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Best Archive For System 6/7 Macs?

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I happen to have a SCSI ethernet adapter for my Macintosh SE FDHD, as well as a Mac Mini G4 running Mac OS X 10.4 running an FTP server. I want to get a bunch of software moved over to my Mac, and while I could use floppies... I'd rather do it with my ethernet adapter!

 

The problem that I continually run into: I can FTP over .SIT files no problem, but almost invariably, StuffIt Expander 4.0.2 (which I think is the newest I can run on System 7.0.1) can't open the .SIT files, due to them being created by a newer version of StuffIt.

 

This is super frustrating. It makes me want to go through all of my software, and re-archive everything in a format that every System 6/7 Mac can read with no trouble. What would the "best' application and format be for that, considering that I have System 7 and Mac OS X 10.4 (with Classic available) to work with?

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I haven't tried it yet myself, but it should be possible to access a volume from Mac OS X 10.4 on an SE, or maybe it's 10.3. It's been a while since I have gone through this:

 The Definitive Guide to Connecting your SE/30

 

However, in case you have absolutely no luck, whatsoever, here are some thoughts:

 1. Bridge Mac: Invest in a bridge mac, in essence, the cheapest pre-B&W G3 PCI mac you can find. It needs a network card and preferably Mac OS 8.1 so that you have the possibility of accessing HFS+ volumes.

 2. Invest in a SCSI enclosure and a 4GB drive. It will need the relevant SCSI cable and a terminator. Partition the drive into 4 1GB partitions. Save *and expand* all of the relevant software from the mac mini via the bridge mac to the drive. Plug the SCSI drive then directly into your SE.

 3. Zip-drive: Invest in two zip-100 drives and some zip-100 disks: a SCSI one and a USB one. Expand the files in the Classic environment on your mac mini, copy them onto a zip disk and then load them up on the zip-drive on your SE. Zip-drives & disks are not beloved by all, so your mileage may vary. It doesn't have to be a zip-drive, just some transportable medium where you have drives at either end. It could also be MO, Jaz, burnt CDs and so on.

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+1 for the ZIP drive recommendation and initialize the discs on the SE with the patched Apple SD HC utility to make them recognizable.

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To clarify:

+1 for the ZIP drive recommendation and initialize the discs on the SE with the patched Apple HD SC Setup utility to make them both recognizable and bootable.

However, if it's just for transferring files, it might be better to use the Iomega tools to initialize them, as then you'll be able to eject it while booted into the OS. However, the downside is that it overwrites the driver on the disk, so if you do have a bootable disk with the Apple driver, then the Iomega tools will overwrite that driver when the disk is inserted.

Edited by reukiodo

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So getting the files to my Mac is absolutely not a problem. I have FTP for that, so I have no use for a ZIP drive in this case. Instead, the problem I'm running into is the .SIT files. I can only run StuffIt Expander 4.0.2 on my Mac SE, so when I bring in applications that were archived with newer versions of StuffIt, they won't open.

 

What I'm looking to find out is what the most universal archive format is that I can archive on my Mac OS X 10.4 box. If I can unpack the .SIT files, and repack them in an archive type that the Mac SE can understand, I'll be set. No disk-swapping required.

 

...and I think that ANY software that can run on System 6 and System 7 should be archived in a format that those machines can unpack. Archiving them with a newer version of StuffIt just doesn't make any sense.

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I don't consider storage capacity an issue anymore, SCSI or not.  Hard drives are monstrous in size compared to the software that I'm storing.

 

So instead of trying to compress everything, just use a container file.  I use Disk Copy 4.2 for floppies, DiskDup+ for copy protected floppies, and Disk Copy 6.3.3 for everything else.  If the file is going to be stored on a non-Mac friendly file system, then I use MacBinary II and .bin the file.  It's convenient because Fetch also understands MacBinary files, so it'll decode it as it downloads and I'll get a regular disk image when it finishes.

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Also, Stuffit 4.5 should run on your SE.  It would seem that 5.5 will only run on machine with Color QuickDraw.

 

When I have to work with Stuffit files, I have both version 4.5 and 3.5.2 on my computer.  I use 4.5 for handling newer Stuffit files, but I always use DropStuff 3.5 when compressing a file.  That way it should be compatible with most computers as most people have at least Stuffit 3.x.  Stuffit 3.x was prolific as it was bundled with Netscape.

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