Interactive Internet Training Workshop Web Archives

MAP19: GOPHER (PART TWO)

Posted by: Patrick Douglas Crispen
Date Mailed: Tuesday, November 8th 1994 03:30 PM

MAP19: GOPHER (PART TWO)


     "Nothing quite new is perfect." -- Cicero, Brutus


There are three ways to enter Gopherspace:

     1. through a Gopher client running on your local Internet service
        provider's machine,

     2. through a telnet connection to a publicly-accessible Gopher
        site, or

     3. through e-mail (we'll talk about e-mail access on Friday).

How can you tell if your local Internet service provider has a Gopher
client that you can use? Easy! Just type

          gopher

at your system's command prompt, and watch what happens. If your provider
has a Gopher client, your Gopher client's root menu will appear on your
screen.

If your site does *not* have a Gopher client, however, all you will
see on your screen after you type "gopher" will be an error message.

Fortunately, if you can't access Gopher through your local provider,
you can always access Gopher through telnet. The following is
a list adapted from the Gopher FAQ (1) and it lists the telnet
addresses and logins for just a few of the publicly accessible
Gopher sites:

     Telnet Address            Login   Area
     ------------------------- ------  -------------
     consultant.micro.umn.edu  gopher  North America
     ux1.cso.uiuc.edu          gopher  North America
     panda.uiowa.edu           panda   North America
     gopher.msu.edu            gopher  North America
     gopher.ebone.net          gopher  Europe
     gopher.sunet.se           gopher  Sweden
     info.anu.edu.au           info    Australia
     tolten.puc.cl             gopher  South America
     ecnet.ec                  gopher  Ecuador
     gan.ncc.go.jp             gopher  Japan

Please use the site that is closest to you. Also, if you are in
North America, please remember that the consultant.micro.umn.edu
address is the most used Gopher address in the entire world
(this is the address of the University of Minnesota's Gopher
server -- the birthplace of Gopher). You might be better off
if you telneted to another North American site.

Also, if your site is running its own Gopher client software, it
is *STRONGLY* recommended that you use your site's Gopher client
software instead of telneting into the public logon sites. Your
client is set up so that you can use custom features not available
through a telnet connection (i.e. mouse, scroll bars, etc.). You
will also find that your provider's Gopher client will run much
faster than a telnet Gopher client (1).


DIRECT CLIENT ACCESS TO REMOTE GOPHERS

As I said above, to access your root Gopher menu, all that you
have to do is type

          gopher

at your system's command prompt.

Sometimes, however, you may want to bypass your own root menu and
connect directly to a remote Gopher server. You can do this by
typing

          gopher <site address>

at your system's command prompt, replacing <site address> with the
the address of the remote Gopher server that you want to access.

For example, to connect directly with the info.asu.edu Gopher
I would type

          gopher info.asu.edu

at my system's command prompt.


LOCAL VERSUS DISTANT INFORMATION

Spend any amount of time in Gopherspace, and you are bound to run
into roadblocks. The most common roadblock that you will encounter
is an error message that says

          Empty Menu; no items selected or nothing available

when you try to access a file or menu that you *KNOW* exists (and
that you may have even accessed just a few seconds earlier).

One of the biggest mistakes that people make is they assume
that this "Empty Menu" error is a problem with their local
Internet service provider's system. IT ISN'T!!

Your local Internet service provider is only responsible for the
LOCAL portion of your Internet service. If you are having problems
accessing a distant Gopher file or menu, your problem isn't
with your local provider, it is with the distant site that
you are trying to access!

There are two things that you need to keep in mind any time
you are having problems with Gopher:

     1. Gopherspace is incredibly dynamic. Sites "appear" and
        and "disappear" every second of every day. Internet
        traffic, power outages, weather, scheduled repairs,
        and even squirrels affect whether a site is on-line
        or off-line.

     2. Sites can "disappear" for as little as a second or
        they can shut down and disappear forever. If you
        are having problems accessing something in Gopherspace,
        wait a little while and try to access it later.


UNIX GOPHER COMMANDS

Once you access your Gopher client (or telnet into a Gopher client),
take a look at the bottom of the root menu. If you see a menu line
that says

          Press ? for Help, q to Quit, u to go up a menu

You are using a UNIX Gopher client.

Fortunately, the on-line help menu for the UNIX Gopher is really
good. If you type

          ?

your screen will fill with a whole bunch of UNIX Gopher commands.

I'm not going to show you all of these commands -- you can find
them pretty easily by typing "?" -- but I do want to show you
a few of the most important commands that you will use:

     Key                        What it does
     -----------                -----------------------------------

     Up arrow                   Moves the --> cursor up one line
     Down arrow                 Moves the --> cursor down one line
     Right arrow                "Enters" the selected menu item
       or Return
     Left arrow                 "Exits" the item and returns you to
       or u                      the previous menu

After you have entered a file and have gotten to the bottom of it,
the following menu bar appears

   Press <RETURN> to continue, <m> to mail, <s> to save, or <p> to print

Pressing "return" will just take you back to the previous menu. If
you want a copy of the file, you are going to have to either press
"m" or "s".

If you are telneting into a Gopher client, or if the file is small,
your best bet would be to type "m". The client will then ask you
for an address you want the current document mailed to. Enter your
full Internet e-mail address :)


OTHER GOPHER CLIENT COMMANDS

There are a whole bunch of different Gopher clients out there.
Fortunately, they all work on the same basic principles, and
they all have relatively good on-line help menus.

Access your Gopher client, take a look at your help menu, and
find the keys or commands necessary to:

     - Move the cursor up and down the screen
     - "Enter" files (select an item)
     - "Exit" files (go back to the previous menu)
     - Quit the program

We'll talk about some of the more advanced commands later this
week :)


HOMEWORK:

     1. Enter Gopherspace and play around :)

     2. If you REALLY feel daring, you might want to find
        Richard Smith's "Navigating the Internet: Let's Go
        Gophern" workshop archives. The workshop was a one-month
        workshop which taught nothing but Gopher :)

        The following are some Gopher sites that I found that
        have the "Gophern" archives. You'll have to access
        these sites directly -- type "gopher <site address>" --
        and then hunt around the site for the "Gophern" files.


        gopher-chem.ucdavis.edu            gopher.kfki.hu
        ubvmsb.cc.buffalo.edu              gopher2.nhm.ac.uk
        rc1.vub.ac.be                      wealaka.okgeosurvey1.gov
        gopher.keller.clarke.edu           ukoln.bath.ac.uk
        gopher.ub2.lu.se                   utl.library.utoronto.ca


SOURCES:

(1) From the University of Minnesota's Gopher FAQ, last modified
    on 7/25/94


   PATRICK DOUGLAS CRISPEN    THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS LETTER DO NOT
    PCRISPE1@UA1VM.UA.EDU      NECESSARILY REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF THE
  THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA      UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA - TUSCALOOSA

      ROADMAP: COPYRIGHT PATRICK CRISPEN 1994. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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