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NeoLogic FTP for OS/2- by Chris Wenham

NeoLogic's FTP client is a good robust program for quick and easy grabbing of files from your favorite FTP sites. What it excels at is great pick-and-choose style selection of files with batch downloads that let you tag multiple files in multiple directories, then go off and do something else while the client downloads everything.

This client is built for getting to common FTP servers quickly. It is centered around the control panel (GIF, 3k) like all the other NeoLogic applications, with buttons for connecting, configuration and help.

The Server Phonebook

The first window you're presented with on startup is the Server Phonebook (GIF, 8.5K). This is your list of favorite FTP sites ready to be double-clicked on. Adding new servers and configuring them is easy too; at the bottom of the phonebook are a series of buttons to "Add", "Edit", "Remove", "Help", "Cancel" or "Connect". Editing or connecting to a server can also be accomplished by right-clicking or double-clicking on the server's listing respectively.

Editing and adding new servers itself is a breeze. After right-clicking on the server listing (or clicking the "Add" button for a new FTP site), you are presented with a settings notebook for all the relevant information needed to connect to the server, including the remote and local directories for the file lists. If you've entered your name and e-mail in the main settings notebook beforehand you can right-click on the "Username" field and it will automatically fill in everything needed for an anonymous login. NeoLogic supports a wide range of FTPDs (the programs that run the FTP server) including its own NeoLogic FTPD, so you're sure to be able to connect to almost any type of machine.

The Connection Window

This is where you'll do most of your interaction with NeoLogic's FTP, the window (GIF, 14K) that displays your current FTP connection along with file lists for your local directories and the server's directories. The lists are pretty simple, there's no separate list for a directory tree for example, but you can navigate easily enough. The really nice features of this window are less obvious.

Multi-threading

With NeoLogic FTP you can open more than one connection at a time to a different, or even the same server. Each connection is running on its own thread, meaning that a frozen connection or slow server in one window won't affect the speed of the others.

Make a Shopping List

Highlighting a file from a directory list and clicking the "Add" button on the toolbar with NeoLogic FTP results in the highlighted file being added to a download list. Files can be added to this list from any directory on the remote server and in any order you choose. Click "Edit" (GIF, 7K) and you can see what files are in the list along with a tally of how many bytes all the files in the list take up. Finally, click "Get" and NeoLogic FTP enters into a batch mode, downloading all the files on your list until complete. When downloading, a progress bar lets you know instantly how much of each file is downloaded (but not the batch-job as a whole). A speed meter and an "ETA" meter let you know how fast it's going and when it expects to be done.

This feature is probably the handiest of all, especially if you want to go and browse through different directories, shopping for files first and downloading them all later while you're off doing something else. We found one problem though, there doesn't seem to be a way that you can save your list of files to disk. If you've spent a lot of time constructing a list only to have your connection hang-up before you're done, you'll have to go back and rebuild the list from scratch again.

Looking before you leap

Another great convenience is the built in file viewer. Double-click on a text file on a remote server and NeoLogic FTP will download the file and display it in a file browser window. This doesn't disrupt your download list if you're building one, so you can easily check through index lists or file_id.diz files to see if you want to add something or not.

Connection Console

NeoLogic FTP will optionally display a window that lists all of the output from the server since you logged on. This can be toggled on and off as you please. We found that we usually didn't need this except when we were having problems with file transfers and needed to trace the cause. You can see all error messages that the server reports as well as welcome files and read.me files that the server transmits automatically. In a previous version of NeoLogic Network Suite this console would come up as a separate window; now it's integrated into the main connection window.

Conclusions

NeoLogic FTP is great for browsing around your favorite sites and its download list feature is wonderful for going on "scavenger hunts" and checking out what's new in /incoming directories.

As part of the whole NeoLogic Network Suite, the FTP client is beautifully integrated with the clear NeoLogic style interface. Its intelligent use of multithreading also means performance and stability when connected to multiple sites.


 * NeoLogic FTP for OS/2
by NeoLogic Inc.
MSRP: US$30
Chris Wenham is a Team OS/2er in Binghamton, NY with a catchy-titled company -- Wenham's Web Works. He has written comedy, sci-fi, HTML, Pascal, C++ and now writes software reviews.

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