Copyright 1989, 1990 Michael DeCorte
Help File for The Archive Server
The archive server is a program that gives you the ability to retrieve
files via electronic mail. It is a very dumb program with little error
detection. Thus if you make mistakes, you won't get what you wanted.
This also means that you can ask it to do unreasonable things, but
To make the archive server do something you should send an electronic
mail message to [email protected] The body of the
message should consist of one command per line. The case of the text
does not matter.
The archive is grouped together via directories. Each directory is
considered an archive. An example archive is "latex-style." Associated
with each archive is an index file as well as a top level index file
that lists all of the archives. You can find out what archives are
available with the command "index."
Sends you this file.
"Path" is used to override the mail path that the archive server
chooses from the header of your mail message. You should use this
whenever you know that the return address of your message will not
be useful to the archive server. The archive server only knows
about domain style address. This means that the archive-server
understands [email protected] and [email protected] and [email protected]
but does not understand [email protected] If you have any doubts about
your mail address, you should ask your system administrator for a
correct domain style address. An example use of "path" is
path [email protected]
"Index" mails to you a listing of the files in the specified
archives. If an archive is not specified, then the index of the
available archives will be sent.
"Send" mails to you the files in the specified archive. All of
the files that you request will be sent to you archived together
(see "archiver"), possible packed (see "pack"), possible encoded
(see "encoder") and split up into messages that are small enough
to be mailed (see "size"). If you specify an archive and do not
specify any files, then all of the files in that archive will be
sent. You may have as many "sends" in the body of your mail
message as you wish.
"Encodedsend" is identical to the command "send" except that the
files are guaranteed to be encoded (see "encoder"). This is
useful if you know that the return message will go through EBCDIC
You may specify the method of archiving (merging a group of files
into one large file) the files with "archiver". By default, files
that are mailable are simply stuck together with the text "cut
here" between files and; non-mailable files are archived via unix
tar. The available archiving methods are:
arc (the PC program)
dclshar (VMS, creates a file you can unpack with @FILE.COM)
none (the files are simply stuck together)
shar (Unix sh script)
simple (the files are separated by "cut here" - default)
tar (Unix Tar - default for non mailable files)
zoo (Unix, VMS, PC's)
You may specify that the files be packed (compressed) before
delivery. This has the advantage that the mail files will be
smaller. By default the files are not packed. The available
packing methods are:
compress (the Unix command compress)
compact (the Unix command compact - slower than compress)
Non-mailable files must be converted to something mailable. By
default this is done with "uuencode". You may also specify that
the files must be encoded with the command "encodedsend." The
available encoding methods are:
The archive server splits files up so that they are smaller than
this limit. This is done because many sites have a maximum mail
size limit. A value of 0 means that there is no limit. The
archive server has a default size limit of 100000 bytes. You may
change this if you know that you have different limits. Most (but
not all) uucp sites have a limit of 100000 bytes. Internet and
Bitnet sites should set this to 300000 bytes.
Many mailers will truncate long lines. To overcome this the
archive server encodes files that contains lines that are longer
than 130 characters (see "encoder"). If you know that your mail
files will not be truncated then you can set this value to
The archive-server limits the amount of data that will be returned
by any one request. This limit is very large. By using this command
you may lower this limit. This is typically done to prevent errors
by the user.
You may search through the archive for a string. A string is
considered to be any sequence of alphanumeric characters; case
does not matter. If you only provide an archive name then all of
the files in the archive will be searched. You will be returned
all lines that contain the string.
You may search for file names that contain the given string. Case
is significant in the string. You will be returned all file names
that match the given string.
This will allow you to change the language that the help files are in
to the named language. English is the only supported language right
now though so this command doesn't really do anything yet.
Here is an example message that you could send to the archive-server.
It gives an example of all the supported commands.
path [email protected]
index latex-style isetl
encodedsend latex-style res.sty res-sample.tex
search resume texhax texhax.89.001 texhax.89.002
1) Files are considered mailable if they do not have any lines longer
than 130 characters and do not have any characters other than tabs,
carriage returns, newlines, vertical tabs, formfeeds and characters
between space through tilde (using ascii ordering).
2) If you have problems or questions, you should send mail to
3) If you need to retrieve a large number of files or very large files
then I strongly encourage you to obtain the archives on magnetic tape
via US-mail. If you choose to do this then mail a self-addressed
stamped tape (8mm, 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch) with a check for $20 made to
Clarkson University and a list of the archives that you want (eg
latex-style and texhax) to:
Potsdam NY 13676
You can ask for as many archives as will fit on the tape but you can not
ask for individual files. The tape will be written in Unix tar format.
Unless you specify otherwise the tape will be written at the highest
possible density. (1/2 inch @ 6250 BPI, 8mm @ 2.3 G/tape, 1/4 inch @ 60
M/tape). If you do not live in the USA, we will provide postage if you
send a self-addressed tape without stamps and a check for $40 instead of
NOTE: if the tape is not self-addressed and stamped we will keep that
tape and use it for backups.
To obtain a list of top level archives (eg. latex-style, ISETL,
Freemacs) send a self addressed envelope to the above address.
For your information, the money is used to pay a student to copy the
tapes; any money left over is put into an account to be used eventually
to buy a disk drive dedicated to the archive server. Contributions are
4) If you have an archiving, packing, encoding program that runs under
BSD Unix that I do not have and you would like me to support then please
send it to me. It is very easy to incorporate it into this package.
5) If you would like to convert the various help files to another
language please contact me.
6) The archive server was written by Michael DeCorte. It consists of a
groups of bourne shell and awk scripts designed to work under BSD Unix
based computers. There are no restrictions on its redistribution
provided the copyright notice is left intact.
7) Unix is a registered trademark of AT&T.