Spinner Tech Tips Inner Outpost
VOL #1 Issue 2
A Technical Guide
of the
Bi-Weekly Reports
This is a publication to help get you (and keep you) up to date with current trends and software used on the Internet. In our last issue we discussed basic applications and several key issues as related to the Internet and common usage of things like browsers and other standard client software. Our current issue is about file transfer software. This publication will be E-mailed every other Wednesday to help you stay abreast the ever changing Web scape and perhaps to even help you better understand what goes into the constant updates and various navigational paradigms used on qru.com and our contingent sites.
Top Issue:
How did this get here?

File Transfer Protocol is an agreed upon standard for transferring files to and from a server over the Internet. Originally, invented to simplify and standardize this procedure the premise behind it is rather simple; A direct connection between the client machine and server is established. This connection is not stateless like The Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP), but rather is constantly kept alive through Pinging the server, or the server drops a connection after an amount of time specified by its administration.

There are two types of FTP connection, secure and insecure. A secure connection as the name implies requires a logon and password. An insecure connection will use a user's E-mail address as the logon. Often you will be able to access an FTP server over the internet in this fashion if retrieving programs from a company or drivers from a manufacturer. You will know it is a an FTP server if the location url begins with FTP:// as opposed to the usual HTTP:// prefix.

Top Picks

What Do We Recommend?
Our focus in software review this week is on FTP software (which likely to surprise you little at this point). These applications are especially useful if you have your own web site or want to deliver a large file to a friend to be retrieved at their leisure as opposed to leaving it in their E-mail where it can cause a number of irreversible problems.
The following Software can be downloaded for installation by clicking the icons. It is best to place the downloaded file in it's own temporary directory where it can expand. (You may need
WinZip). Then run the setup program.

FTP Explorer 1.0 Far less complicated than almost any other FTP Client out there, the FTP Explorer allows you to drag-and-drop to and from the server just like a Windows '95 Explorer. Simple, polite install, gives you many useful FTP servers to choose from to start with. This is one of the few FTP client that attempts to resume failed downloads. A must have for the basic FTP user on a Windows '95 machine!

Ws_FTP 4.12 Washington State File Transfer Protocol is by far one of the better FTP Clients out there. With easy to understand interface just about anyone can do basic file upload and download with a few mouse click. All you have to do is point to the directory you want to download to and/or upload from press the appropriate arrow, and you file is transferred. A double click will allow viewing of files both local and remote. Advanced UNIX features such as CHMODE are just a right click away. This is another FTP program that supports attempts to resume a dowmload. The "lite" edition of this software is free!

Serv-U 2.2 An FTP Server, this is one that we are trying out in the office- and we like it! With Serv-U you can offer FTP access off of a dynamic IP like the one most people get with their dial-up accounts. You can set user access levels individually or by group and run full logs. Serv-U has a 30 day trial and is only $25 to permanently register this simple and complete solution.

FTP is a protocol for mass dissemination of files. One can download large files through an anonymous connection, originating from a dedicated FTP server which cuts the files into small chunks and distributes them among a finite amount of channels. These channels are called simultaneous connections, and are limited to whatever number the server can keep track of at once. FTP is best for allowing a file to travel directly to or from disk, because it assembles itself piece by piece. FTP can manage load by spreading a file over time based on available bandwidth. So FTP keeps a connection open for much longer than HTTP, but with less flexibility. Many Browsers provide an automatic listing of files and directories, so there is no proprietary formatting unless there is a preceding web page, with FTP links, which provide a facade for choosing the file to download. Otherwise one must traverse the directories by hand, narrowing down the topic of their search. With FTP, you have a direct connection to the data on the other end. This is why FTP limits the number of connections allowed, because it cannot fall back on the Web's altrenate routers and data paths.
HTTP allows for multiple users to download the same files, and is more subdivided. The information requested is HTTP can be flat HyperText pages, CGI (auto generated web pages), or image and sound data. This data is sent out along multiple routes, which then report back a response time. Based on the response time, the data chooses the faster route to arrive at your machine. This means that there are a myriad of connections (stop-off points) between you and the final page, a relay race to cross the finish line of your Internet Service Provider. HTTP has very limited capacity for uploading, although Netscape can support this feature. HTTP has no limit on simultaneous users, and thus is the optimal way to serve (allow download of) documents. When a browser hits a web page, the page is loaded into the server's memory and then sent out as a collection of pieces (packets), one per file. The multiple files then assemble themselves into a web page, in the end user's memory. This info is then saved to the browser's hard drive, if caching is turned on.

