Quick Guide to Fetch

Getting Started

Invoke Fetch by double-clicking on the Fetch file or application icon. The Fetch application icon either from the desktop alias icon or the Fetch folder.

Fetch Help

A help facility is available from Fetch Apple Guide Menu.

Figure: Fetch Help in Apple Guide Menu

This contains more detailed information than that included in this document.


When you start Fetch or choose the New Connection... menu item.

Figure 1 File Menu

You will be prompted with the connection dialog box.

Figure 2 Connection Dialog Box

You must specifiy the name or IP number of the machine you wish to connect to, either by typing it in or by choosing an item from the Shortcuts pop-up menu. You may enter an user id and password. If you do not enter a user id Fetch will substitute the name “anonymous.” If you do not enter a password your default password will be used (the default password is specified in Preferences). So in order to use “anonymous FTP” you only need to enter a machine name.


Fetch displays directories roughly the same way that the Macintosh system displays folders. Once you are connected the current directory is displayed as the title of a pop-up menu above the file list.

Figure 3 Main Directory Window

You can change directory in several ways. Double-clicking the name of a directory in the file list (or selecting it and hitting enter) causes Fetch to enter that directory. The pop-up menu above the file lists lets you move to any ancestor of the current directory.

Choosing the Change Directory... command from the Directories menu prompts you for a directory name and makes that the current directory.

Figure 4 Directory File Menu

Finally, the bottom of the Directories menu lists directories you have visited on this host. You may re-enter any one by selecting it from the menu.

Getting a File

To get a file, drag it to the Finder, double-click on its name or select it and click the Get File... button.

Figure 5 Getting A File

If the Automatic radio button is chosen Fetch will try to figure out what kind of file it is from its name (see Automatic/Text/Binary under Reference). If the Text button is selected the file will be treated as text, and you will have the option of converting any BinHex files embedded in the text file. If the Binary button is selected Fetch will check to see if the file is in MacBinary II, AppleSingle, MacBinary I or MacHost format, and otherwise save it without any formatting or conversion. If you know what kind of file you are getting you should select the appropriate button. Most of the time, however, the Automatic setting will do the right thing -- BUT THIS DOES NOT ALWAYS WORK.

Getting Multiple Files

To get multiple files, or directories, click on them while holding down the Command key and then drag them to the Finder or click the Get... button.

Figure 6 Getting Multiple Files

Putting a File

To transfer a file from your Macintosh to another machine click on the Put File... button.

Figure 7 Putting A File

You will be asked to pick a file and prompted for the name and format to give the file you are putting. You should choose MacBinary II format if you plan to simply store the file on the other machine, BinHex if you plan to mail it to someone, and either Text, Wrapped Text, or Raw Data if you plan to manipulate the file on the host computer. Text will simply create a text file using the rules of the other system, Wrapped Text will limit lines to a certain length, and Raw Data will not perform any conversions at all.

Putting Multiple Files

To transfer multiple files, or folders, to another machine hold down the Option key while pressing the Put File... button, or choose Put Folders and Files… from the Remote menu.

Figure 8 Putting Multiple Files

Cancelling and Quitting

You may cancel any on-going operation by pressing the Stop button. Some host computers do not recognize the cancel command and will therefore continue the current operation until it is completed.

Figure 9 Stopping FTP

In that case your only options are to close the connection (by closing the transfer window) or quitting from Fetch by choosing the Quit command from the File menu.

Figure 10 Quitting Fetch

Glossary of Terms

anonymous FTP
- the process of connecting to a remote computer that does not require any identification or password. In this case the user name used is either blank or “anonymous” and the password is optional. Several archives of Macintosh software are available to all by anonymous FTP.

binary file
- a file that may contain any characters in any format; not a text file. Files in MacBinary II format or AppleSingle format are binary files, as are GIF and JPEG image files.

- a collection of files and sub-directories, equivalent to Macintosh folders. Sub-directories are directories within some other directory; the enclosing directory is known as the parent directory. Most systems have a notion of the current directory, the directory whose files your are viewing at that time. Not all systems have directories, and some systems do not permit sub-directories.

- the operation of moving a file from some other computer to your own.

- the remote computer you are connected to. This computer runs a program that accepts your connections, and therefore can be seen as your host. Most host computers are minicomputers and mainframes, but a microcomputer can also act as a host.

- a collection of networks (including NSFnet, Milnet, and others) linking schools, universities, commercial sites, communities, and military bases around the world. FTP is the standard file transfer protocol for the Internet.

IP number
- a type of computer address of the form number.number.number.number (e.g. Usually you will refer to machines by their names (e.g. “ftp.dartmouth.edu”) but Fetch can also connect to machines with just their numeric address.

- an FTP server that duplicates the contents of another (presumably popular) server. It is advisable to use mirror servers when possible, since they are usually less busy than the original (and are intended to relieve load on the original server). Fetch includes preferences for using mirrors of the Info-Mac and UMich archives (see the Preferences topic).

Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP)
- a protocol for using various network protocols, including TCP/IP, over a serial line (e.g. a dial-up modem connection). A Macintosh with PPP software (such as MacPPP) and a connection to a PPP service provider can run Fetch.

proxy server
- a special FTP server that acts as an intermediary between an FTP client and the FTP server that the client really wants to connect to. Proxy servers are used on networks where most machines are not permitted to make Internet connections; instead those machines must connect to the proxy, which in turn connects to the desired server. Fetch supports some simple proxy servers (see the Preferences topic). Proxy servers that require the client to supply a password are not supported; nor are web proxy servers, which use the HTTP protocol rather than FTP.

Serial Line IP (SLIP)
- a protocol for using the TCP/IP protocol suite over a serial line (e.g. a dial-up modem connection). A Macintosh with SLIP software (such as MacSLIP) and a connection to a SLIP service provider can run Fetch.

text file
- a file containing lines of letters, numbers, and punctuation. Most word processors can create text files and some editors (such as TeachText and BBEdit) only create text files. A non-text file is a binary file.

- a protocol suite developed for the United States Department of Defense, and used by many types of computers (particularly machines running the Unix™ operating system). FTP, the protocol used by Fetch, is part of the TCP/IP family of protocols. Fetch uses TCP/IP services in one of two ways: with the KSP protocol and a translating gateway (such as Dartmouth’s AppleTalk-IP gateway), or with Apple's MacTCP or OpenTransport products.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL)
- a global name for a resource available on the Internet. One example of a URL is

``ftp://ftp.dartmouth.edu//pub/mac/Fetch_3.0.sit.hqx.'' In this case the resource is a file available for FTP on host ftp.dartmouth.edu, with the full name /pub/mac/Fetch_3.0.sit.hqx. You can use URLs to tell Fetch what file or directory to access. You can get the URL for the currently selected file or directory in Fetch by choosing the Copy command in the Edit menu. URLs were developed as part of the World Wide Web (WWW) system on the Internet.

- the operation of moving a file from your computer to some other one.

- an acronym for Unix-to-Unix Copy. Uucp is a protocol used by Unix machines and others to exchange files, typically mail messages and bulletin board articles. The Usenet network was built on uucp protocols, although much of Usenet now travels on the TCP/IP Internet. Fetch requires a TCP/IP network and does not work over uucp.

About this document ...

Quick Guide to Fetch

This document was generated using the LaTeX2HTML translator Version 96.1-h (September 30, 1996) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, Nikos Drakos, Computer Based Learning Unit, University of Leeds.

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The translation was initiated by Dave Marshall on Fri Oct 10 12:45:06 BST 1997

Dave Marshall
Fri Oct 10 12:45:06 BST 1997