6.0 Program Customisation
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NetFinder has many options which are presented in nine different categories. Each is shown as a separate "pane" within the NetFinder Preferences window.
To configure NetFinder, start it up and select the "Open NetFinder Preferences..." menu option from the Edit menu. The NetFinder Preferences window will then open.
6.1 Common Items
In each displayed pane are some common buttons and controls. They are:
- The column of icons on the left of the window lets you switch categories. To change categories, click on an icon or use the up and down arrow keys.
- The OK and Cancel buttons close the window and if OK is clicked, any changes you make are remembered. Clicking Cancel makes no changes to any preference you changed while the window was open. Pressing 'return' is the same as clicking OK. Pressing 'esc' is the same as clicking Cancel.
- Clicking the balloon help icon turns balloon help on or off. The icon changes appearance to reflect the current state of balloon help.
- Clicking the Default button changes all the preferences that are currently shown in the window to their default state. It does not change any other preferences in any of the other panes.
- Clicking the Revert button restores the preferences to what they were when the pane was initially displayed. This is a subtle but important point. An example: if you open the preferences window, change a preference, switch to another pane, then go back to the first pane, change that first preference again, and then click Revert, it will revert that first preference to the setting it was after you first changed it.
6.2 Connections Pane
- Keep connections alive: NetFinder will periodically send a command to the FTP server(s) you are connected to keep them from disconnecting you. Note that some servers are configured to disconnect you anyway if you don't do listings or file transfers after a certain period so this option may not work for those servers.
- Try to use one connection per server: NetFinder will try to use an existing connection when performing directory listing tasks. If this preference is off, then NetFinder will establish multiple connections to the server when necessary.
- Retry busy sites: if NetFinder is unable to connect to a site, it will try again every X seconds (defined by the slider bar) if this option is checked. In between attempts, the Connection window will display "Waiting to connect to <site>".
Logging information to disk:
- The Transcript: all details of the "conversation" between NetFinder and any server it "talks" to are recorded in the "Transcript" file in the "NetFinder 2 Preferences" folder in your Preferences folder. You can read this file in any text editor. Click the Clear button to clear the Transcript file.
- All Transfers: all file transfers are recorded in the "Transfer Log" file in the "NetFinder 2 Preferences" folder in your Preferences folder. You can read this file in any text editor to see what transfers have occurred. Click the Clear button to clear the Transfer Log file.
6.3 Firewall Pane
Firewall/Proxy security options:
- Use port mode (PORT): FTP connections are made using the more common PORT method.
- Use passive mode (PASV): FTP connections are made using the less common PASV method.
- Configure Firewall/Proxy: Opens the Internet Config application (Internet control panel under MacOS 8.5 or greater), allowing you to configure more advanced settings.
6.4 Listings Pane
For directory listings:
- Show invisible files, ie, files that begin with '.'. On unix systems, files that begin with '.' are usually not shown in directory listings and are considered invisible. NetFinder will follow this convention when this item is checked.
- Show target of alias instead of the alias itself. On unix systems, alias files do not indicate any information about the target they refer to the name/location of the target. Whether the target is a file or directory, what its size is or what its date is is not known until the target is requested. To see the target of the alias in all of its glory, check this option. Tip: most of the time, you'll want it checked.
- Guess alias type. ie file alias or folder alias. When enabled, NetFinder tries to intelligently guess what an alias is without additional network overhead. NOTE: NetFinder does not always guess correctly, so this option is defaulted to off.
- Cache directory listings. NetFinder can keep a record of the directories it lists. It will then use that record when you next try to get that directory's listing instead of asking the FTP server to send it again. For large directories or slow links, this saves you time so it's better to check this option. If the directory is likely to change often, you should probably have this option checked but use the "Refresh Listing" command in the File menu when you think it has changed.
Just like your standard browsers, you may choose to disable the caching mechanism, enable it and always use the data from the cache when available, or enable the cache but always get a fresh listing after you relaunch NetFinder and there after use the data in the cache.
If you think the listing is incorrect, its probably because it is an old cached entry. You can see the date when the listing was first obtained from the server via the listing window. To refresh the listing manually, use command-R.
- Clear Cache Now. Click this button to delete the entire contents of the directory cache. You will also lose any remembered window positions.