Why do I Want to Know This?

If you are with an Internet Service Provider that gives you disk space on their server, then FTP is what you need to have to get your files up and out where people can see them. As was previously mentioned the other benefit is to avoid "mail-bombs" which is either an extremely large file or a multitude of mailings. If, for instance, you have several images of something that you or your friends enjoy you can give them access to your Internet account via FTP. If you have a large program at home and need to get it to work but don't want to carry it on disk... Or if you scan an image at work and can't fit it onto a disk. The useful applications of this protocol are endless, really.

FTP might seem obscure, but it is actually an everyday Internet function. Neither obscure or esoteric, FTP can enhance your enjoyment of the Internet tremendously. You can benefit with free software, memorabilia, archives, documentation, and more! Of course, and as usual, the entire issue can usually be avoided completely. Definitely; usage depends on what you would like to get out of or put into the Internet community.

Technically Speaking

Words from the Tech Forum

The Tech Forum is now open! Several articles on everything from Internet Explore "insecurity" to using Netscape Gold 3.0 on a Macintosh. The Tech Forum will continue to be a posting ground for interesting articles and feedback relating to your questions. If you are having technical difficulties in HTML, cybre vocabulary, configuration or any other related issue, please post your inquires and we will respond promptly. The Tech Forum is monitored daily by the staff of Qru Studios to assist you, our friends, clients, and fellow web travelers, don't miss it The Tech Forum is your simple solution to complex problems. Feel free to voice your opinions, post relevant articles or peruse the knowledge base which is now fully equipped with a search engine. The search will help you narrow in on keywords of your choice to hone in on the issue you are experiencing, need help with, or have a keen interest in.

Tech Forum is designed to help you determine the problem you are having and gives you the opportunity to troubleshoot with the expert staff of Qru Studios or others that are or have experienced similar difficulties to benefit all the Qru community.

This Forum will be be opened in the next several weeks where you can post inquires and check back for answers. Eventually you will be able to send E-mail responses directly to the respondents. All to benefit the communicative capacity that the Internet has to offer and the individual needs of you.

PERLs of Wisdom

When anyone on our LAN hits a URL from their browser, Beauty (our server) raises an internet connection via proxy gateway, as follows:

  • Logs on to the Internet automatically by and dialing up our ISP and connecting to the web.
  • A proxy web server is automatically established.
  • Lan time is updated from the Atomic Clock in Boulder Colorado.
  • A ping is sent to determine the new server-assigned IP address.
  • AN HTTPD and FTP server are loaded on the proxy server.
  • The proxy server then auto-generates a page with its current IP location and posts to a secure Internet location.
  • This page is then parsed by a script to insure proper formatting.
This enables all shared drives to be mapped to virtual folders in the HTTPD directory of the LAN server, enabling WAN or Wide Area Network access connections. The Common Gateway Interface enabled allowing Perl and Server Side Includes (or SSI) to be parsed locally before our ISP receives final posting, enabling testing without external resource usage.

In short

  1. Ethernet
  2. to Gateway
  3. to ISP
  4. to Domain Host
  5. and back
This setup allows worldwide access. (password protection is additionally enabled internally for the really sensitive portions of our data, or administrative use). Sounds complicated, huh? Well it is really but it happens everyday or so here at Qru Studios. Generally we are allowed long connections making this feasible and it would be much easier with a constant connection. For right now, it does us well, and has given use the ability to prove we can do "virtually" anything regardless of limitations.
Studio Staff LAN Tech Tips Search News

Top Issues
How Did This Get Here
We Recommend
Why do I want to Know This?
Technically Speaking
PERLs of Wisdom

August 31, 1998
August 16, 1998
August 3, 1998
July 19, 1998
June 7, 1998
March 17, 1998
March 3, 1998

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