Interarchy 4.0
Posted: 11-Apr-2001

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice

Author: Stairways Software Type: SHAREWARE

Reviewer: Jim Melton Class: INTERNET
     
$35   Download

Interarchy bills itself as "an Internet application for MacOS." It includes high-level file transfer functions and low-level network diagnostic functions. In fact, a better description would probably be "the Swiss Army knife for the Internet." It has more features than you are likely to think you need at first, but like that little red knife, each and every feature will come in handy at some point in time.

Interarchy 4.0 is a major face lift to the venerable Anarchie FTP client. For veteran Anarchie users, the new interface is the first thing you notice. Love it or hate it, don't worry about it because you can change it. Interarchy includes a new Interface Builder to allow you to completely customize the look and feel of the application. A number of pre-made interfaces are available for download at
http://interfaces.interarchy.com. Besides, you don't use Interarchy to look at it. It is at its best in the background.

First and foremost, Interarchy is a full-featured FTP client. Enter the name of a server (like
ftp://avalon.pascal-central.com) and a familiar Finder-like window is displayed. Intuitively, you can drag and drop files and folders between your Mac and the remote server just like you would copy files from one hard disk to another.

Interarchy is fully integrated with the latest MacOS features. It stores your log-in information to your servers on your Keychain, and accesses the Keychain to retrieve information as required, all transparently. It is fully integrated with Internet Config (the best of any program I've used), and it is fully AppleScript-able.

Interarchy can (and should) be configured to be your default FTP client. Then, whenever you click on an FTP link, the request is automatically passed to Interarchy. I have had problems when using Netscape where, if Interarchy is not already running, the URL never makes it to the application. Thus, it usually takes two clicks to get a file if Interarchy is not running.

One of the features I like best is the FTP upload mirror command. I maintain a genealogical database in Reunion. Reunion exports to HTML by creating thousands of little files. Using Interarchy, I can select a folder and tell it to mirror a path on my ISP's server. New files are added, old files are deleted. What could be easier?

Interarchy also includes an HTTP mirror download command for getting a copy of an entire web site copied to your hard disk. I've never used this one yet, but it's easy to see where this would be useful.

Other features that I've not explored sufficiently to comment on include HTTP get and Sherlock search. Interarchy can be used to get HTTP files, but it doesn't render them like a browser. Rather, it displays a list of all the other objects referenced by the page.

When the internet was young, searches were accomplished using a protocol/server known as "archie" (hence the name Anarchie). This obsolete protocol has been replaced with the ability to use Sherlock plug-ins for searching. It doesn't seem to understand about Sherlock 2's channels; all plug-ins are offered in a single, flat dialog list. Frankly, I'd rather use Sherlock.

Interarchy includes a complete suite of Internet diagnostic tools, including ping, traceroute, DNS lookup, and whois. It also provides local machine diagnostics allowing you to see all the connections to your machine and watch traffic between your machine and the network. These tools are unlikely to be used by casual users, but they are invaluable when you need them.

Pros:

  • Full-featured FTP client
  • Integrated with Keychain and Internet Config
  • Moderate memory footprint (can run in 700k)
  • Advanced diagnostic features
  • Configurable Interface
  • Scriptable


Cons:

  • On the edge of feature bloat


Rating:

4.5 out of 5 mice