Instructions for accessing /pub/cbm/

This archive contains documentation and software for Commodore Business Machines' 8-bit computers. If you are experiencing slow access to this archive, please try a mirror site closer to you.

0. General information

We try to keep our files documented, so that you don't have to download anything to find out if it was worth downloading. In each directory in the /pub/cbm tree, there is a file called 00INDEX that contains a brief description of the files in that directory. This is the source of information for the HTML directory listings in the index.html files.

1. Getting started

It might be wisest to first download the 00INDEX or index.html files from the directories you are interested in.

At the top level and in its each major subdirectory (vic20, c64, c128 and others), there are indexes that cover the whole directory tree:

All directory names with descriptions. Modification time stamps are not included.
All directory and file names with descriptions. Modification time stamps of directories are not included.

2. Symbolic links and hyperlinks

Sometimes, there are several names to the same directory. For instance, the schematic diagrams of the Commodore 128 computer can be accessed both via the c128 subdirectory of schematics/computers/ and via the schematics subdirectory of c128/. In the HTML navigation interface to the archive, hyperlinks to symbolic links are replaced with direct hyperlinks to the symbolic link targets. In other words, the hyperlink schematics in c128/ jumps directly to schematics/computers/c128/.

In one case, symbolic links may cause problems. Directory listings can be accessed also with non-canonical URIs where some directory components are symbolic links. The problems begin when a directory navigation link is selected the listing: the HTML browser and the file server will become out of synchronisation, and either the target links cannot be found or they point to unexpected places. We could solve this problem by using the HTML base element, but that element would have to be adapted for each mirror.

3. Downloading

When downloading files, you have to take some precautions. If you are unfamiliar with some file types you encounter on our site, please see our list of file types.

3.1 HTTP interface

To download a file, you have to use the Save link target function of your HTML browser. Otherwise the contents of the file may be displayed on the screen as binary garbage.

In Lynx, use the d key to save a link target. You will be prompted for alternatives. Choose Save to disk and confirm the filename.

In graphical browsers, you can usually invoke a context-sensitive menu by clicking the right mouse button while the pointer is placed above a hyperlink. Select the Download link or Save link target or equivalent command. If your operating system has some filename limitations, you may also need to rename the file.

Please note that on Microsoft Windows, some versions of Netscape may sometimes transform the CR and LF characters in the files it downloads. Also, Microsoft Internet Explorer may silently decompress gzip compressed files you download, without removing the .gz file name suffix. WinZip refuses to work with such files; you will have to remove the .gz suffix manually.

In case you have problems with HTTP, try a better client, such as wget, or use the FTP interface.

3.2 FTP interface

Use binary mode when transferring the programs. Note that the TCP/IP firewall of your ISP may require you to enter passive mode before downloading anything, even directory listings.

FTP clients with pretty graphical user interfaces can cause lots of problems. They will not let you issue all commands that are available in a textual client, and they may not show the return codes of the FTP server. Also, you may be unsure whether transfers take place in binary or in text mode.

3.3 Mass downloading and mirroring

Probably the most efficient way to maintain a mirror of our archive is to use sync-over-http tool of some sort. See the list of access points.

Marko Mäkelä

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