As noted previously, FTP (file transfer protocol) is a method of transferring files (text, images, applications, or data) between internet addresses. Anonymous FTP is FTP without the requirement that the user be registered on the system on which the server software is installed. The National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) recently announced its GOLD (Geophysical On-Line Data) system. Resources covering the fields of marine geology and geophysics, solid earth geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, paleoclimatology and more are available via anonymous FTP. Try the following connection.
If you get in (this tends to be a popular node) scan the Table of Contents. Note that most of the material is in files. Clicking on a file displays the contents. Double click on the folder Snow_Ice and then double click on the folder Glaciers. If you have installed an image viewer (such as jpeg viewor gif on your machine, display one of the gif image files by double clicking on the name. If a viewer has not been installed on your machine talk with your system representatives. Once the image appears on your screen you can save it as a file. Select Save As from FILE. Select Source from the FORMAT field. Make sure you indicate where you want the image file saved. Feel free to poke around the other folders. Some of the README files can be helpful in providing information about the contents. Be aware that this site is provided by NOAA as a service and limit your access time as the number of simultaneous users is limited.
Many of the files available at FTP sites have been compressed and you will need special applications (such as Stuffit to decompress them. Some of these files are SEA (Self Expanding Archives) and will do everything but use the application for you.. After poking around remember to use the left arrow (or GO) to return to this exercise.
Several nodes provide a useful service to FTP users by allowing access to a catalog of files stored at FTP sites. These catalogs must be updated on a regular basis as the operator of a server may decide to remove files, add files or go "off the air". Try the following URL to conduct an search for the file BLUESKIES.
You will be presented with a form. Enter the name of the file you wish to search for. Select an Archie server that is located somewhere where it is in the evening! If the file is located the address(es) where you can obtain it are given. Double click on the location and the file will be downloaded. Unless you have made other provisions, the file will be stored (on a Macintosh) in your System folder. Before downloading a file read the brief description. Note that some copies of the file are for a PowerMac whereas others are for a RO (regular old) Mac. The file will be compressed when it is copied to your hard disk. Double click on the file icon. If nothing happens or an error message is generated contact your System Administrator. This is a relatively painless way to find out if you have the appropriate decompression software installed on your machine.
When you find a node that you want to return to in the future you can save its URL as a bookmark in Netscape.
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