, and comp.sys.mac.games.misc.


.hqx files
Info-Mac mirrors, mac.archive.umich.edu, its 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-141.txt, same sites as .hqx file.

Copyright 2000 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 the Mac FTP list

The Mac-FTP-list is composed of four parts: the introduction (this section), Mac FTP sites, Mac related http sites, and finally notes on certain sites.

The FTP section is set up in three columns. The first column is the site name and the third column is the directory pathway; usually you can either type in the URL ftp://sitename/pathway/ on a Web 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 second 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. With the exceptions of 'dymatic addressing' and limited access sites the HTML version has both links for each site.

Most mac files on the Internet have been encoded BinHex 4.0 (ends in the suffix ".hqx") though on occation you will encounter the MacBinary (.bin) format. To decode these files, you can just download them to your mac and use Stuffit Expander to decode and expand them, regardless 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 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 The Mac Orchard web page some of which are also in the subdirectories of /info-mac/comm/ of 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 and MacOS FTP clients 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 variation of the Common Internet Scheme Syntax. - ftp://anonymous:email_address/sitepath
For Mike Gleason email_address would be mgleason@cse.unl.edu and for me it would be BruceG6069@aol.com.
I should mention that some browsers have problems with with FTP sites that do not support passive mode or use non-standard names (with spaces or non-printable [>ascii 127] characters). For these sites use an FTP client like Anarchie or Fetch.

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 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. The program Mac TCP Watcher includes DNS lookup as one of the options.

Today's high speed modems, background decoding/decompression (like StuffIt Expander), and Web browsers have effectively rendered the old method of downloading .hqx to an unix box and decoding it there obsolete. Almost all Mac freeware and 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            .sit .hqx .bin .zip .tar  .Z  .gz/.z .uue .mime*
Stuffit Expander**     D    D    D    D               D     D
 w/ Engine**           X    X    D    D    D    D     D     D    D
DropZip**                        I    X                     X
ShrinkWrap*^           D    D    D    D    D    D     D     D    D
StuffIt Deluxe***      X    X    X    X    X    X     D     X    D
Decoder 1.3.4                                               D    D
MacCompress                                     X
MacGzip                                         D     X
MPack 1.5.1                 D                               D    X
SunTar 2.2.2                X    X         X                X    D
Tar 4.0b                                   X
uucd 2.5.0                                                  X    D
YA-Decoder                  D    D                          D    D
ZipIt 1.3.8                 D    D    X

Other                                         unix  gzip  .uu/ .b64/
computers            .sit .hqx .bin .zip .tar  .Z  .gz/.z .uue .mime*
Aladdin Expander 5     D    D    D    D               D     D
Aladdin DropStuff      X              X
Aladdin DropZip        X              X
binhex-pc-13                X
macutil (unix)
 hexbin                     D                               D
 macunpack            D/N        D              D           D
mcvert (unix)               X    X
MPack                       D                               D    X
PKZIP                                 X
xferp110 (win)              X                               X    X

D = Decode only
N = Cannot decompress current Deluxe .sit [Type SITD] files
4 = Cannot handle Stuffit 5.0 format
X = Encode and decode

.sit refers to all versions of the Stuffit format. A '/' denotes the inability to handle certain formats as outlined in the legend above.
.hqx = BinHex4; .bin = BinHex5, MacBinary I, II, and III
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.

** Engine refers to the StuffIt Engine which is part of StuffIt Deluxe and DropStuff with Expander Enhancer [a $30 shareware addon for Stuffit Expander] Programs that can use the Stuffit Engine are marked with a *^. Current public versions of the Expander and the Engine are 5.5. Note - DSEE 4.5 is NOT compatable with SE 5.0.

*** Current version as of this writing is 5.5.0.

Other formats

old (c1990) MS-DOS compresion format, replaced by .zip. Decompressed by Stuffit Engine, MacArc (can also compress), and Aladdin Expander.
PC format common to European sites. Decompressed by unArjMac, DeArj, and SITEX10.EXE (win).
Mac compression format created by Compact programs (last updated April 1995). Decompressed by Stuffit Expander, StuffIt Deluxe, Compact Pro, and macunpack.
Disk Doubler (Mac) format. Decompressed 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.
.image/.img/.ima/ (related format - .smi)
These are all disk image extensions. They represent Mac disk image (.image/.img), Microsoft Disk Image Utility (.img), and Winimage (.ima) formats. Most can be mounted via StuffIt Engine 5.0 (part of StuffIt Deluxe 5.0) or ShrinkWrap 3.0. To eliminate the need for a mounter program there now exists a self mounting disk image format called .smi. For a history of Shrinkwrap consult the 2.1 site.
Note that .img is also used as an graphic file extension and needs GraphicConverter to view.
.lzh (related formats - .lha and .lzs)
old PC/Amiga format that is still quite popular in Japan, largely replaced by .arc and .zip elsewhere; decompressed via the Stuffit Engine 5.0 and StuffIt Deluxe 5.0 macunpack, LHA Expander 1.0.3, French KISS 2.2.0 and MacLHA 2.2.1 (which also allows compression).
old {~1989} Mac compression format created by PackIt programs, replaced by .sit. In general, a program that handles .sit files can decompress .pit files as well.
AppleLink package format, replaced by .sit. Decompressed by all present Mac StuffIt programs.
A DOS compression format. Decompressed by MacUnRAR.
A special version of a Mac compression format that decompresses itself when opened. The most common .sea files are Stuffit, Compact Pro, and Disk Doubler. On the PC Aladdin Expander will expand Stuffit SEA files.
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}.
.txt (.abs)
.ASCII text file. There is a slight differance between the ASCII text files of Mac, PCs, and UNIX systems which can cause problems trying to read them. Mac ASCII uses carriage returns, UNIX uses line feeds, and PC uses both.
Suffix used by both Unix pack and early (~1993) Gzip files. Due to confusion between these compression methods and Unix 'compress' suffix (.Z) it was abandoned in favor of the .gz suffix. Unix pack itself has been effectively replaced by both Unix compress and Gzip.
old {~1989} PC/Amiga format, replaced by .arc. Decompressed 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,.uu, .b64, and .txt 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 in the WWW section. Since I only keep track of sites I have no idea where individual files are located, which is why I have included a list of Web search engines one of which involves archie sites. Please note that database information is not always up-to-date which may result in files and sites being listed that 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, sound, or movie.

Word Processor
Tex-Edit Plus will read most of these out there though some will require Adobe Acrobat Reader (.pdf) or a commerical Word Processor such as MS Word or WordPerfect.
GraphicConverter (Shareware, $30-$35, /info-mac/gst/grf/) is one of the most powerful shareware graphic programs for the Mac. It is able to open some 100 graphic formats, edit them, and save in about 40 of these formats including including .gif, .tiff, .png, and .jpeg. But even it cannot view propriety formats such as used by Photoshop or Canvas or relatively obsure formats such as.ecc.
More details on graphic formats in general can be found in the PC Webopaedia.
Sound files
Sound App 2.6.1 (Freeware, /info-mac/gst/snd/) will play most sound formats out there including .mod, .wav, .au, and .aiff.
Movie files
Varies depending on the movie file type. Quicktime 4.0 is able to view .mov, .mpg (PPC Macs only), .fli/.flc, and .avi (3.2, 4.4, 5.0) formats. Extentions for allowing QuickTime to handle the Indeo 3.2, 4.4 and 5.0 .avi formats can be accessed via Apple's QuickTime support page under the Update menu or via Apple's QuickTime technologies page under Indeo GraphicConverter is able to view .Ani, .dl, gif, and .fli/.flc 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 Dec 1, 1999