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Macintosh FTP Site Will Relocate to LCS

By Frank Dabek
Associate News Editor

The Info-Mac FTP site, the world's largest repository of Apple Macintosh software, is moving from Stanford University to the Laboratory for Computer Science at MIT.

By accessing the FTP site, users may download software for use on their Macintosh. The move was scheduled to be finished by March 28 but is not yet complete.

There are over 50 mirror sites which hold copies of the Info-Mac site around the world. The new site will not be accessible directly by users, as public access will be limited to the mirror sites.

MIT's involvement in the new site is minimal, said Mary AnnLadd, sponsored research technical staff at LCS. "We're supplying a spot for their machine and a network," she said. In addition, LCS will handle backups and other physical needs of the new machine.

The Info-Mac site will not be managed by staff at MIT but rather by a group of volunteers across the country.

The process of moving the site has been under way for over two years, Ladd said. She could not predict a completion date, but said that the switch was "taking much longer than they [the Info-Mac team] had planned."

America Online provides machine

The machine where the new site will reside was provided by America Online and has been atLCS for more than a year, Ladd said.

Ladd was not sure why MIT was selected to host the site but speculated that the presence of HyperArchive (http://hyperarchive.lcs.mit.edu/HyperArchive/HyperArchive.html), a "hugely popular" mirror of Info-Mac at LCS, led to the decision.

LCS does "expect an impact" on their network as a result of hosting the Info-Mac site, Ladd said. She said that the HyperArchive machine which holds a mirror of Info-Mac and other files is the lab's current heaviest traffic generator. "We have a wait-and-see attitude about what it [the new site] will do to our network," Ladd said.

The many mirror sites sharing traffic will help relieve network strain, she said.