- Get new listing after uploading items, creating directories and deleting items. Some FTP servers have restrictions on the names they can support such as a limited character set or limited number of characters allowed in the file names (hint: usually not a Mac nor unix server). If the server changes the names of items or its contents change frequently (because many people are accessing the same directory at the same time say), you will probably want to check this option.
6.5 Display Pane
- Non-English sorting of lists. To correctly sort lists with accented characters like acute-e, you will need to check this option. Note that Non-English sorting of lists is slower (sometimes much slower) than English sorting.
- Folder icons indicate permissions. When checked, the folder icons drawn in listing windows will indicate the "everyone" permissions on folders. When unchecked, plain folders are drawn.
- Allow renaming of items. When checked, you can rename items. Enough said.
- No delay to enter rename mode. When checked, you can rename an item straight away by clicking its name. The normal behaviour is to enter rename mode after a small delay. This is mainly a convenience feature for impatient people. :-)
- Smooth Redraws. When checked, NetFinder will use more memory to make the listings draw with less flickering.
- Use Internet Config's List font settings. When selected, items in listing windows are displayed in the font and font size specified in Internet Config's List font setting.
- Use:. When selected, items in listing windows are displayed in the font and font size shown.
6.6 Downloading Pane
- Intelligently. NetFinder looks at the file to try and identify whether it is encoded in Binhex 4.0 or MacBinary (two common ways to encode Mac files on FTP sites). If it finds either encoding, it will decode the file as it downloads it.
- Always as Binary. The file is copied "as is" from the FTP server. If it is encoded, you will have to decode it using a helper program such as Stuffit Expander. Note, this option is the same as "Raw Data" transfers defined by other file transfer applications.
- Always as Text. The file is copied from the FTP server on the assumption that it is a text file.
Some files are encoded in Binhex 4.0 but are stored on FTP servers as a MacBinary file (ie, they are Binhex 4.0 files buried inside a MacBinary file). To confuse matters more, they are usually given the name "myFile.sit.hqx" instead of "myFile.sit.hqx.bin". If NetFinder decodes the first data it sees, it will store a Binhex 4.0 file on your Mac's disk and you will think that it has failed to decode the file (even though it has decoded something). To work around this, NetFinder can be told to look first for the Binhex 4.0 data, even if it's buried inside a MacBinary wrapper. The available choices are:
- Try Binhex 4.0 first. NetFinder will look for Binhex 4.0 data even if it is buried inside a MacBinary wrapper, and will decode the Binhex data (and hence ignore the MacBinary wrapper). This is probably what you want if you're the average surfer.
- Try MacBinary first. NetFinder will look for MacBinary data first and ignore any Binhex 4.0 data that is buried inside it. This is what you want if you're a "purist" about your files.
For duplicate filenames:
- Use a new name. NetFinder will generate a unique name for a downloaded file/folder that have the same (decoded) name as a file/folder that already exists in the download target folder. For example, if you try to download "myfile.sit" and it already exists, NetFinder will give the to-be-downloaded file the name "myfile.sit.1". If that name is used, "myfile.sit.2" is used, and so on until a unique name is found.
- Ask what to do. NetFinder will stop and ask you what to do with any files/folders which have (decoded) names that already exist. You will be able to choose any of the other three options shown here (use a new name, replace files, skip files).
- Replace files. NetFinder will replace any files/folders which have the same name as the (decoded) name of the to-be-downloaded file/folder with the to-be-downloaded file/folder.
- Skip files. NetFinder will not replace any files/folders which have the same name as the (decoded) name of the to-be-downloaded file/folder with the to-be-downloaded file/folder; instead, the file/folder with the same name is not downloaded.
This option shows you where files and folders will be downloaded to if you double click them or use command-down-arrow/command-O on them. The options are:
- Ask: you are always asked for the download location.
- Use Internet Config: the download location specified in Internet Config is used.
- Use: the download location you specify is used (or the Desktop if none is specified).
6.7 Post-Download Pane
- Keep partial file. Partial files are always kept on your disk
- Ask what to do. NetFinder will ask you what to do with each partial file
- Delete partial file. Partial files are always deleted. You will then have to download the entire file again
Interrupted downloads, reliability vs download speed:
Use this slider to adjust the speed of downloading vs the reliability of resuming.
