Line Noise

Lean, Mean Search Machine

HIS BRIGHT RED hair gleams in the radioactive waves emanating from the screen. He's a real character, his friends are strange and he always waits 'til the last minute to get things done. Nope, I'm not talking about the Big Noise editor. I'm talking about Archie Andrews, the comical kid after whom Archie, the Internet files database search engine, was named. Veronica and Jughead have had their day. We've decided Betty's lost in cyberspace. But ARCHIE is alive and well and ready to help you find files on the Internet.

Last month we explored the totally powerful aspects of FTP (File Transfer Protocol). Archie is to FTP as foreplay is to sex--it helps find all the right spots--making it a truly creamy experience.

Because ARCHIE is a database, it helps to have some information about what kind of file you want. If you have a specific file name you're after, the search is bound to be faster. You can learn about limiting searches by reading a comprehensive document on ARCHIE located on the World Wide Web:

But if you just want to have fun, and I know you do, you can do a more general, although time-consuming search. Rigged your JBL studio monitors to your new multimedia computer complete with cutting edge digital sound? Looking for some music files to show off your rig to your drooling pals? Log on to your Internet account and do an ARCHIE search for MIDI, MOD, WAV or AU and you'll find out where to go to retrieve 'em.

An ARCHIE search can be done through an Internet shell account, or using a client in your SLIP or PPP software. It's crucial that you save or write down the machine and directory names that ARCHIE spits back. They're often long, convoluted, UNIX structures, but they're the precise information you need.

Here's an example of an ARCHIE search from my shell account. bash$ archie wav (this is the command from the Unix prompt for ARCHIE to look for wav files). Now we wait a few minutes and then a huge list goes scrolling by. Here's one selection: (this is an FTP site in Sweden that has sound files). Location: /pub/msdos/ultrasound/sound WAV (this is the directory location on the site where wav files can be found).

The next step is to FTP into the recommended machine, and grab the files. Once resident on your own computer, play them for those friends. Just make sure they do their drooling nice and far from your keyboard. Oh...if anyone finds Betty, let me know:
--Molly Who

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