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/// The InterNet via Email
    by Robert Niles

Are you stuck at one of those sites that only give you access to some of
newsgroups and internet email?? Are you wishing there was more that you
could do? Do you feel a bit "cut off" from the rest of the world?

Well, ease up a bit. Having plain old email access is really not so bad,
and there is a good range of things that you can do with email.

FTP, Netfind, Archie to name a few, and for those of you who only have
email access to the InterNet, we're going to show you how to do it.

Once you looked through the latest edition of Amiga Report <grin> and
spotted those files listed as FTP'able, you can, through the mail, grab
those files. There are a few FTPmail servers around that let you do this.
Most sites have their own server, and they will instruct you how to grab a
file from their site and get it to you. But we will work with This ftpmail server will process your request, ftp
to the site in which you want a file from, grab it for you, uuencode the
file and send it to you via email.

Look at the ftpmail server commands below (they'll be explained later):

 reply <MAILADDR>   set reply addr, since headers are usually wrong
 connect [HOST [USER [PASS [ACCT]]]]
                    defaults to, anonymous
 ascii              files grabbed are printable ascii
 binary             files grabbed are compressed or tar or both
 chdir PLACE        "get" and "ls" commands are relative to PLACE
                    (only one CHDIR per ftpmail session,
                    and it executes before any LS/DIR/GETs)
 compress           compress binaries using Lempel-Ziv encoding
 compact            compress binaries using Huffman encoding
 uuencode           binary files will be mailed in uuencode format
 btoa               binary files will be mailed in btoa format
 chunksize SIZE     split files into SIZE-byte chunks (def: 64000)
 ls (or dir) PLACE  short (long) directory listing
 index THING        search for THING in ftp server's index
 get FILE           get a file and have it mailed to you
                    (max 10 GET's per ftpmail session)
 quit               terminate script, ignore rest of mail message
                    (use if you have a .signature or
                    are a VMSMAIL user)

 -> the "Subject:" of your request will be contained in the "Subject:"
    of all of ftpmail's responses to you regarding that request.  You
    can therefore use it to "tag" different requests if you have more
    than one outstanding at any given time.

 -> you must give a "connect" command, default host is, default user is anonymous, default
    password is your mail address with a hyphen prepended.

 -> binary files will not be compressed unless 'compress' or 'compact'
    command is given; use this if at all possible, it helps a lot.
    note that many files are already compressed.  if you use any of
    the binary-file qualifiers (compress, compact, uuencode, btoa)
    without setting 'binary' first, your session will abort in error.

 -> binary files will always be formatted into printable ASCII
    with "btoa" or "uuencode" (default is "btoa").  if you don't
    use the "binary" command, ftpmail will cheerfully try to mail
    you the binary data, which will absolutely, positively fail.

 -> all retrieved files will be split into chunks and mailed.  the
    size of the chunk is 64000 characters unless you change it with
    the "chunksize" command.  CompuServe users will need to set this
    to 49000.  there is no way to set it higher than 100000, so please
    don't ask.

 -> if you ask for more than 10 files in a session, you will receive
    an error message and your entire request will be rejected.

 -> There is only ONE chdir command allowed in a FTPmail session.
    So if you want more than one file, and they are located in different
    directories, it's best to use the path with the "get" command,
    ie:  get /systems/amiga/boing/comm/bbs/quack120.lha

These commands are the commands that you type out in your message to 

OK, here's an example of the email message that you will be sending to (Everything after the SUBJECT line is the actual
message text)

SUBJECT: Whatever you want to put here.

chdir /systems/amiga/boing/comms/term/
get term34.lha

OK what's happening??

TO:    ...OK this is who the ftpmail server is.
SUBJECT: Whhatever you want   ...Doesn't matter what you put here. When
                                 you get your reply, this is what the 
                                 subject line will say. Good to leave a
                                 note for yourself, so when it arrives, 
                                 you know what this is.

reply                         ...This is where is going
                                 to send the uuencoded file. If no REPLY
				 line is sent, it will send it back to
				 the address from which the message 
				 orginated from.
connect                       ...This is were the file you want is, where
                                 you want the ftpmail server to go get the
binary                        ...if the file is compressed in ANY manner 
 				 use the keyword "binary" as we did here, 
				 if the file you want is just plain ASCII 
				 text, replace this with the keyword 
chdir /path/                  ...CHDIR is the same as "CD" most users
                                 that utilize a SHELL or CLI should 
				 understand are moving the 
				 FTPMAIL server to where the file is.
uuencode                      ...You HAVE to uuencode the file if it is 
				 binary (which includes compressed files).
				 If you don't the archive, file, or 
				 whatnot will not work. AT ALL!!
get term34.lha                ...Now you are telling it the file you want it
                                 to grab. In this case it's "term34.lha"
quit                          ...You're done, finish up and send you 
				 the file

Done, now all you have to do is wait until it sends you the file in 
uuencoded format. Once you have it all you have to do is uudecode it.

Here's some more examples:


 -> connect to and get a root directory listing:

 -> connect to and get the README.ftp file:
  get README.ftp

 -> connect to and get the gnuemacs sources:
  chdir /pub/GNU
  get emacs-18.58.tar.Z

 -> connect to as anonymous and get a root directory list:
  chdir /index/master
  get by-name.Z

Now admittedly, using FTPmail is slower than realtime FTP, but it gets
you what you want, and it works well. I've had to use this many times
before. There also >might< be certain restrictions at your email site.
Check with the local administrator for details.

Thanks to those at for providing this service, and for the
help file used here.

Next week we will discuss how to use Netfind, and Archie via InterNet