Heritage, Volume 14, Number 4, Fall 1996 Page: 7
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campus information service. The system
was called "gopher" to refer to both the UM
"Golden Gophers" and to reflect its function
as a "go fer". When it became clear
that gopher could work on the Internet, its
use spread rapidly.
Gophers consist of text-based hierarchical
menus that assist users in accessing
Internet resources. When selected, each
option on the menu will display information
text, another menu, or will connect to
other Internet sites via gopher, ftp, telnet,
etc. Graphics, video, or sound won't be
available using a gopher site, but lots of
information is. Organizations such as the
NCPTT develop gophers and place local
information (grant information, job and
conference announcements) there, as well
as provide access to remote Internet sites.
The ease of the gopher system is that you
never need worry about the address of a
resource. Following menu choices will allow
you to find the information you seek.
World Wide Web
In popular literature and general discussions,
the World Wide Web is becoming
synonymous with the Internet. World Wide
Web sites are similar to gophers but don't
require hierarchical menus and can incor
porate graphics, video, and sound. However,
the Web began as sites containing
text only. Phrases or words were numbered
and so could be selected to link to other
sites or view information. Today most Web
sites take advantage of graphics capabilities.
There are several browsers (software
used to access the Web) available including
Netscape, Mosaic, Spry, and Lynx (a
Links to other Web sites, ftp sites, telnet,
or gopher sites, as well as local files, can be
incorporated into text or set up as a menu.
Click on highlighted words and find information
about the topic, either locally or
from a remote site. It is called a Web
because unlike a gopher, there is no linear
element to accessing information.
FTP, or file transfer protocol, is a way of
moving files around the Internet. As long
as both communicating machines can understand
ftp, they can exchange files no
matter what kind of computers are being
used. There are two kinds of ftp sites. One
requires an account and password on the
remote computer and the other, anonymous
ftp, does not. Anonymous ftp is often
used to provide access to organizations'
computers so that software and information
files can be downloaded by remote
users. Users login as "anonymous" and enter
their e-mail address as the password.
The owner of the anonymous ftp site often
will set restrictions on access, which can
mean limitations on site availability and
files that can be downloaded.
Tenet allows users to access remote computers.
It is just another way to get around
the Internet. A username or login ID and
password is often, though not always, necessary.
Many databases like the National
Archaeological Database are accessed via
telnet. Sites like the NADB will provide
instructions on how to login and what
password to use.
Communicating via the Internet
The Internet serves two uses: 1) finding
and disseminating information; and 2) interpersonal
communication. The first involves
using facilities like gophers, World
Wide Web sites, telnet, and ftp. The second
use fosters communication on the Net
through electronic mail via bulletin boards,
newsgroups, listservs, and individual mailings.
HERITAGE * FALL 1996 7
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Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 14, Number 4, Fall 1996, periodical, Autumn 1996; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45407/m1/7/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.