As a rough guide, Fastest transfers will only really resume when you press the Stop button. The slower speed transfer will allow resuming when your system crashes and you are forced to restart.
- "Post process"... When checked, NetFinder will use the setting in Internet Config for the (decoded) file's suffix to do further processing on the file. For example, if "test.cpt.hqx" is a Compact Pro archive which was stored as a binhex file on an FTP site, it will be downloaded and decoded to "test.cpt" on your Mac's disk (assuming "Download files..." -> "Intelligent" is selected). If this option is checked, NetFinder will then ask Internet Config what to do with this ".cpt" file. Internet Config will usually reply that it should be decompressed with Stuffit Expander. NetFinder will then open Stuffit Expander (assuming you have enough free memory to open Stuffit Expander) and ask Stuffit Expander to decompress the file.
- ...in background. When checked, NetFinder will ask helper programs to do their work in the background instead of making them the front-most application.
- Play sound effect. When checked, NetFinder will play the system alert sound after it has completely downloaded a batch of files.
- Put downloaded file's URL in its comment. When checked, NetFinder will put the URL of the downloaded file in the Finder comments of the file.
6.8 Uploading Pane
- Using Internet Config's File Mappings. When selected, files are uploaded using the settings in Internet Config for that file type and creator. For example, encrypted Stuffit archives must be uploaded as MacBinary or Binhex 4.0 because they need their resource fork. If you uploaded them as a plain binary file (data fork only), you would lose the resource fork and the recipient of the file would not be able to decompress its encrypted contents. So to correctly upload encrypted Stuffit archives, you would set up Internet Config so that it knows how to handle ".sit" files. Then, when NetFinder tries to upload such a file, it will first ask Internet Config to find the best entry in its mapping list for files of type 'SITD' (that is, for a Stuffit Deluxe archive). IC usually returns the ".sit" entry (well, the entry for uploads actually, if there is another entry with the "not for outgoing" setting set). NetFinder then looks in that entry to see what the upload setting is. It can be either "Macintosh", "binary data" or "plain text". If it is Macintosh, NetFinder will upload the file in MacBinary format. If "binary data", it will upload its data fork only without any encoding. If "plain text", the file is uploaded as a text file.
WARNING: Internet Config's default for Stuffit Archives is "binary data". This setting won't work for encrypted archvies. We recommend that you change the default setting by double clicking the ".sit" entry in Internet Config's File Mappings window, and in the dialog that then appears, check the "not for outgoing" checkbox. Then add another entry for ".sit" files and in this second entry, check the "not for incoming" checkbox and click the "Macintosh" radio button. Then save these changes. This will cause Stuffit Archives to be downloaded as binary files (in fact, if you set NetFinder to download intelligently, it will just ignore that entry) and uploaded as MacBinary files - which is what you usually want, unless you need to send it to a DOS/PC person, in which case, just tell them to get a Mac :-) or failing that, EITHER upload it as a binary file (and don't send it encrypted) OR upload it as MacBinary and get them to use Stuffit Expander for Windows.
NOTE: This encrypted file issue will only affect Stuffit files prior to v5.0. Stuffit 5.0 and later stores all information in a cross platform compatible manner.
- Always as MacBinary. This allows you to transfer the whole Mac file, including any icons it has and its file type and creator fields. Use this if you always upload to a Mac-hosted FTP site so that the files arrive on the other end as real Mac files. Do not use this if you upload to info-mac or umich - use Binhex 4.0 encoding instead.
- Always as Binhex 4.0. This allows you to transfer the whole Mac file, including any icons it has and its file type and creator fields. Because this is a text-based encoding scheme, the encoded file is 33% larger than the original file. Therefore, you should use this option only if you have to, for example, if you upload to info-mac or umich.
The main advantage of Binhex 4.0 encoding over MacBinary is that the two forks of a Mac file have a CRC calculated on them during encoding, so it's much easier to tell if the file transferred is corrupted - all you have to do is decode the Binhex 4.0 and if the CRCs don't match after decoding, then you know it's corrupted. MacBinary has no such protection on the two forks.
