HOW TO SEARCH THE WEB
Part Two : Get your files via mail
Use email to get files from ftp-directories
compiled by The Seeker
always under heavy construction
last modified : 15 Jan 2000
will be updated without further announcement
- Most of these servers are operated as a public service, by volunteers. There is
no charge for the service. Please restrict your searches to essential information.
- Find here FTPMail, Agora, etc. statistics
- For best results, use the server closest to you.
- Find here Boyd's list of defunct servers
- A must-read, anyway G.E. Boyd's Everything by Email Web Page
- Your first task should be to send an 'HELP'-message to your favourite server.
Note: This function was originally made available for Internet
users who have email but no ftp access. It has become an alternative to ftp. There
is a catch (there is no such thing as free lunch :-): it is not an efficient use
of bandwidth because the size of the uuencoded file is larger than the original
file, more data is carried across the network. Because of this, some postmasters
frown upon users who abuse this facility.
1. Some Basics
a. Getting started
ftpmail is a widely available package, which allows
the user to submit FTP requests by email.
The receiving service interprets the commands and invokes an FTP
service in the normal way (usually, but not necessarily on the
same machine). The normal output from the FTP service is emailed
back to the user.
A number of additional commands are also available to control the
ftpmail server itself. These allow the user to choose
options relating to the encoding or compression of data files and
the splitting of data files into manageable sized sections.
A full log of the server's activities is produced. Requests are
queued and there is the capability to cancel jobs.
There is no standard usage so first email the server with the word
'help' in the body of the message and instructions will be sent to you.
Don't put a signature block on the end of your message.
Follow the instructions when making a request.
Files as received are normally split into segments which are uuencoded.
You need a decoder to decode the files. To uudecode the whole file either:
- rename the segments giving them files names with consecutive
f2.uue ...) and point uudecode
to the first file in the sequence; or
- concatenate the segments in their correct order, strip out the two
introductory lines in all but the first segment, and uudecode the whole file.
b. How does the ftp-by-email work
You send a regular mail to a ftpmail host (see below) and in the body
of the message you put ftp'ish commands, eg:
And then the ftpmailer logs on to the ftp-site and performs the above
commands and mails the result back to you.
c. Basic commands
size max[ K | M ]
do this first and read the text
connect to site
get a file, can have path in name
size when file is split before sending,
the max size is Kilobytes or Megabytes
archives, binary files
nothing but ascii text
end of ftp-by-email message
Binary file transfers using ftpmail aren't difficult ... they just require a
few additional steps. Because all e-mail has to be in ASCII form, ftpmail has to
encode your Binary file in ASCII before it can e-mail the file to you. Once you
get the file, you can then decode the file back into Binary :)
Fortunately, there are two ways that ftpmail can encode Binary files into ASCII.
The first way it can do this is through something called "uuencode." As long as
you have a uudecode program -- and uudecode programs are all over the place (chances
are your site has uudecode stored on its system) -- the whole process is simple.
Some encoders :
2. uudecode.com - 1821 bytes
3. WinCode -- look at SoftSeek
2. The URLs
Don't forget to check here Boyd's list of defunct servers
The actual list :
O P E R A T I O N A L F T P M A I L S E R V E R S
Poland - No UUCP gateways
NO ANSWER 7Dec99 -- DEFUNCT?
United States - OK UUCP gateways
Russia - SLOW
Germany NO ANSWER since 01Sep99
Finland NO ANSWER 04, 07Jun99, 14Sep99
useful additions ? Please let me know !!
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