The documents are usually available in two formats: the original one, in which the document was created (e.g. by some editor) and its corresponding PostScript version.
When a document is composed of more than one file, it is archived using either the standard tar Un*x command, or the PKzip program (particularly popular on PC's).
Except for PKzip' ped files (which are already compressed), most (if not all) of the other files contained on this site have been compressed, using either the compress Un*x command or the GNU gzip program. This provides savings in two ways: disk space and downloading time. This also requests a little more work: the preparation of the compressed document is done here, but the reconstitution of the document in a more accessible format is left to you!
This means that you need to transfer the files using the binary mode. If a fetched file seems all messed up, the most probable cause of error was using ascii mode instead of binary mode.
This also means that you need to have the necessary tools to uncompress , unarchive , print and/or edit the documents. Many of those tools are readily available on Un*x platforms. Such is the case of nroff , tar and un/compress . Others are part of the public domain, like GNU gzip (which may be found, in particular, on the PREP.AI.MIT.EDU FTP Site).
tar xf file.tar
zcat file.ps.Z | lpr -Ppostscript_printer
gunzip -c file.ps.gz | lpr -Ppostscript_printer
zcat file.tar.Z | tar xf -
gunzip -c file.tar.gz | tar xf -