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The Latest and Greatest on the Internet.

In April 1991, Gopher was developed at the University at Minnesota Microcomputer, Workstation and Networks Center. It was created to help users fins answers to their computer questions. (Nickerson, 53) It didn’t take long for this utility to replace the existing campuswide information systems (CWIS) at the university AND to become one of the hottest Internet resources available. (Hahn, 429)

Why is Gopher so Grand?

This utility lets the end user easily locate information using keywords and phrases. In a few short years this has become the”most widely used searching tool on the Internet.” (Levin, 60) The annual growth rate for Gopher traffic is 997%! (Fun Facts, 50) Up until recently, this Internet protocol had been mainly used by the government and academics. But it has caught on and is being used for business and leisure purposes. If one is interested in the latest NFL scores, schedules and point spreads, they can easily access this information at News and Weather. Business administrators can learn more about total quality management (TQM) by visiting (Maxwell, 299 and 670)

What is Gopher?

The official definition of Gopher helps to explain what this utility is, “ The Internet Gopher uses a simple client/server protocol that can be used to publish and search for information held on a distributed network of hosts. Gopher clients have a seamless view of the information in the Gopher world even though the information is distributed over many different hosts. Clients can navigate through a hierarchy of directories and documents [menus] or ask an index server to return a list of documents that contain one or more words. Because the index does full-text searches, every word in every document is a keyword.”(Milewski, 41) Using the client/server architecture is advantageous because the two connecting machines need to communicate with one another for a very short time. The server shuts down the connection once it has sent out the file to the client. (Notess, 101)

Gopher is an attractive Internet search tool because it allows the user to traverse the network with one simple interface. Via Gopher, the neophyte can access more difficult Internet protocols, such as telnet, FTP, and email, in a seamless fashion. The end user can effortlessly select an FTP site from a menu and not have to remember the cumbersome FTP syntax or lengthy addresses.

Accessing Gopher

To access Gopher you need Internet access. To start, dial into an Internet-connected computer and type in gopher at the systems prompt. If the system supports this protocol the gopher utility will be brought up, if not, you will receive an error message. At this point, you will need to telnet into a publically accessible gopher-client. Use one of the following sites to begin :

	Location		Internet address			Log in as 

	Australia		info.anu.edu.au				info
	Chile			gopher.puc.cl				gopher
	Denmark			gopher.denet.dk				gopher
	Ecuador			ecnet.ec				gopher
	England			gopher.brad.ac.uk			info  
	Germany			gopher.th-darmstadt.de			gopher
 	Japan			gopher.ncc.go.jp			gopher
	Spain			gopher.uv.es			      	gopher
 	Sweden			gopher.chalmers.se			gopher
	Sweden			gopher.sunet.se				gopher
	USA			infopath.ucsd.edu			infopath
	USA			scilibx.ucsc.edu			gopher
	USA			grits.valdosta.peachnet.edu		gopher
	USA			gopher.uiuc.edu				gopher
	USA			panda.uiowa.edu			-
	USA			gopher.msu.edu				gopher
	USA			consultant.micro.umn.edu		gopher
	USA			gopher.unc.edu				gopher
	USA			twosocks.ces.ncsu.edu			gopher
	USA			gopher.ohiolink.edu			gopher
	USA			ecosys.drdr.virginia.edu		gopher
	USA			gopher.virginia.edu			gwis
	USA			wsuaix.csc.wsu.edu			wsuinfo
							(Hahn, 438)

You will encounter some difficulties with using the remote gopher client option. It is impossible to download or print files but you can email them to yourself or others. Your best option is to encourage your systems person to load the gopher software. This is readily available via anonymous FTP at boombox.micro.umn.edu and found in the /pub/gopher directory.

Gopher is a great way to navigate the Internet and opens up the virtual world to all of us. This Internet utility will allow us to easily access information into the next millennium.

Works Cited

“Fun Facts and Figures from the Internet Index.” The Boston Globe 30 Dec. 1993, Living sc. : 50.

Hahn, Harley and Rick Stout. The Internet Complete Reference. Berkeley, CA : Osborne, McGraw-Hill, 1994.

Levin, Jayne. “Use the Right Tools to Surf the Internet.” InfoWorld (Sept. 20 1993) : 60.

Maxwell, Christine and Czeslaw Jan Grycz. New Riders’ Official Internet Yellow Pages Indianapolis, IN : New Riders Publishing, 1994.

Milewski, Darek. “Go for All the information Around the World with the Internet’s Gopher.” InfoWorld (July 12, 1993) : 41.

Nickerson, Gard. “The Internet Gopher.” Computers in Libraries 12.8(1992):53.

Notess, Greg R. “Using Gophers to Burrow Through the Internet.” Online17.3 (May 1993):100+.

C.A. Carr
Computer Science Professor

July 1, 1994

Remember, we're focusing on the currency of the Web site.
If you were developing a web page
about the NEWEST Internet Technology,
would you link to this Web site?