Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 12:06:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: Bob Rankin 
Subject: The SimTel Repository

                       TOURBUS - 25 July 1995

    |____|____|____|____|____|____|____|____|____|____/    |  \
    |                                                /_____|---\
   /  --T-H-E---I-N-T-E-R-N-E-T---T-O-U-R-B-U-S-->  ///////|    |
  |                                                |///////|    |
     \___/ \___/  "Why Surf When U Can Ride The Bus?"  \___/

                  Today's Stop: The SimTel Repository

Web, web, web.  That's all we hear about these days.  In fact, a lot of
new users with SLIP/PPP accounts think the World-Wide Web *is* the
Internet!  Not so, my friends.  The Internet is 25 years old, and the WWW
is a mere 2-year old by comparison.

Other Internet access methods like FTP and Gopher have been around for
a long time, and there's lots of great software and information just
waiting to be discovered in FTP-land and Gopherspace.  In this TOURBUS
segment, we'll be visiting

          SimTel - One of The Coolest FTP Sites on the Net!

SimTel, the Coast to Coast Software Repository (tm), is the largest
collection of MS-DOS and MS-Windows programs on the Internet (over
11,000 files).  It is mirrored by more than 60 sites around the world,
and accessible by numerous e-mail servers for those without ftp access.

A brief history of the SimTel collection may be of interest to some
readers.  Keith Petersen, General Manager of the Simtel Repository,
began with CP/M archives in late 1979 on the MIT-MC host with access
sponsored by White Sands Missile Range (WSMR).  In September 1983 the
Macsyma Consortium, of which WSMR was a member, was dissolved.  The
collection was moved to SIMTEL20 (WSMR-SIMTEL20.ARMY.MIL) a DECSYSTEM-20
that ran the TOPS-20 operating system at White Sands Missile Range, New

The SIG/M and PC/Blue collections were added then and Keith started the
MSDOS collection in the same best-of philosophy as the CP/M collection.
The name SIMTEL20 was a contraction of "SIMulation and TELeprocessing",
the name of the branch that originally purchased the machine and in
whose building the system resided, and the "20" in DECSYSTEM-20.  The
convention of including the "20" in some form or another was popular
with other DECSYSTEM-20 systems at the time SIMTEL20 was named.

"Big deal", I hear you saying...

"How is it different from other FTP sites?"  I'm so glad you asked.

SimTel has both MS-DOS and Windows programs in its collection and all
incoming files are scanned for viruses and trojans.  That's cool.
They are also reviewed for content and authenticity by professional
archivists.  SimTel does not accept anonymous uploads.

CICA, another well-known FTP site, specializes in Windows programs and
accepts unrestricted anonymous uploads.  Oooh, scary!  The files are *NOT*
virus or trojan-checked, and by retrieving software from CICA, you could
end getting your windows washed, if you catch my drift.

So What Kind of Stuff Can I Find at SimTel?

Almost anything, really.  I've downloaded games and educational programs
for my kids, utility programs, and even a math coprocessor emulator for
a friend who couldn't get his AutoCad working without the real hardware.
Here's a partial list of the directories in the MSDOS directtory.

   Name            Description
   --------------- ---------------------------------------------------
   astrnomy        Astronomy-related programs and utilities
   bbs             Bulletin board (BBS) programs and utilities
   bible           On-line versions of the Bible
   cad             Computer Assisted Design programs
   calculat        Calculators
   cdrom           CD-ROM utilities
   clock           On-screen clocks and clock utilities
   compress        MS-DOS ports of Unix compress, gzip, etc.
   database        Database management programs and utilities
   decode          encoding/decoding and other encode/decode programs
   editor          Text editors
   educatin        Educational programs
   entertn         Entertainment, various
   fileutil        Utilities for maintaining and handling files
   finance         Finance and money-management programs and utilities
   genealgy        Genealogy / family history programs and utilities
   graphics        Programs for viewing and handling graphics/images

It's a mixed bag of shareware, freeware and public domain software.  Most
of it is pretty good stuff, so if the author asks for a small donation to
make it worth his/her while, give serious thought to getting out the old

Getting There

The main SimTel FTP site is located in Detroit, Michigan at and the directories you'll want to visit when you arrive
are /SimTel/msdos, /SimTel/win3, /SimTel/nt, and /SimTel/vendors

If you have a command line interface to FTP, you'll do something like

   ftp (user=anonymous, password=your email address)
   cd /SimTel/msdos

Now I didn't say the SimTel site was in Detroit just because I think
that's a cool city.  You should know that there are SimTel "mirror"
sites all over the world, and it's to your advantage to pick the closest
one to minimize your access time.  Here are some of the SimTel mirror
sites that you can choose from:

         Australia: (
   London, England: (
           Finland: (
            France: (
Paderborn, Germany: (
             Japan: (
       Netherlands: (
    Warsaw, Poland: (
            Sweden: (
            Taiwan: (
Rochester, MI, USA:  OAK.Oakland.Edu (
Corvallis, OR, USA: (

There are other sites (more than 60, and growing) that mirror SimTel's
collections.  Many serve only their own country or region and do not
wish to receive International traffic.  Be net.friendly and use the
closest one. (To get the entire list, send e-mail to the address
listserv@SimTel.Coast.NET with this command in the BODY of the
message: get

Searching The SimTel Repository

There are several ways you can search for SimTel files of interest to
you.  If you're a Webhead, your best bet is the Shase Virtual Shareware
Library search tool (

You can also FTP to (formerly the primary Simtel site)
and enter the command "quote site exec index xyz", replacing "xyz" with
a keyword of your own.  As far as I know this only works with a "real"
FTP client.  If you can figure out how to do this from Mosaic or
Netscape, more power to ya!

And if you prefer to do your SimTel browsing offline, you can download
the files...


...unzip them both, and then run SIMDIR.EXE at your leisure.

Is the SimTel collection accessible by e-mail?

SimTel files may obtained by e-mail from various ftp-mail servers
or through the BITNET/EARN file servers.  For details send e-mail
to listserv@SimTel.Coast.NET with this command in the body of the
message:  get

You can also get more information on ftp-mail in my free "Accessing
The Internet By E-Mail" guide.  Details later...

Are the SimTel collections accessible by WWW and Gopher?

You've probably figured out by now that I wouldn't have bothered to ask
if they weren't.  Web users can access SimTel files via these URLs:

Gopher users can access SimTel files through


You can also access and search the SimTel upload announcements via the
Web, courtesy of MIDnet.  The URL is

Are the SimTel collections available on CD-ROM?

CD-ROM copies of the entire collection are available from Coast to
Coast Telecommunications, Inc., 5850 Dixie Highway Clarkston, MI
48346, U.S.A., telephone (800) 536-3373 or (810) 623-6700, or FAX
(810) 623-1469.  A WWW Forms Interface for ordering CD-ROMs - - is also available.  This
CD-ROM set includes the entire collection, which is not true of
CD-ROMs offered by some other vendors.  For information send e-mail to
cdrom@Mail.Coast.NET.  To order send e-mail to order@Mail.Coast.NET.

Is there a mailing list or Usenet newsgroup for upload announcements?

MSDOS-Ann is a moderated one-way mailing list which is used by SimTel,
to announce new additions to the MS-DOS and Win3 collections.

The announcements posted to this mailing list are also posted to Usenet
newsgroup comp.archives.msdos.announce.  If your host has Usenet News
please do not subscribe to MSDOS-Ann.

To add yourself to the list send e-mail to listserv@SimTel.Coast.NET
with this command in the body of the message:

    subscribe msdos-ann

"Can authors upload their programs to SimTel?"

Yes.  For details send e-mail to listserv@SimTel.Coast.NET with this
command in the body of the message:  get

"Can I Get a Good Cheesecake Recipe From listserv@SimTel.Coast.NET?

Unfortunately, No.  But there are lots of useful files that will help
you get more information on SimTel and related topics.

To receive any of these files, send a message to the address
listserv@SimTel.Coast.NET with this command in the body of your
message:  get filename
where "filename" is one of the file names listed below.  You may
request multiple files with one message.  The server will send
them to you as individual messages, with one file in each message.

  Filename                Description
  --------------------    ----------------------------------------------          How to obtain SimTel files on CD-ROM    Why the SimTel collection is copyrighted    Descriptions of all SimTel MSDOS directories    Various methods of accessing SimTel files
  simtel-file.formats     Info on SimTel file formats (ARC/ARJ/ZIP/etc.)       How to find files in MS-DOS & win3 collections    Descriptions of all SimTel WIN3 directories
  uucat.c                 Combines multi-part uuencoded msgs
  uucat.msg               How to use uucat.c
  uudecode.bas            Creates small and very fast UUdecode program
  uudecode.doc            Doc for program produced by uudecode.bas
  uudecode.c              UUdecode program for MS-DOS, Unix, and VMS               Answers the question "What is MIME?"

                                # # #

 Homework:  Sign up a friend for the TOURBUS ride!

  Web Site   :
               (stop in for back issues and the logo contest)
  Advertising: E-mail w/ Subject: SEND TBRATES

TOURBUS - (c) Copyright 1995, Patrick Crispen and Bob Rankin
All rights reserved.  Redistribution is allowed only with permission.

, viruses, hoaxes, urban legends, search engines, cookies, cool sites
TOURBUS Site Search