i-logout.cz – A Mac Software Repository in Gopherspace

Floppies

“A Mac software repository WHERE?”, you ask? In gopherspace, I reply. Those of you beyond a certain age may remember Gopher, a text based precursor to the World Wide Web. Gopher largely faded from public view with the emergence of the web, but I am happy to report that a dedicated band of vintage enthusiasts is keeping Gopherspace alive and well, and YOU can still access it today.

Gopherspace - The Hidden Internet

You may reasonably ask why you would WANT to access such an anachronism, but it turns out that there are at least two very good reasons. First, as a reader of this blog, which is concerned largely with vintage Macs, you clearly have an interest in older technology. Gopher may therefore be an interesting avenue of investigation in its own right. If however this is not enough motivation to take a peek into the odd gopher hole or two, how about this? I have just found a wonderful little vintage Mac software repository in gopherspace, and you may just want to check it out.

The repository in question is i-logout.cz and it has an interesting collection of both Mac OS and Mac OS X titles (plus PC, Amiga and more), many of which definitely qualify as “hard to come by”. I found a few programs I have been looking for for quite some time now, and you may too.

So, how do you access this small miracle in gopherspace? It is actually very simple. The address is:

gopher://i-logout.cz/1/software/Mac/

Type that into your browser’s address bar just like you would an HTTP:// address. However, if you type that particular address into your browser right now, it won’t really know what to do with it, since the gopher:// part of the address will represent an unknown protocol to it. Happily, for those of you on Firefox, there is a plugin with the wonderfully tongue-in-cheek name of OverbiteFF that adds Gopher capability to your browser.

Picture 1

Installation of OverbiteFF is a breeze. You can get it from here:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/overbiteff/

and this page features a large “+ Add to Firefox” button. Simply press the button and follow the simple instructions, and you will quickly be rewarded with a Gopher capable version of Firefox.

Now so equipped, head over to i-logout.cz, at gopher://i-logout.cz/1/software/Mac/ and have a look. There is a healthy selection of software on tap there, all neatly organized into straightforward categories, as you can see below:

i-logout

All of this, and you can now explore gopherspace as well. You can thank me later! 🙂

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Two “New” Vintage Mac Software Repositories

Today’s blog entry concerns a topic that will be near and dear to many vintage Mac enthusiasts – additional places to look for compatible software! I have recently learned of two significant software repositories for vintage Mac software that I had not previously been aware of, and I thought I should pass this information on to you.

The first is MacGUI at http://www.macgui.com. Now many of you may know about Mac GUI already – it has been around for some time. However, they have recently redesigned the site, and I received a notice of this, having been a member there for some time. Of significant note to this blog entry was my rediscovery of their software repository, which they call The Vault. It is truly a wonderful resource for those of us looking for vintage Mac software, covering all the way from the Apple II years onwards. There are high level sections for each of Apple II, Apple IIgs and Macintosh. The “Macintosh” section is the one of particular interest to this blog.

Mac GUI  Vault

The software is grouped into logical categories like Graphics, Utilities and so on, and each title has its year of publication listed with it, making it relatively easy to spot programs that will run on your specific Mac. One thing the good folks at Mac GUI could do to improve the usefulness of their “Macintosh” area however would be to add an “Architecture” column for each title as well, so that you could tell at a glance whether the program was for 68K, Fat Binary, PPC, or Universal Binary.

Mac GUI Macintosh Vault Categories

There are thousands of titles in the Mac GUI vault, so browse to your heart’s content. I am sure that you will be able to find what you are looking for, or if not, several alternatives.

The second repository I have recently stumbled upon is FreeSMUG (Free Open Source Software Mac User Group) at http://www.freesmug.org.

www.freesmug.org

I was following a chain of links that started at one of my favorite PPC blogs (Viva PowerPC, http://vivapowerpc.blogspot.com/) and eventually I found a blog and an entry that linked to FreeSMUG. What a fortuitous find. I wish I could find the source blog that referenced FreeSMUG so that I could give the author credit, but my efforts to repeat the chain of links have failed. Anyway, FreeSMUG is a pretty cool resource for vintage (and not so vintage) Mac software. It is organized in a direct and easy to understand manner, and they have LOTS of good titles. I would recommend visiting there and having a look!

FOSS Archives

Of course, if you can’t find what you are looking for at either of the above, don’t forget the Macintosh Garden at http://www.macintoshgarden.org. The Macintosh Garden has an astonishingly large collection of “abandonware” – you can find almost anything there!

Happy Hunting!