We have still 2 MacOS9 machines in use, on one runs the Veris multifocal system, the other my EP2000 http://michaelbach.de/ep2000/ (an OSX update is progressing, if slowly). To move the resulting electrophysiological records to our Xserve was difficult: the older AFP protocol is not supported after 10.5. So I had an intermediate machine with folder actions; this received files from OS9 and automatically shoved them on to the server to the proper directory with folder actions.

Yesterday our trusty 25 yrs old Toennies amplifier broke down (there is never a good time for this, but it could have been worse). I had a replacement ready, and already written the software to drive the new amplifier, requiring,however, 10.6+. The problem is that the very machine serving as intermediate file hopper, was also the one that controlled the old amplifier, and now this had to be a more recent OS, losing the AFP protocols…

What to do? Chatting with our helpful IT people, FTP came to mind. So I enabled FTP services on the Xserve, and found out that one has to give the user a shell for FTP to work (usually Mac users can have their homes on the Xserve w/o a shell, a little more secure). But how to send files from OS9 via FTP? I looked up likely candidates, Fetch works very well. And the good people at http://fetchsoftworks.com/ were even so nice to give us an educational license, thank you! Now the OS9 machines could send files to the Xserve, but the next problem came up: the Veris system places important information into the resource fork, which is lost with standard FTP. But luckily Fetch can binhex, and on OSX the *.hqx files are easily decoded – I have to look into automating that, but for now we're happy and everything works again.

I'm not sure if you really wanted to know all this… It cost me 2 workdays, and the cabling still needs to be cleaned up after our tech shop has assembled professional replacement (image shows the current improvisation, this will improve, promise!).