Turbogopher is one of the most widely used applications for Internet-based resource location and retrieval and was developed by the staff of the Computing Department at the University of Minnesota (home of the Golden Gophers). Like FTP, Gopher Space is accessed by a client (Turbogopher is the most common browser application). Gopher space offers an advantage over FTP as files can be examined without having to download them to your machine. That is, you can view the files without leaving the client software. In addition, a much smaller (in RAM) machine is needed to navigate Gopher Space than is the case for Netscape. Many users without access to high speed transmission networks find that Gopher Space remains the best way to make use of Internet resources.

Gopher uses a simple hierarchical menu-oriented interface to enable users to rapidly navigate through Internet services. "Beneath" each menu item is an IP address which may be on the same server or on a server somewhere else. The user does not need to know IP addresses to start "surfing".

The Gopher server for the National Geophysical Data Center can be reached at:


"Burrow" around this GOLD site for a while. [Note, if the world GOLD does not show up as gold text then your browser is not taking advantage of the latest version of HTML. Changing the color of text is "neat" but it can be confusing as the user may think it denotes a link.] Note that this is not the FTP site visited earlier although it is maintained by the same organization and may contain much of the same information.

Someone once noted that finding resources on the Internet is like "drinking from a firehose". You could start at the GOLD site and begin aimlessly clicking, hoping to find something useful. Or, you can use Veronica (another rodent-oriented browser as well as Archie's girl friend!) to help locate particular resources. Again, the system operators at a few nodes on the Internet do us all a great service by maintaining vast catalogs of material stored in Gopher Space. Material is referenced by the title of each gopher resource. Therefore, the operators of the gopher servers try and use key words in the titles of their files to make for efficient retrieval.

The link which follows leads to a file containing URLs of several nodes which maintain these catalogs. Read the short text file on "How to Conduct Veronica Searches". Select one of the servers and try and connect. These sites get very heavy traffic so don't give up if you are denied permission. Keep trying. During the middle of the day in this country try one of the servers located in Europe.

The file containing links to the Veronica catalogs can be reached at:

To give you some practice, answer the some of the following questions using references located in Gopher Space:

To use the email feature with Netscape you must have entered your email address in Preferences.

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