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.pfb files

Hi, all.

I'm not sure if i'm on the right list for this question but i'll 
ask anyway.

i'm trying to install other fonts that i've downloaded from CTAN, 
such as Arial (monotype) and Helvetica (adobe), and i've got:

1) .tfm files
2) .vf files
3) .fd files and arial.sty
4) config.ma1 file
5) ma1.map file

after examining everything i could find to read about fonts in LaTeX2e,
i believe i've put them all in the right places (but even that might 
not be right) but then i run into a problem when i run LaTeX:

>dvips -o nwp.ps nwp.dvi
>This is dvipsk 5.58f Copyright 1986, 1994 Radical Eye Software
>' TeX output 1999.06.10:1711' -> nwp.ps
>dvips: ! Couldn't find header file ma1mi8a.pfb
>*** Exit 1
>Compilation exited abnormally with code 1 at Thu Jun 10 17:11:52

The LaTeX document won't compile because it can't find (for example)
the file ma1mi8a.pfb (for the font ma1mi8r and 8r.enc). 
In fact, i don't have *any* .pfb files, yet the ma1.map file that 
came with the arial font informs the driver that i need the .pfb files:

>ArialMT-MediumItalic "TeXBase1Encoding ReEncodeFont " <8r.enc <ma1mi8a.pfb

Kopka and Daly (A Guide to LaTeX, 3rd ed, 1999) only mention .pfb and 
.pfa files on one page, the page that says "the mapping files 
(ma1.map) informs the driver if such files need to be loaded"

I've only been using LaTeX for a few weeks and i feel as if i've 
been thrown head first from 'user' status into the teTeX/TeX/LaTeX 
engine and i have no idea where i'm at. the good news is that i'm 
learning alot about LaTeX, but so much still doesn't make sense.

Anyways, what i need to know is:
1) Where can i find the .pfb files for Arial font (first), in fact 
   for all of the monotype and adobe fonts i may try to install?
   i can't seem to find any on CTAN (www nor ftp).

2) What are .pfb and .pfa files in the first place and why do i 
   need them (or why didn't they come with the fonts from CTAN)?

2) If this isn't the right mailing list for a question regarding 
   new font installation, are there any other mailing lists that 
   might be able to help me?

Well, now that your eyes are tired from reading all this and my 
fingers are tired from typing all this and my brain is aching 
from trying to find what i need, i'll end this email.

Thanks in advance!

Darrell Ensley

Darrell Bryan Ensley         <dbensley@unity.ncsu.edu>      
Mesoscale Dynamics Lab          5703 Windlestraw Dr.
Rm 135, Research III            Apartment 37
North Carolina State Univ.      Durham, NC 27713
W: (919) 515-1437               H: (919) 361-1346  
When the sunshine burns the darkness,
Remove the veil that lingers on Your face,
The stains of time still mark us,
Standing in the aftermath of Grace... 
                   -- "Stains of Time"
                       Common Children