However, if you send the data within a Stuffit archive then using Binhex 4.0 encoding is not necessary (unless it is required of course) because Stuffit archives have their own CRCs stored within them. To complicate this though, you should use Binhex 4.0 encoding if you are uploading segmented Stuffit archives because there is no CRC calculated for each individual segment. This is important because if someone downloads all of the segments and the joined archive is found to be corrupt, he/she won't know which segment was the corrupt one which means she/he will have to download all of the segments again (or one at a time and keep trying each new one). If however, the segments were Binhex 4.0 encoded, then he/she will instantly know which one is corrupted as it is being downloaded (because each segment is separately encoded, each one has a separate CRC). Thus the Binhex 4.0 encoding saves her/him from having to download all of the segments again.
- Always as Binary. Only the data fork of a file is uploaded. Good for uploading ".jpg" and ".gif" files to a web/FTP site.
- Always as Text. The file is uploaded on the assumption that it contains text.
Upload invisible files/folders
When not checked, invisible Mac files are not uploaded. Files like your desktop database. After all, who else wants to see all of that stuff on your hard disk? :-O
When checked, invisible files are uploaded. So you really do want to inflict your AppleShare preferences on everyone, eh? ;-)
Don't add '.hqx' extension for BinHex uploads.
Exactly what the title says. ie a BinHex encoded file is stored as say "file.sea" instead of "file.sea.hqx"
Don't add '.bin' extension for MacBinary uploads.
Exactly what the title says. ie a MacBinary encoded file is stored as say "file.sea" instead of "file.sea.bin"
Default upload permissions:
These options control the permissions given to files that you upload to a FTP server. The options are:
Enable: when checked, uploaded files/folders will have their permissions set to the value shown in the window. When unchecked, uploaded items will not have their permissions set. Their permissions will be whatever the server sets new files to by default. Note that this option takes effect when you log in to a FTP server so you may need to re-login if you change the value in this dialog.
Owner/Group/Everyone/Read/Write/Execute checkboxes: these allow you to change the default upload permissions. Just click the appropriate checkboxes. Most of the time you'll want the "755" permissions setting (only the owner can alter files but everyone else can see them).
6.9 General Pane
Display splash screen:
When not checked, the splash screen only stays open for the shortest possible time (the time it takes to start up the program). The ability to disable the splash screen is only available in the registered version.
When checked, the splash screen stays open for about 8-10 seconds. Unregistered versions always have this (somewhat annoying) delay.
Icons in menus:
When not checked, NetFinder will remove all icons in menus from the menu bar as well as all contextual menus.
When checked, NetFinder will display icons next to the text in numerous menus in the menu bar and contextual menus.
NOTE: When icons are removed, they can only be added back in after the preference is re-enabled and the application is restarted.
Export passwords in URLs:
When not checked, URLs that you copy / drag / save will not have passwords included in them.
When checked, URLs that you copy / drag / save will have passwords included in them.
To be precise, "copy" means "copy to clipboard", "drag" means "drag icon or URL out of a NetFinder window (listing or New Connection)", and "save" means "save in a bookmark file" or "save as the default URL in the New Connection dialog".
Show "New Connection" dialog on startup:
When checked, NetFinder will display the "New FTP Connection" dialog when it starts up without a bookmark file (in other words, when you double click it or when another program starts up NetFinder with a GetURL request).
When unchecked, NetFinder never displays the "New Connection" dialog when it starts up.
Tell Netscape to use NetFinder for FTP URLs:
When checked, Netscape will direct its FTP transfers to NetFinder. You must NOT have Netscape running when you try to change this option otherwise NetFinder may not be able to change the setting in Netscape.
Always bring NetFinder to the foreground:
When checked, NetFinder will be brought to the front when it is asked to get a URL (for example, when you click a FTP URL in Netscape).
Use ISO 8859-1 translation on file names:
When checked, NetFinder will apple ISO 8859-1 translation to FTP files and folders. This is useful if the site you are connected to uses ISO 8859-1 encoding for its file/folder names. If the site uses only English names, you probably will not need this option on.
Several FTP servers cannot process commands with paths in them. To access files on these sites, you need to use the Compatible mode. An example of a server which requires this is the Rumpus FTP server for Macintoshes.
- Faster commands. NetFinder only sends the command with a full path to the FTP server. Many FTP servers work fine with this form of the command. Some, however, can't handle it (don't ask us why), so instead you will need to use...
