Mike Gleason and Bruce Grubb’s Mac site list lists over 40 mac anonymous ftp sites (some with notes), over 100 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-Site-list, HTML Version 5.0.0


From: BruceG6069@aol.com (Bruce Grubb)

This is a update (Oct 1, 2004) to Mike Gleason and Bruce Grubb’s Mac Site list. It lists over 50 mac anonymous ftp sites (some with notes), over 100 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 Stairways Software for their Interarchy program without which it would be next to impossible to maintain this.

Note to World Wide Web users: Mac-Site-list is accually composed of three crosslinked files which CANNOT be renamed: Mac-site.css, mac-site-list.html, ftp-list.html, and www-section.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: Straight text version dropped in favor of web pages, Frequency has changed from monthly to quarterly; All web page design informaiton from home site introduction moved to WWW section; ISP Number information dropped as DNS servers are far more reliable these days.

Added sites/URLs:see above;

Defunct sites/URLs:none:

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

Revisions notices posted Quarterly to the USENET newsgroups comp.sys.mac.comm, comp.sys.mac.misc, and comp.sys.mac.games.misc.


.hqx files
Info-Mac mirrors
.sitx file
Compressed version is an .sitx file which contains all the web pages.
.txt file
Format chart section; format-chart-153.txt, same sites as .hqx file.

Copyright 2004 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 directories to check), bug fixes, and comments to:

Internet: BruceG6069@aol.com
AOL: BruceG6069

For folks new to the Mac Site list

The Mac-Site-list is composed of four parts: the introduction (this section), Mac FTP sites (some with notes), Mac related http sites, and finally some search engines.

The FTP section now list sites by name as most ISPs have gotten their DSN servers to the point that listing IP numbers was totally redundent. However if a link does not work MacOS X’s Network Utility will be your tool of choice (Interarchy has these tools as well for thost still using MacOS 9.x or older). If these tools cannot find the site then it has either gone down, been removed, or is too slow (ie getting timeout errors).

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 seems to be unreachable.

There are five main formats Mac files on the Internet occur in: BinHex 4.0 (.hqx extension), MacBinary (.bin), stuffit (.sit and .sitx), and MacOS X disk images (.dmg). MacOS X will open .dmg files on its own and Stuffit Expander can handle the rest.

Word of warning: .sit files do not support Unix permissions and at Apple’s request Allume’s Stuffit 8.0.0 products set the execution bit of files archived in .sit to the off postion. While this didn’t effect Classic or single file Carbon Mac programs it did prevent OS X native applications from launching. Allume’s 8.0.2 fix is to to allow user to change this to either the way Stuffit 7.x products did it (ie automaticaly set this bit on) or per Apple’s guidelines. Since .sit no longer follows Apple’s guidelines politely inform any developer of MacOS X software you like who is using .sit to switch to using .sitx; its a smaller format and can be expanded via Stuffit 7.x which will run on any MacOS 8.6 or higher (yes that DOES include Classic! So MacOS X 10.0-10.1.4 users can expand .sitx files though they have to boot into MacOS 9 to install Stuffit Expander 7.x)

With all the web pages out there you way wonder why there is still an FTP section. The simple fact of the matter is FTP has less overhead than http. However that said browsers generally make for poor FTP clients which is why I recommend Interarchy as the Mac FTP client of choice; not only is it the most powerful Mac FTP client I have used but is has very powerful networking tools built into it. A list of alternative browsers, FTP clients, and Telnet programs can be found at The Mac Orchard web page.

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.

Decoding and decompressing files

Most files are compressed and then encoded. This is represented by a series of different extensions at the end of the file name which are outlined below. Two formats to stear clear of are .exe and .sea as these are used for self extracting formats; with extracting tools available, the crossplatform problems these formats have, and their succeptability to all the other problems that plague regular programs there is little reason for anyone to be using them any more.

Here’s a handy chart to keep track which programs unmangle which formats:

Platform File Extension
Macintosh .sitx
.hqx .bin .zip .tar unix
Stuffit Expander** D D D D D D D D D
DropStuff** C C  
DropTar**   C C C C  
DropZip**   I C   C  
StuffIt Deluxe** X X X X X X X X D
MacGzip   D X  
ZipIt   D D X  
Macintosh .sitx
.hqx .bin .zip .tar unix
Platform File Extension
.sit .hqx .bin .zip .tar unix
Stuffit Expander** D D D D   D D  
StuffIt Standard** X   X X   X X X
StuffIt Deluxe (Win)*** X X D X X D X X X
Expander (Linux) D/N D D D D D D D D
StuffIt (Linux)*** C/N C C C   C C C  

D = Decode/decompress only
C = Create/compress only
I = MacBinary format is supported internally only
X = Encode and decode
N = cannot handle new sitx format

.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.

** Stuffit Expander (free) along with DropStuff, DropTar, and DropZip (shareware) are combined into StuffIt Standard Current public versions are 8.0.1 (Mac) and 8.0 (Win).

*** Current versions as of this writing are 8.0.1 (Mac) and 8.0 (Win).
Allume has a more detailed format chart at their site.

Other formats

old (c1990) MS-DOS compresion format, replaced by .zip. Decompressed by Stuffit Expander/Deluxe and MacArc (can also compress).
PC format common to European sites. Decompressed by unArjMac, DeArj, and Stuffit Expander.
.html (.htm)
WWW document. Used by WWW browsers such as Netscape and lynx.
.image/.img/.ima/ (related format - .smi, .dmg)
These are all disk image extensions. They represent Mac disk image (.image/.img), Microsoft Disk Image Utility (.img), Winimage (.ima), and MacOS X disk image (.dmg) formats. Disk Copy can handle all these formats. .smi is a self mounting disk image format that has been made redudent with MacOS X.
.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 Stuffit Expander 8.0.1, macunpack, LHA Expander 1.0.3, and French KISS 2.2.0. StuffIt Deluxe 8.0.1 and MacLHA 2.2.1 also can compress in the lha format.
A DOS compression format. Handled by MacRAR, StuffIt Expander/Deluxe 8.0.1.
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}. The term tarball (which refers to any tar file) has also been used to describe this.
.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 (c1993) 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.

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

The best thing to do with a file you have down loaded and are unsure how to open it it to try 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) a commerical Word Processor such as MS Word or WordPerfect, or a convertion utility like MacLinkPlus.
Sound files, Pictures, and Movies
QuickTime is able to handle the majority of the formats available on the Internet but sometimes something else is needed for an uncommon format. For example to handle the newer avi formats DivX Doctor II and the related 3ivx Delta codec are of some assistant but do not let Quicktime handle all avi formats (Indeo codecs 3.2 and 5.1 only exist for Classic and 2.0 does not exist on the Macintosh at all).

PlayerPro (Freeware) is able to play many MOD files which Quicktime does not understand. While support for this very good program has stopped it has gone opensource so anyone who wants to improve on it can.

GraphicConverter (Shareware, $35) is one of the most powerful shareware graphic programs for the Mac being able to open 100 different graphic formats (including Ani, dl, gif, and fli/flc) and save in 60 of them. In addition GraphicConverter has editing capablities rivaling those seen in higher priced programs as well as being able to created animated gifs. More details on graphic formats in general can be found in the PC Webopaedia.

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

Mac-Site-list-html maintained by Bruce Grubb.
Last updated Jan 1, 2005