3.217 public-domain software directory (187)

Thu, 6 Jul 89 19:48:06 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 217. Thursday, 6 Jul 1989.

Date: Thu, 6 Jul 89 19:31:00 EDT
From: EVENS@utorphys.bitnet
Subject: public domain info

This is the info on getting public domain software
from several places. It's somewhat chatty and assumes you
don't know much about computers or getting files from

Simtel20: This is a public domain archive maintained by the U.S.
Army. They have many gigabytes of public domain and shareware.
Simtel20 archives are a combination of shareware and user
donated public domain, plus some things typed in out of
public domain things like Byte Magazine etc. They come with
absolutely NO waranty, or promises of any kind.

If you have ftp available (not unlikely if you have unix on
the unix net) then you can download these files directly. You would
use the ftp address and be prepared to deal with
network congestion in business hours in the U.S.

Else you will have to use what are called trickle servers. Send your
commands to one of the following two places if you are in North America.



These both accept /pdget and /pddir commands. You can send your
messages interactively or as the body of mail messages. If in
mail messages, you can put several commands in one message,
one on each line, and the subject line of the message is ignored.
You can also ask the listserv for syntax help, try

send listserv@rpiecs help /pddir
send listserv@ndsuvm1 help /pdget


In Europe there are trickle servers at the following nodes.
TREARN (Turkey)
DBOFUB11 (Germany)
DKTC11 (Denmark)
AWIWUW11 (Austria)

The servers in Europe use slightly different command syntax,
so you should send for help files on the /pdget and /pddir
commands if you are closest to one of these servers. I will
assume here that you are using one of the U.S. servers, but
you will get faster service if you use the one closest to

Most simtel20 files contain binary data so you want them uuencoded
so you will need a uudecode program. This may already exist on
your unix so check that before you order it. Anyway you can get
a uudecode source in basic, pascal or c.

send listserv@rpiecs /pdget mail pd:<msdos.starter>uudecode.bas (asis

The /pdget command tells the listserv to get the specified
file from simtel20 and ship it to you. The mail option tells
it how. You can tell it mail or punch. Big files should be
sent by mail, as listserv will break them up into manegable
chunks and mail them to you as part m of n. You will have to
put them back together with your favourite text editor. Then
comes the filename. Then comes the format you want the file
sent to you in. You should usually choose (asis or (uue. Asis
should be obvious. But don't try to get binary files this way
as bitnet screws them up node-hopping. (uue means put it in
uuencoded format. This is a format that will transmit properly
on the net but is not readable. The uudecode gets you back
the original file. To see what else is in simtel20 get the files
from the same directory (all text ascii files.)
simtel-archives.info (about 140k)
Also try

send listserv@ndsuvm1 /pddir pd:<msdos.starter> 9999

This is the directory command, and everything but the 9999
should be obvious. The 9999 specifies how many days old you
want files listed. If you leave out the 9999 it defaults
to 30 days. You can put in any number you like. The archive
is continually being updated with new files being added
and new versions displacing old.

Wildcards (such as msdos.* for ALL subdirectories,
or msdos.t* for all subdirs starting with 't')
are allowed but NOTE: if you send for a directory of <msdos.*> 9999
you are going to get a listing of the names of
something like 3500 files.

When you get a uuencoded file in several parts you have to put
it back together using your editor, strip out the mail
headers, don't leave blank lines, then run it through
a uudecode program.

Now after you uudecode these you will have a .arc file. These
must be unarchived using one of the pkunpak programs, such as

send listserv@ndsuvm1 /pdget mail pd:<msdos.starter>pk361.exe (uue

These are really nifty programs. There are several versions in
various places around the simtel20 and on several listserv archives.

One thing to remember if you use a trickle server is that it
may not process your request properly due to no fault of
your own. There are at least two reasons for this.
1)If network congestion keeps the server from getting the
file within three days, it will abandon the attempt.
2)If the file has been erased at simtel20 between the
time you ordered it and the time the server tried to get
it, it will abandon the attempt and give you some not
very useful error message, basically the same as reason 1.
If it does abandon your request, try the /pddir command again
and see if the file is still there.

There are two main chunks of files for IBM-PC's in simtel20.
The first is pd:<msdos.*> where the .* meand all the subdirectories.
Most of the subdirectories have a 00-index.txt file which is
an ascii listing of what is in that directory.
pd:<msdos> has about 3500 files in it so you should be prepared
to accept that much data if you do a directory of the
entire thing. Some of the interesting directories are

msdos.starter for all the little tool progs you'll need
and a bunch of help files

msdos.graph these 3 for graphics, graphing, graphics
msdos.graphics printers and such

msdos.tex for a dos version of TeX and LaTeX
and a nice screen previewer for TeX

The other chunk is called pd:<pc-blue.volnnn> where nnn is 000
(that is zero zero zero not OH OH OH) through 572. There are over
9000 files in this chunk and you should think carefully before
ordering a directory of the entire thing. Each volume has as the
first file in it a file called -catalog.nnn where nnn is again
000 through 572, which contains a list of what is in the volume.
Unfortuneately pc-blue is not organized too well, and there is
a lot of duplication and it is hard to find your way around in
all those files.

Also there are pd:<cpm> for cpm software, pd:<sigm> for sig/m
software and pd:<misc> with miscellaneous stuff.

There is also a public domain archive on the listserv@dhdurz1. Try

send listserv@dhdurz1 index
send listserv@dhdurz1 get filename fileextension f=uue

The f=uue is optional. It would send you a uuencode file.
This is necessary if the file you want is binary data, or
an executable or such, as these don't transmit properly
over the net.

They have a version of TeX, a bunch of fonts, a raft
of latex style files, and a whole family of printer drivers,
an OS/2 version of TeX, and a whole lot more. Note: This is
not a trickle server for simtel20 so you use regular
listserv commands, not /pddir and /pdget.

Yet another archive is at listserv@blekul11. This one has
a lot of 'C' source code, and unix stuff.

If you have questions about this stuff send them to me and
I'll update this file to make it more useful.

dan evens <evens@utorphys.bitnet>