The Online World resources handbook
                        by Odd de Presno


Items covered: 

1. Reading ASCII text on your Macintosh.
2. Dealing with .ZIP compressed files.
3. Problem: Double spacing between lines
4. The easy way out. . . .

1. Reading ASCII text on your Macintosh
One user sent in the following request:

 Odd, I have read your posting on the mailing list server at Nodak
 regarding your book in electronic form 'The Online World shareware 
 book'. I noticed that it is available via FTP in MS-DOS compressed form 
 and in ASCII form. As a Mac user who has technical difficulties in 
 transferring between formats, etc, is it possible to get a Mac MS 
 Word version? 

This is a summary of what experienced Macintosh users suggested: 

 *  ASCII files can be read by any Mac word processor.  Sometimes 
    that import process is invisible to the user... sometimes it 
    requires choosing a special box on the screen... it all depends 
    on which version is being used.  In any case... it's supposed 
    to be fairly simple. 

    Example: MS Word. You first start the MS Word program and then 
    import the text file. 

    MS Word for Windows will let you save the ASCII file that you 
    read in as a MacIntosh MS Word 4.0/5.0 file. 

*   You can read DOS files directly on the Macintosh with PC 
    Exchange, an Apple control panel program, readily available. 

*   A software package called MACLINK PLUS 6.0 on the MacIntosh can 
    convert many types of files MAC to IBM and vice-versa 
    (including MS Word).

*   Copy the ASCII text file to a 3 1/2" IBM diskette (in 1.4 Mg 
    sections if necessary). Use one of the new MacIntoshes with 
    a SuperDrive that reads IBM diskettes and then have MS Word for 
    MAC read the file. 

*   If you only have a MacIntosh Plus or MAC without a SuperDrive, 
    then use a MacIntosh/IBM program called LAPLINK MAC, using a 
    cable to connect the serial ports on both the MAC and IBM. This 
    program shows the MacIntosh drives as if they were IBM 
    directories on the IBM PC, then just do a simple copy of your 
    ASCII file. 

*   If this user can FTP using ASCII instead of Binary to his Mac, 
    then he should have no problems with the file.  What he'll need to 
    do is; 

    (NOTE: This is assuming they're FTPing directly to their MAC.)
    >> FTP the ASCII version using the ASCII format instead of the BINARY.
    >> Open up MS_Word and use the FILE OPEN command. 
    >> then do a SAVE AS command to save it in a Word Format.

    The only problem with this is they will probably have to do 
    some formatting to get page/margins information to line up 

*   If they use the MAC to connect to a mainframe account. They'll 
    need to do the following 

    >> FTP the ASCII Version to their mainframe account, by using the 
    >> ASCII instead of the BINARY commands. 
    >> Download the file from their Mainframe Account as an ASCII File.
    >> Open up MS_Word and use the FILE OPEN command. 
    >> then do a SAVE AS command to save it in a Word Format.

    If they need to know the difference between ASCII and BINARY 
    Commands during FTP then they will need to contact their support 
    people do get the specifics of their FTP Software. 

*  Lars H. Andersen in Iceland recommends the PlainText freeware text 
   editor, an "auto-wordwrapping text editor that handles big files and 
   little files with equal facility. There is no limit to the length or 
   number lines that a file can have. PlainText incorporates a useful set 
   of conversion features for converting between DOS, Unix, and Mac text 
   file conventions, stripping linefeeds and control characters, searching 
   for and stripping lines containing certain patterns, changing straight 
   to curly quotes and back, and more." Version 1.6 was archived as
   [plain-text-16.hqx; 238K]. Available through the Internet. Made by

        Mel Park
        University of Tennessee, Memphis

2. Dealing with .ZIP compressed files

 ZIP files can be unzipped by UnZip 2.0.1 (and a lot of other 
 unzippers). But of course, if the unzipped file is in DOS format 
 there may be difficulties. 

 If the file is compressed as a bin-hex, then any of the Macintosh
 compression programs will convert and then uncompress ready for Mac 
 Word to open. 

Susan Farrell  wrote: 

 I use a program called Fetch (available from University of Michigan and other 
 Mac software archives) to do the ftp part. It is not necessary, but so much 
 simpler. Then I get the ASCII (uncompressed, if possible), which the Mac 
 treats like TXT (plain text). Open MS Word, then try to open the file. It will 
 ask what kind of translation you want. Choose TEXT. Viola! 

Peter E. Sand  wrote:

 I use SitComm (a *full* service commercial communication program for the
 Mac).  SitComm translates just about everything, or at least everything
 that I have come across.  

