Big Dummy again...

Rob Harper Rob.Harper at
Thu Sep 23 10:00:20 EST 1993

Looks like Big Dummy is proving to be rather popular. Rather than
answer all the questions that have been thrown at me. Here is an
update on what is out there and how to get it. Even folks on Bitnet
can use a E-mail server, but please have a look at it with Xmosaic
at the WWW watering hole hhtp://


------------------- 8< cut here 8< ------------------------------
Day-of-Announcement: September 22, 1993
The-Texinfo-Edition: 1.01

			"Clutching at straws, but still drowning."
			-- Fish, The Last Straw

Dear folks,

this tries to answer all the questions I received today, and flooded
my mailbox; so 3 things before I start:

  (1) I cannot speed-up the processes of EFF, that makes DUMMY's
      appear more quickly, try to bother eff at, ftphelp at,
      just ask Cris Davis, the EFF's ftp admin (ckd at

  (2) I wrote the announcement to version 1.01 (watch the last digit!)
      *before* 1.0 was actually moved to (this took
      14 DAYS to accomplish); I have currently no idea, how long it
      will take this time...I thus directed the "urgent" cases to, it's all there!

  (3) So, ADMINISTRATORS EVERYWHERE! If you've *installed* DUMMY's on your
      server(s), please drop me a mail. I'll post an updated list on a
      regular basis, ie. once per week, as long as I am drowning in
      "gimmethatniftythingie" e-mails...

Included in the next Texinfo distribution of DUMMY's (1.02) comes a file
named "SERVERS", that lists the currently (September 1993) available
electronic archive sites/services, that either distribute the "Big Dummy's
Guide to the Internet", or let you browse through it...

Enjoy the trip!


Joerg Heitkoetter
Systems Analysis Group                     "Just Do it!"
University of Dortmund, Germany            -- Nike Air commercial
<joke at>

-------- big-dummys-guide-texi/SERVERS --------------------------------------
This file lists the currently (September 1993) available electronic
archive sites/services, that either distribute the "Big Dummy's Guide to
the Internet", or let you browse through it...

Please note that the Texinfo based version (below addressed as "DUMMY's")
is different from the original HyperCard and ASCII files, (cf the README
for more infos on this issue).

			-=- * -=-


DUMMY's comes in a variety of formats: PostScript (.ps), TeX DVI (.dvi),
GNU Info (.info), plain text (.txt), HyperText Markup Language (.html),
the complete source distribution (including some patch files, you'll
need to use Makeinfo-1.55, and texi2html-1.14) comes bundled in the
Tarfile (.tar). Depending on the system adminstrator, ie. the disk space
he's willing to give away for DUMMY's, these files will be stored in
one of some dozen of compressing "flavors". Thus, here's an excerpt from
the FTP chapter of DUMMY's, that explains the whole story:

FTP (Mining the Net, part II)
There are a wide variety of compression methods in use.  You can tell
which method was used by the last one to three letters at the end of a file.
Here are some of the more common ones and what you'll need to un-compress the
files they create (and these decompression programs can all be located
through archie).

     By itself, this means the file is a document, rather than a program.

     A PostScript document (in Adobe's page description language).  You can
     print this file on any PostScript capable printer, or use a previewer,
     like GNU project's GhostScript.

     Is another common suffix for documents. No de-compression is needed,
     unless it is followed by

     This is a Unix compression method.  To uncompress the file, type
     `uncompress filename.Z' and hit enter at your host system's command
     prompt. If it's a text file, you can read it online by typing `zcat
     file.txt.Z |more' at your host system's command line. There is a
     Macintosh program called "MacCompress" that you can use on your machine
     if you want to download the file (use archie to find where you can get
     it!). There's an MS-DOS equivalent, often found as `u16.ZIP', which
     means it is itself compressed in the ZIP format.

     An MS-DOS format. Use the PKZIP package (usually found as `PKZ201.exe'
     or something similar).

     The GNU project's compression format. A variant of the PKZIP format. Use
     `gunzip filename.gz' to uncompress.

     A Unix and MS-DOS format. Requires the use of a program called zoo.

     A Macintosh format that needs BinHex for de-compression.

     A Unix format. Use unshar.

     Another Unix format, often used to compress several related files into
     one big file. Use tar.  Often, a "tarred" file will also be compressed
     with the `.Z' method, so you first have to use uncompress and then tar.

     Sometimes used for compressed tar archives `.tar.Z', that are stored on
     "3 letter suffix only systems" (aka MS-DOS).

     A Macintosh format, requires StuffIt.

     A DOS format that requires the use of ARC or ARCE.

     Another DOS compression format; requires the use of LHARC.

   A few last words of caution: Check the size of a file before you get it.
The Net moves data at phenomenal rates of speed.  But that 500,000-byte file
that gets transferred to your host system in a few seconds could take more
than an hour or two to download to your computer if you're using a 2400-baud
modem.  Your host system may also have limits on the amount of bytes you can
store online at any one time.  Also, although it is really extremely unlikely
you will ever get a file infected with a virus, if you plan to do much
downloading over the Net, you'd be wise to invest in a good anti-viral
program, just in case.

			-=- * -=-


Check the Version number! Get 1.01, it's the latest! Usually the EFF's
server is "a bit behind" (14 days, last time); you might want to
check the default distribution sever: "".

                        |-README                 // this file
|-big-dummys-guide-texi-|       // DUMMY's in PostScript
                        |-bdgtti-1.01.dvi.Z      // DUMMY's TeX DVI file
                        |     // DUMMY's GNU INFO file
                        |-bdgtti-1.01.txt.Z      // DUMMY's TEXT file
                        |-bdgtti-1.01.html.tar.Z // DUMMY's 3 HTML (WWW) files
                        |-bdgtti-1.01.tar.Z      // all Texinfo sources

			-=- * -=-




			-=- * -=-

  Address: <mail-server at>

  Message layout:
    REPLY <your-own-e-mail-address-here>
    SEND books/big-dummys-guide/<file-name1>
    SEND books/big-dummys-guide/<file-name2>

    REPLY dummy at
    SEND books/big-dummys-guide/README
    SEND books/big-dummys-guide/big-dummys-guide-texi/


			-=- * -=-

  You need to have the FSP client software being installed on your system.
  If you don't know what FSP, clients, or software is, better choose a
  different service. 2001:/pub/books/big-dummys-guide/


			-=- * -=-

		* Gopher

NORTH AMERICA See "EFF Files & Information/Search the EFF on-line
	document library<?>" and search "for big-dummys"

			-=- * -=-

		* World-Wide Web (entry points)

Joerg Heitkoetter
Systems Analysis Group                     "Just Do it!"
University of Dortmund, Germany            -- Nike Air commercial   
<joke at>

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