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New preview of Classic 68k Mac utility - standalone HTTP file downloader

aperezbios

Well-known member
Hi folks. I wanted to share a new utility. It's working title/name is simply "HTTP Downloader" and it does what it says on the tin. It was designed to use minimal resources, and if you try to provide it with an HTTPS URL, it will tell you so. If you provide a URL which redirects to an SSL/TLS-enabled URL, it fails, and tells you this.

The purpose of this downloader is simple; It exists solely to "bootstrap" a machine with nothing but Internet connectivity, and an installed OS.

This utility was developed in CodeWarrior 5, using the PowerPlant framework, and will eventually be open sourced. Needless to say, it also works fine on PPC macs running System 7.5 through OS9.

For machines running System 7.0-7.1, Thread Manager is required. If you don't have this extension already, it can be downloaded from Apple.

A preview release of this utility can be downloaded here: HTTP-Downloader-0.99b.sit. It has received minimal testing thus far, and may or may not work properly/reliably with MacTCP (all testing was done with OpenTransport). Feedback is appreciated.


The stuffit archive is 135 kilobytes, and the uncompressed 68k binary is 270 kilobytes. When running, the application consumes 1,024 kilobytes of memory, so you're going to need a machine with that much free memory, after your System has loaded. Two megabytes is likely the lowest practical memory footprint.
 
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aperezbios

Well-known member
It's now been tested on an LC III running System 7.1 and OpenTransport 1.3. It works with 6MB RAM. OpenTransport doesn't load at all if you have fewer than 4MB RAM, which isn't surprising, given that the OpenTransport 1.3 installer won't let you install it, unless your system has 5MB RAM total.
 

LaPorta

Well-known member
Ahh I suppose so, but wouldn't that entail needing another computer to find useful addresses to input?
 

aperezbios

Well-known member
Is it OT only, or will it work with MacTCP?
It isn't yet known to work with MacTCP, but that's a goal. If someone is interested in trying to add that functionality, let me know and I'll share the source with you in advance of its official open release.
 

aperezbios

Well-known member
Ahh I suppose so, but wouldn't that entail needing another computer to find useful addresses to input?
Yep, but I have a plan there, and the utility will eventually have some bookmark-style functionality. In the near-term, I intend to releasea build with a collection of known-working links to some of the most commonly-downloaded applications, such as Stuffit Extractor, some common 68k web browsers, etc.
 

LaPorta

Well-known member
Very interesting. Yes, built-in hard links would be great, to, say, Stuffit Expander, BinHex, all that sort of thing.
 

aperezbios

Well-known member
An updated preview release of this utility can be downloaded here: http://www.68k.party/software/HTTP-Downloader-0.99.2b.sit.

In this build, error handling (timeouts, etc) has been much improved, and there's the not-yet-functional skeleton of a preferences pane that will be used to save a list of URLs, to be used as presets. Testing is appreciated, particularly from someone running MacTCP. You'll need the thread manager extension linked in the previous post if you're running System 7.0/7.1.
 

Crutch

Well-known member
This is super cool.

What if one maintained a page of links somewhere with a known URL, such that a user could, with a click, instantly populate a list of downloads and links in the app, which would grow over time and always be up to date? Then with one more click you could download a good version of one of hundreds of useful classic Mac programs and files?
 

aperezbios

Well-known member
This is super cool.

What if one maintained a page of links somewhere with a known URL, such that a user could, with a click, instantly populate a list of downloads and links in the app, which would grow over time and always be up to date? Then with one more click you could download a good version of one of hundreds of useful classic Mac programs and files?
It's on the wishlist :)
 

MindWalker

Well-known member
I tested this today on my IIcx running 7.1 and MacTCP. I had only a couple of links at hand for testing, but the utility worked great!

I had one issue; I put in an HTTPS address and got an error message, which opened outside my display area (running at 640x480). On the bottom-right corner of my screen I saw the top-left of a popup with the red hand symbol and "This program only", the rest was cropped outside my display. I couldn't acknowledge it or move it (so I had to restart the machine).

Also I would appreciate a Cancel-button (for the times when you realize the download was bigger than you thought!).

I'll test more once I've collected some more links to try (and figured out why the machine is having DNS issues in general, I had some fails but I believe they were not related to the downloader).

I'd also love the idea of having the list of the preset urls located somewhere online. One could collect a list of stuff to download, put it into a file on the modern machine and then go to the vintage Mac with only the link to the preset url file to be entered manually. Would be handy!
 

aperezbios

Well-known member
I tested this today on my IIcx running 7.1 and MacTCP. I had only a couple of links at hand for testing, but the utility worked great!

I had one issue; I put in an HTTPS address and got an error message, which opened outside my display area (running at 640x480). On the bottom-right corner of my screen I saw the top-left of a popup with the red hand symbol and "This program only", the rest was cropped outside my display. I couldn't acknowledge it or move it (so I had to restart the machine).

Also I would appreciate a Cancel-button (for the times when you realize the download was bigger than you thought!).

I'll test more once I've collected some more links to try (and figured out why the machine is having DNS issues in general, I had some fails but I believe they were not related to the downloader).

I'd also love the idea of having the list of the preset urls located somewhere online. One could collect a list of stuff to download, put it into a file on the modern machine and then go to the vintage Mac with only the link to the preset url file to be entered manually. Would be handy!
Thanks for the feedback, @MindWalker. Were you using the original one I posted about in the first post, or the updated one I subsequently posted. I ask because that dialog box thing is something I encountered, and thought we had already addressed in the subsequent preview.

We've already got an abort button on the list of features to add. The version that's released so far also doesn't properly follow HTTP 301/302 redirects, which is an unintended bug, which is being fixed today.
 

MindWalker

Well-known member
Thanks!

I was using 0.99.3b previously. One of the files I tested with was 'http://old.macintosh.garden/games/POP1-151.sit'. I can download it using Netscape Navigator, but the downloader fails (it says connecting, then connected, then downloads a couple of Kb, then says 'Failed to get: /games/POP1-151.sit").

It seems that the new version broke the downloading completely. When using a known-good link (works with 0.99.3b in-situ) the "Download"-button changes to "Stop" but the status stays at "Idle" and nothing else happens. I am also still getting the error message appearing partly outside the display in 0.99.5b.
 
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