Many things have changed in the OS/2 world since I originally reviewed the Neologic FTP client and it too has seen some changes. Last year the program was bought by EmTec, the makers of ZOC, and renamed EmTec FTP. The program has retained its solid nature and has gotten several new features that make it one of the best FTP clients around. The current version is 5.0.1.
The first difference you will notice about EmTec FTP if you have used it before is that the program can now be downloaded and installed by itself. Previously you had to download the entire suite of Internet tools, even if you only wanted one of the components. The program uses its own installer, but there were no surprises lurking therein. You simply unzip the archive, run install.exe and specify where you want it installed and away it goes. No reboot is necessary since the program doesn't need any entries in CONFIG.SYS to run. This also makes uninstalling easy -- just delete the directory that contains the program and it's completely gone.
I have used this FTP program for several years now, dating back to the OS/2 2.1 days and it has never performed less than flawlessly. The interface (.GIF, 16K) is clean and laid out well. Buttons on the toolbar make quick work of setting binary or ASCII mode and then transferring one or multiple files. An extremely welcome addition recently made to the program is the ability to select a directory and transfer all its contents with one click.
You can also create a Download List which allows you to select files in multiple directories. Once you have all of the files you want to download, you can start the download of the files in the list with a click of a button. A progress bar at the bottom of the window shows how the transfer is progressing in terms of speed and percentage completed as well as the time remaining for the transfer to complete.
A GUI FTP client should make it easy to access commonly used servers and EmTec FTP has a functional server list (.GIF, 11K) that lets you quickly access a particular server. In addition to the obvious things like server address and port, you can set the local and remote directories to change to when you connect. You can specify the username and password to use which is nice for anonymous ftp sites. For sites where you need to be more secure, you can have the program prompt you for username and password before connecting.
Sometimes it is convenient to see what is going on behind the scenes. EmTec FTP allows you to toggle a console window that shows the communications between the remote server and your machine. You can see the commands that are being sent and the responses of the remote server.
The program also allows you to view, edit, delete and rename files, local or remote (assuming you have proper permissions for doing so). Double-clicking a file brings up a dialog asking whether you want to view or download the file. You can also create directories. These commands are available in the main menu or by right-clicking on the file and choosing the appropriate item from the pop-up menu.
As good as it is, I think EmTec FTP could be even better. Unfortunately, the suggestion in my first review of this program to make the server list hierarchal has not been implemented. The current one-dimensional list is a bit unwieldy if you have more than a few sites entered. It would be much nicer if the list were capable of having folders into which you could place server entries (or more folders).
Another thing that would be nice to see is better use of multithreading. If you start a file transfer you cannot start transferring another file or change directories. You get a message that "the network process is busy." It would be nicer if downloads were relegated to separate threads and displayed in small windows the way they are in Netscape Navigator, although this would probably require considerable reworking of the program's innards.
Like OS/2 itself, EmTec FTP isn't some flashy piece of software with lots of flying paper animations that seem to make our Windows friends happy. It's a rather plain-looking program that is nonetheless solid on the inside and has just what it needs to get the job done quickly and efficiently. If you are looking for a graphical FTP client, this program probably has everything you are looking for. It is distributed as shareware and can be registered at BMT Micro for US$30.
EmTec FTP 5.0.1
Dr. Dirk Terrell is an astronomer at the University of Florida specializing in interacting binary stars. His hobbies include cave diving, martial arts, painting and writing OS/2 software such as HTML Wizard.
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