Where to find the UnZip program:

 You will find it in many libraries on the net. Just check that the
 file name has not changed due to it having been replaced by a more 
 recent version. Here is one option:

    ftp to to retrieve unzip2.01.cpt.hqx
    from the /mac/util/compression/ directory. 

 Here are some other pointers:

From: Jean Pierre Wilmotte 

  I've got UnZip 2.0.1 and ZipIt 1.2.6 eventually. Through a path a little 
  different from the one mentioned by Odd (different e.a. because I found it 
  before reading his post with Subject: Unzip): 

  with gopher on Merit Macintosh Archive's mirror in Switzerland:
  port  : 70
  path  : /0-Most-Packages/mac-umich/util/compression

  Actually, these 2 packages can be fetched by ftp and gopher, from Merit
  Software Archives (at Merit or any mirror of Merit) in

  Both UnZip and ZipIt did work. I liked ZipIt better (less hassel and a
  decompressed file finer than with UnZip - but maybe I misused UnZip?).

  Note that I still think that all this is a little bit confusing for the
  newbies who subscribed to TOW because they are newbees who hope to be
  guided smoothly to the Internet!

3. Problem: Double spacing between lines

A Mac user in Belgium had problems retrieving online.txt. He expected 'single-
spaced text with double spacing between paragraphs', but the single-spaced 
text became double spaced. 

Larry W. Daubert (U.S.A.) wrote: 

  I suspect the problem is the difference in the definition of "new-line".
  Unix and I believe Macintosh use  = new-line. MS-DOS uses
  . The double space between lines could be done
  in MS-DOS by .

  There are utilities around in freeware that convert end_of_line characters. 
  They simply do a pattern match on the string and substitute for the new 
  string. All current releases of workstation Unix include a dos2unix and a 
  unix2dos command. I believe the latest versions of Macintosh have the same 
  kind of thing. Once the file is converted, its done until it has to go back 
  to the "other" host. 

Tony Barry  in Australia wrote:

  Macs have no problem. They can write DOS files directly and convert the 
  different end of line character strings of Unix or DOS with utilities like 
  BBEdit.  FTP tools like Xferit or Fetch can transmit text file to other ftp 
  sites and convert the end of line character automatically on the basis of 
  the OS of the site concerned.  So far in shifting to and fro many text files 
  from vax, Unix and PC hosts I have never had to worry about the cr/lf , cr, 
  lf differeng convertions between operating system.  The software has always 
  taken care of it for me. 

  Another user had a different view: 

  Using BBEdit to "cut lines containing (space), then paste them back" is
  positively dangerous. It will leave you without all the lines that do 
  *not* contain a space, namely, many headlines!!! So I again ftped the 
  zipped file, unzipped, converted to Mac text, and loaded the result into 
  an EasyView folder. EasyView is a great way of reading it on the Mac.

Chuck Schneider (U.S.A.) wrote this:

  To save hassle, the Mac user should use a non-proportional font,
  widen the margins and decrease the font size so that the hard
  coded linefeeds remain within the margins.

  Otherwise, some sort of a search/replace routine will be necessary
  to get rid of all the unnecessary hard-returns.

This is a suggestion from user

  1-Your word processor. ( That thing that shows the double-spaced text that
  should be single-spaced.)
  2- BBEditLite, a shareware text editor available on many Mac sites.

  1-Curse all pc's for not working as well as Macs.
  2-Cut, do not Copy, a relatively small portion of the offending document from
  the word processor's display and Paste it into BBEdit. (BBEdit only holds a
  small amout of text. Don't overload it.)
  3-Select "Cut Lines Containing..." from the Extensions menu of BBEdit.
  4-Press the spacebar once, then press the "Cut" button in that window.
  5-Watch the text in the BBEdit window as it disappears.
  6-Stop worrying. Trust me.
  7-Press "Paste" in the BBEdit Edit menu.
  8-Say "Wow" as the now single-spaced text appears in the BBEdit window.
  9-Cut and Paste the text back into the original document on your wp.
  10-Cut, do not Copy, the next portion of double-spaced text text from your wp
  and repeat steps until all the double-spaced text is replaced with
  single-spaced stuff.
  11-Repeat Step 1.
  12-Repeat three times:"I'll never buy a computer that uses Messy-DOS".

  You're Welcome.

4. The easy way out. . . .

Have the handbook sent to you on a 1.44 MB Macintosh diskette. See the
file TOW REGISTER for details.

If you have anything to add to the hints in this file, please email me at . 

This is the TOW.MAC file. The most recent version of this file can be
retrieved by email from LISTSERV@LISTSERV.NODAK.EDU . Put the following 
command in the text of your mail: 

You can also get it at

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