- Compatible commands. For FTP servers that cannot handle a full path with the command properly - the most common symptom you will see is many empty directory listings or error messages when trying to operate on files. To work with these servers, NetFinder will sends a "CWD <path>" command followed by the command (with a file name if required). For example, "CWD /home/usr/vtan/" followed by "RETR index.html".
6.10 Getting Attention Pane
When my attention is needed:
- Enable speech/sound and play... This option is the "master switch" which controls whether NetFinder speaks/play sounds.
- ...on connecting/disconnecting This option controls whether NetFinder speaks/play sounds when it connects/disconnects to/from sites.
- ...on completion of a download job This option controls whether NetFinder speaks/play sounds when it downloads items.
- ...on completion of an upload job This option controls whether NetFinder speaks/play sounds when it uploads items.
- ...on completion of a remote copy job This option controls whether NetFinder speaks/play sounds when it remotely copies items.
- ...on completion of a deletion job This option controls whether NetFinder speaks/play sounds when it deletes items.
- ...on aborting This option controls whether NetFinder speaks/play sounds when it receives a request to abort an operation.
- Do nothing: when selected, NetFinder will not notify you that it needs your attention
- Flash menu bar icon: when selected, NetFinder will notify you when it needs your attention by flashing its icon in the Applications menu (at the top right)
- Display alert: when selected, NetFinder will notify you when it needs your attention by flashing its icon in the Applications menu (at the top right) and by displaying an alert
6.11 Actions Pane
View As Graphic/Media Options:
- Double Click Action: Use this preference to define what action to perform when you double click on a file.
WARNING: Be careful when using the "download and open" option as you may be opening and running a virus!
- BBEdit Save Action: Use this option to specify if you wish to always save changes from BBEdit back to the server.
- Transfer Format: Use this preference to specify whether to download and edit the file as Binary or Text. When specifying Text, the ISO text translation preference is recognized.
- Editor: Use this preference to specify the editor to use when the "Edit in BBEdit" command is executed. Please note that support is only available for editors of a certain version which may not be released yet.
- Stream down and identify data: Enable this option to get NetFinder to try to identify the file before fully downloading it. This is useful when you wish to preview a Media file like a movie or an MP3 before it is fully downloaded. Please note that if you rarely preview movies or MP3's you may wish to disable this option as it does make the view task slower.
6.12 Using Custom Internet Config Settings
Why would I need this feature?
If you need to have more than one set of Internet settings like email addresses, download folders, display fonts, file extension mappings, and so on, you can use a custom "Internet Config Preferences" file to get multiple sets of settings. One example: you are a webmistress and you need to transfer files of particular extensions in one way but you also want a general set for when you go surfing. You need custom preferences. Another example: your family members each have a different email address or prefer to have different fonts or file extension mappings. Each person should have a custom preferences file to suit her/his tastes or needs.
OK, I need this feature. How do I get it to work?
To get this to work, you first need to set up your custom settings using Internet Config. Here's what to do:
After setting up the file, you can now use it with NetFinder. The first time you want to use it in NetFinder, drag and drop the custom settings file onto NetFinder's icon. Doing this will load the preferences in and change the settings file's icon to a NetFinder icon (its contents are not changed however). Thereafter, you can double click the settings file to load its settings into NetFinder. To change the settings inside it, just drag and drop it onto Internet Config.
- start Internet Config
- choose "Save as..." from the File menu
- give your new settings file a distinct name (eg, "Bob's Internet Preferences") and click Save
- change whatever Internet Config settings you want to change
- save those changes to the new file using command-S
Note: you can switch settings whenever you like - you don't have to quit and restart NetFinder.
Note: listing windows have to be closed and re-opened for the new settings to take effect in those windows. For example, a new display font is not used straight way in all opened windows; it is used only in newly opened windows.
Tip: make your most often used settings the default Internet Config preferences and put your less used settings in a custom settings file. This will save you from switching them more often than necessary and you won't need to remember to double click the preferences file unless it is needed.
IMPORTANT: users of previous versions of NetFinder must rebuild the desktop database of the volume that NetFinder is on to get the drag and drop functionality. If you don't, you won't be able to drop any custom settings files on NetFinder.
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Copyright © 1997-2000, Peter Li and Vincent Tan.