Because the Internet can be a daunting place in which to travel,
there are several tools available to make your trip more
enjoyable. One of the pioneering tools is called "gopher,"
developed at the University of Minnesota. It was developed to
provide a friendlier interface to all the information that the
University of Minnesota wanted to make available to its faculty
and students. Other universities now also run gopher servers,
making information available to their students and faculties.
Gopher servers are being replaced by WWW servers. However much useful
information is still stored on gopher servers. (WWW is discussed in
detail in the next section.)
Using gopher, you can browse at your leisure through all the
gopher servers in the known universe (gopherspace), or you can
choose to go directly to information on topics that interest you
by using an Internet tool called veronica.
Veronica allows you to search all of gopherspace for a particular
topic, allowing gopher to display those items wherever they may
be. Veronica allows keyword searches as it scans the titles of
all the files stored on the gopher servers throughout the world.
Once the search has been executed, you will be presented with a
list of all the files that are appropriate for the keyword you
CAVEAT: Veronica is a popular tool. There are a limited
number of "veronica servers" around the world, each of which
allows a limited number of users at any one time. This can
prove frustrating if you try to access popular servers during
rush hour (e.g., during the business day at that site). Since
all veronica servers can access the same information, keep
As you spend more time in gopherspace, you may encounter places
that you will want to re-visit. For example,
you might want to be able to go directly to your favorite
veronica server or to the local weather forecast. You can create
a menu of "bookmarks", which is essentially a list of the
information that you wish to access regularly. This information
is probably scattered all over gopherspace. A bookmark menu
makes all this information "appear" to be on one personalized
The Internet Tutorials section of this guide contains illustrations of using gopher to access Internet resources,
using veronica to search gopherspace, and using bookmarks.
The University of Delaware