4.0 Getting Started

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4.1 Getting files from an FTP site

It's very simple. Just follow these instructions:
  1. Be sure you have installed all of the necessary software
  2. Double click the NetFinder icon
  3. The "New Connection" dialog will appear. It looks like this:

  4. Select the protocol you wish to use. For the time being we will use FTP.
  5. Enter the internet address of a FTP site and any other information like your login name and password. You can also enter the path for a directory in the FTP site. If you are connecting to a public site, leave the middle two lines blank. If you are unsure about the "Path:", leave it blank.
  6. Click "Connect". NetFinder will try to connect to the FTP site. If all goes well, a directory listing window will appear (if you specified the location of a file on the FTP site instead of a directory, NetFinder will start downloading it instead of bringing up a listing window). Listing windows are explained in more detail in the next section.
  7. Just as you would do to copy a file on your Mac's hard disk, you can click and drag a file from the listing window to somewhere on your Mac's disk and NetFinder will copy it from the FTP site to your disk. Try it. It couldn't be any simpler, right? :-)
  8. When you're done, you can close the listing window, even if the transfer hasn't finished - don't worry, the transfer won't stop until you tell it to.
  9. If you're short on time or you get disconnected, just click the Stop button in the transfer dialog. NetFinder will remember where it was up to so you can continue the transfer at a later date without having to transfer the whole file again, assuming that the FTP server supports partial files. Most servers do support partial files but some don't. The icon in the transfer dialog shows a green tick for servers that are known to support partial files.
  10. To continue downloading the file, just double click the partial file's icon. Be careful not to move the partially downloaded file off the disk it's on, otherwise NetFinder won't be able to find it and so will not be able to continue downloading the file.



4.2 Getting Other Applications To Use NetFinder For FTP transfers

There is one really good reason why you should do this: NetFinder supports partial files. This can save you time as well as money if you pay "by the meter" for time online since you don't have to download the entire file again if you get cut off during a transfer.

Netscape (all versions):

To make Netscape use NetFinder for FTP transfers:

  1. either copy this text into a SimpleText file and have that file open as you go to configure Netscape, or write down these instructions, or just remember them (for those of you with good memories)
  2. if you use Netscape Communicator (v4.0 or later), you should first open Netscape and select the user who wants to make Netscape use NetFinder (or not use NetFinder) for FTP transfers. This is important because the following instructions change the last selected user's settings
  3. quit Netscape
  4. open NetFinder
  5. open NetFinder's Preferences window (select "Open NetFinder Preferences..." from the Edit menu)
  6. open the General pane (scroll the list of icons up until you see the General pane icon and then click it)
  7. enter a check in the "Tell Netscape to use NetFinder for FTP URLs" checkbox
  8. click OK to close and save the Preferences. Netscape will then be configured to use NetFinder
  9. after closing the preferences window, you can open Netscape.

Note: if you open Netscape or have its Preferences file open when NetFinder attempts to change Netscape's setting, NetFinder will inform you that it cannot change the preferences. The best solution is to quit everything. If this still fails, try restarting with extensions off and then use the above instructions to change the preferences.

Note: if the checkbox is checked but Netscape is not using NetFinder, try rebuilding the desktops on all of your disks. This will usually fix the problem.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer prior to version 3:

To make Internet Explorer v1 or v2 use NetFinder for FTP transfers, you need to configure Internet Config to use NetFinder as the FTP helper program (in Internet Config's "helpers" panel). You may also need to rebuild your desktop if it doesn't work despite the setting being set up.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer version 3 or later:

To set up Internet Explorer 3.0 or later to use NetFinder:

  1. open Internet Explorer's preferences
  2. open the Network section in the Preferences window
  3. select "Protocol Helpers"
  4. find the "ftp" entry under the "protocol" heading and double click it. If no "ftp" entry exists, click "Add..."
  5. in the Helper field, enter "ftp" if it's not already there and then click "Choose Helper..."
  6. find your copy of NetFinder and double click it
  7. make sure that the "Use current application if possible" checkbox is NOT checked - this is important because having it checked will cause Internet Explorer to use its internal FTP functions
  8. click OK to close the dialog and then click OK to close the Preferences
  9. open the Preferences window again and check that the ftp helper has been set to NetFinder
  10. double click the ftp entry. CHECK THAT THE "Use current application if possible" CHECKBOX IS NOT CHECKED. This is very important because Internet Explorer sometimes does not remember what you tell it to do! If it's set incorrectly, uncheck the checkbox and click OK to close the dialog and click OK to close the preferences window. Now go back to the previous step and repeat until the setting is correct (that is, the "Use current application if possible" checkbox is NOT checked). If it doesn't work, contact us.
  11. if the settings are correct but NetFinder is not being used for ftp services, try rebuilding the desktops on all of your disks. This will usually fix the problem.

Other programs:

To make other programs use NetFinder for FTP transfers, you need to configure Internet Config to use NetFinder as the FTP helper program (in Internet Config's "helpers" panel). As long as those programs "talk" to Internet Config, NetFinder will automatically be used for FTP transfers when you open FTP URLs in those programs. Some Internet Config aware applications include the latest versions of Eudora, NewsWatcher, and BBEdit.



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Copyright © 1997-2000, Peter Li and Vincent Tan.