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   Press Archive
OS X Odyssey 126 - Captain FTP 1.3 Sets Sail
Applelinks, 4 Jun 2002
By Applelinks Contributing Editor Charles W. Moore

Even if Captain FTP were not a superb little FTP client, which it is, paying a visit to the Captain FTP Web site would be well worth the effort just to see how good Website design done well can be. You'll need a browser with JavaScript support, though, in order to experience the full effect.

Netscape 7.0 worked just fine. Make sure to check out the cool cannon fire flashes that accompany selections from the center column menu.

As for Captain FTP itself, the latest version 1.3 is substantially refined and improved from they already very good 1.2 build. Captain FTP is exclusively built for Mac OS X.

"We've collected all the feedback and requirements of our customers during the past 6 months and improved Captain FTP in the easy-to-use tradition with the most important and desired features," said Mariusz Roznowski - CTO of Captian FTP's developer, Xnet of Hamburg, Germany.

New in version 1.3:

New features:

  • set permissions for local and remote files and folders
  • default upload permissions
  • user defined file browser look (one or two windows, left, right, reverse)
  • edit local and remote files with BBEdit
  • import address book from Fetch
  • import address book from Transmit
  • copy file path to clipboard
  • command execution after reconnection
  • optional keep-alive connection
  • support for Unicode FTP servers
  • support for national file names
  • context menu
  • find file dialog improvements
  • get info dialog improvements
  • file date and time displayed simultaneously
  • address book in separate window
  • new file path display format; pption: short and full
  • user interface face lifting

Major Bug Fixing:

  • menu items availability
  • alias files display
  • alias folders display
  • size calculation

Captain FTP is a small download - just 783k. As noted, you need a JavaScript savvy browser. I first tried iCab, but got no response clicking the download button. Switching to Netscape 7.0 was the ticket, and a terms and conditions dialog appeared when the button was clicked. Clicking "Accept" commenced the download.

Captain FTP is freeware for educational and individual users, but the default installation is a 14-day demo. In order to enable unrestricted use, you must register the product on the Captain FTP Website. This involves completing a four-panel form, upon which a registration key will be emailed to you immediately. The message was there as soon as I checked myinbox. I entered the key by copying and pasting it into the appropriate dialog box, and all was well.

To my sense of aesthetics, Captain FTP is the prettiest FTP client I've used in either Classic or OS X. It employs by default (now user customizable) the familiar two-window interface motif pioneered by the old Font/DA Mover utility way back in System 6 days, which is still intuitively functional. The interface design is clear, bright, and uses the Aqua theme very effectively. It can upload/download files by dragging them from one interface window to the other, or directly to or from the Desktop.

Like the main interface window, the Captain FTP address book and connection configuration windows are the most attractive I have used in a FTP client, and beautifully functional as well. New in this version is the ability to import address books from Fetch or Transmit.

Captain FTP brought up the Applelinks graphics server more than twice as quickly as the FTP program I use regularly in OS 9. A small progress bar with process information appears in the lower left corner of the interface window during connection and file transfers. This Global Progress Indicator displays the estimated time remaining till the end of transfers. Multiple files can be selected and group transferred. A Stop button enables the user to stop an operation at any time, without the necessity of breaking the connection with a server.

In summary, I didn't find much not to like about captain FTP 1.3. It's pretty; it's free; and it works really well.

Captain FTP Major Features

  • Especially designed and completely new developed for Mac OS X
  • Simple navigation between directories
  • "Put/Get" quick button
  • to fast copy files and folders between locations
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Transfer of single files or entire folders
  • Compatible with all FTP servers
  • Copying, renaming, creating and removing directories and files by a single mouse click
  • Managing bookmarks, quick connect, server and user lists defining FTP session parameters
  • Calculating the size of folders
  • Fast searching files or/and folders.
  • Global progress indicator displaying the estimated time remaining until the end of the transfer
  • Stop button enabling a user to stop every operation at any time, without the necessity of breaking up the connection with a server
  • Context menu
  • Edit files with BBEdit
  • Captain FTP tasks are shared between separate threads (multi-tasking), therefore all time consuming functions such as uploading and downloading don't consume valuable resources of the OS, but leave it available for other user requests.

Private users still can use Captain FTP free of charge. Existing users of Captain FTP 1.2 will have to get a new key for Captain FTP 1.3 if it was a non-commercial version. All users who purchased Captain FTP 1.2 for commercial use will be able to upgrade their software without any further registration or additional costs.

System requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.0 or higher
  • Apple computer with G3 PowerPC processor
  • 64 MB of physical memory
  • 1 MB free space on disk

Captain FTP is free for private/educational use -- $25 for commercial/corporate use.

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