a big dummy trying to figure out how to get the Big Dummys Guide

Lawrence P. Casson lpcasson at phoenix.Princeton.EDU
Mon Sep 27 20:25:54 EST 1993

In article <9309271526.AA18252 at mailgate.roche.com>,
Bob DeLisio <delisior at rnisd0.DNET.roche.com> wrote:
>SCHLOSSER at ciit.org writes:
>>Well folks, I've managed toget into ftp.eff.org and copy 
>>big-dummys-guide.sit.hqx to my VAX account (the 1st time I've done ftp, 
>>all with only the marginal description of HOW this might be done in 
>>Rob Harper's posting - not bad for a big dummy) but when I transfer it 
>>to my Mac it looks nothing like a HyperCard stack and I don't know how to
>>turn it into one.
>>There seems to be a bit of Catch-22 here - if your a big dummy then you (I)
>>must read the Big Dummy's Guide to learn how to get the Guide.  Yeah, I
>>could get it in ASCII, read it, and then get it in HyperCard, but this 
>>seems rather indirect.  How about a brief description of *exactly* what one
>>must do to get this?  I have 2 terminal emulators, PacerGraph and VersaTerm
>>Pro - but so far have only learned how to transfer between Mac and VAX with
>>Thanks in advance,
>>schlosser at beta.ciit.org 
>I have experienced a very similar problem with this file. I downloaded it three
>time but was unable to convert it to a hypercard stack. After each download I
>converted it using BinHex 5.0 and then I tried to extract it with Stuffit
>1.5.1. with no luck at all. I then noticed on the third try that the file was
>changing size as it was being passed around! On the EFF server it was listed as
>being 285659 bytes large; on the Vax it was 290058 bytes large; and on my MAC
>it was 279k bytes. I know files can take up different amounts of space on
>different computers but it looks as if this file has definitely lost some vital
>information in transit.
>Bob {&>)__~
> _/   _/     Robert DeLisio
>  _/ _/      Roche Institute of Molecular Biology
>    _/       Roche Research Center
>   _/ _/     Nutley, New Jersey 07110-1199
>  _/   _/
>   _/ _/     Voice: (201) 235-3728
>     _/      Fax:   (201) 235-2318
>    _/ _/    Internet: delisior at rnisd0.dnet.roche.com
>   _/   _/   CompuServe: 73517,2616

Yes, it certainly is a catch-22!  But then again, so is most of life.

First, in response to Bob DeLisio's post:

As far as I know, BinHex 5.0 is not an upgrade for BinHex 4.0, but
rather a different encoding standard.  I have never met a binhexed file
(.hqx extinsion) on an archive or in a mailing for which BinHex 5.0 was
used.  "Normal" computers have files which are one sequential series of
bytes.  Mac files, on the other hand, have two "forks," a data fork and
a resource fork, both of which must be reconstructed when the file gets
to your Mac.  This is the reason for the existence of MacBinary.  Most
file are further encoded so that they contain no characters outside of
the normal character set, similar to uuencode/uudecode for UNIX.  BinHex
4.0 accomplishes both of these tasks.  Unfortunately, you first need to
transfer BinHex 4.0 to your Mac.

So, in response to the original post:

You need BinHex 4.0 to get started.  You need to get binhex4.0.bin from
any of the usual archives.  These include sumex-aim.stanford.edu and
mac.archive.umich.edu as well as others or from a mirror site such as
wuarchive.wustl.edu.  At mac.archive.umich.edu, it is found in a
directory called /mac/util/compression.  Transfer this file to either
your VAX or your mac as a binary or image file, not ascii.  Are you
using Telnet on your Mac?  When you transfer a file to it in binary, you
should see a comment like "MacBinary enabled."  You will know you did it
correctly when you look at the icon of the transferred file.  It will be
a "BinHex" icon, rather than a generic document icon.

This program will allow you to deBinHex any file you download over the
net.  Note that because BinHexed files include only standard characters,
you will now be able to download any .hqx file in ascii format.  If you
search the archives, you will find other utilities that do this more
conveniently than BinHex4.0, but typically, BinHex4.0 is the only one
available in binary format, so you need it before you can get anything

The next problem you will confront is compression.  EVERYTHING (almost)
is compressed in one of a few formats.  The most common are Stuffit and
CompactPro (.sit and .cpt extensions which you may or may not see in the
filename of the file you transfer).  Fortunately, in the same directory
in which you found binhex4.0.bin, you will also find
stuffitexpander3.03.sea.hqx.  After you deBinHex this file, you will
find that it is a self-extracting archive.  Just double click on it.
With this, you can expand compressed files, which I assume includes the
HyperCard stack that you were interested in in the first place.  If you
need any more help, post again or email.  If you can uuencode/uudecode
on the VAX, I can send binhex4.0.bin by email.

Good luck!

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