So what Gopher looked like in the nineties?
Archives of what was available on the Gophersphere in the 1990s are virtually nonexistent. Some files and servers from later years have been preserved. However, on the Internet you can find some databases of what the user should know then.
From the [BIGSURF Netguide vol 3.1 July 1995]:
Starting points for Gopher users
gopher to: cwis.usc.edu
then select /Other Gophers and Information Resources/Gopher-Jewels
Or use this URL:
- as it says... neat places to gopher - constantly updated and changing.
Too much to list here. This is *the best* single gopher URL I could ever
give to you. Mountains of info available here with pointers and gopher
links to elsewhere. Nearly every topic is covered - even WWW access via
Telnet is possible through here. Also includes search engines to find your
way around gopher-space. It just doesn't get any better than this.
For "burrowers" everywhere - give this Gopher Jewels URL a workout -
you'll come back here time after time after time.... [...]
Gopher Jewels was mentioned in the most of sources. The list is accessible at [Gopher Jewels on Web Archive]. There is also "Gopher_Jewels.zip" file at [Gopher Protocol repository] (content is similar to that in previous link). It must been big thing then, but now plain list of Gopher URLs isn't too useful. More readable are descriptions from BIGSURF Netguide.
Gopher to: gopher.well.com
Holy cow! This is a *monster* site (and that's good!). This gopher site is
like hitting paydirt - in fact - this site is near legendary on the 'net.
This gopher site houses a huge library of things to read all laid out in
an organized fashion. There are things here you just won't get anywhere
else and if you really want to keep up on the 'net scene and beyond you
really *must* come to this site and read up. No excuses. Period.
The Well was also mentioned in the most sources. What is nice, it is available on [The Well on Wayback Machine].
I've gone through the rest of the BIGSURF Netguide and noted out URL which are known only by its description today.
K-12 Dinosaur Unit
Gopher to: informns.k12.mn.us
/Minnesota K-12 Resources/Dinosaur Unit
Created by the Internet for Minnesota Schools (InforMNs) this site has more
than 40 text files and plenty of downloadable pictures of dinosaurs. There
is a host of information that every one can easily understand and that will
keep kids interest. Reports on dinosaur eggs to whether Godzilla was/is a
real dinosaur will keep the reading interesting. Also included is much
information about theories of dinosaur extinction and the possibility of
dinosaurs being warm-blooded. This gopher site also contains a few links to
other dino-related gopher sites as well as a time line guide of dinosaur
existence on earth. A great K-12 resource for the classroom... or at home!
NEB Newswire Service Gopher
Gopher to: gopher.voa.gov
select --> VOA News and English Broadcasts Wire Service
This site contains the week's complete radio transcripts from the "Voice
of America" radio network. Very informative especially for those in areas
and regions that do not receive such news. World-wide news made easily
accesible is what the Internet is all about and here is a resource that
delivers on that premise. A great way to catch up on world happenings.
You don't even need a web browser or WWW access - a simple Unix dial-up
will do and away you go to this informative gopher site.
Information Sources: the Internet and Computer-Mediated Communication
Less descriptive list is on the [Information Sources: the Internet and Computer-Mediated Communication, 01 Sep 95; Release 3.999]. This index is interesting because author listed all interesting URL regardless of protocol. So we can obtain the information of Gopher vs. WWW URLs from that time, which was the best on the net. It was 197 Gopher links, to 720 WWW ones.
PURPOSE: to list information describing the Internet and computer-mediated communication technologies, applications, culture, discussion forums, and bibliographies. Areas of interest include the technical, rhetorical, social, cognitive, and psychological aspects of networked communication and information.
These two files are extensive data that requires more detailed analysis. A cursory glance at this list gives an additional answer to the earlier supposition. You can hardly see anything resembling private websites known from the times of the WWW.
All of the Gophers in the World [Update 2022-03-10]
Accidentally I came on [All of the Gophers in the World]. This is next index, which origin is unknown. Its Internet Archive webpage is described as below. So we don't know who is "charlote", if this index was created in 90's, why its creation date on Internet Archive is 1994 when description is mentioning 1995.
All of the Gophers in the World
A list of all (possibly all, well a list of most) of the Gophers on the internet around the time of 1994 to 1995. Though I can't remember where it came from at the time, it was probably another Gopher on NSF's network.
Not sure where these are now. On someone's tape no doubt..
charlote, october 2016
Index consist only titles of Gopher sites, without URLs. It's unclear what was the purpose of index with that construction. Index has also odd start and end. There is sentence "search Gopherspace using Veronica" in the beginning, and 12 end's lines which don't fit the rest. One of the first title seems be placed in the bad order "The Online World resources handbook (de Presno)", and maybe it reveals name of the index author - [Odd de Presno]?
If the index actually came into existence in the 90's, then the Gophersphere was supposed to have:
- About 2600 servers
- More than 900 servers for "universities"
- More than 50 for "institutes"
- More than 50 for "libraries"
- More than 50 for "schools"
- Servers owned by companies: Microsoft, IBM, Apple
- One server of embassy
- Five servers described as Polish - it's interesting for me because I'm Pole, and I had thought there wasn't Gopher in Poland!
This index need also detailed summary, however, you can see that only half of the entry is typically academic.
The question is what the [Content of Gopher sites] was look like, and there is no clear answer for that. The same, there are no answer for the same titled question from 2003 asked on Gopher mailing list.
when I first encountered gopher in 1995, it was that part of
cyberworld to go to when doing academic research.
Most of the gopher sites I find now are interesting for research only
in a historical manner; either I'm not using Veronica correctly or
there are no new research papers in gopher-space. I have looked for
sites on Organisational Behaviour (Conflict Management) and on
Wireless Networking (IEEE 802.11) with no success.
Probable origin of All of the Gophers in the World [Update 2022-03-11]
I've got a walk through "comp.infosystems.gopher" and "alt.gopher" Usenet archives and it seems that I was able to trace the probable origin of [All of the Gophers in the World] index. In that index are about 2600 sites, and in the [Usenet 20-10-1994 about Minnesota Other Gophers Directory with 2500 Gopher sites] we can read that the similar number of records were in Minnesota Other Gophers Directory. In mentioned post someone asked about it, and in response is also information about possibility of saving that file to the disk. Probably it is why there are only a names, without URL's - saving to disk only a text, not full content of that index.
> How to get a list of all gopher servers in the world ?. Through gopher
> i can see the list as directory names. Is there any way to copy these
> names (around 2500) in a file ? . If any one have the list, please
> send one copy to me.
you can also get othergophers.tar.Z from boombox.micro.umn.edu
under pub/gopher/misc and open it under gopher data area and
have a mirror of Minnesota Other Gophers .. Directory.
The earlier indication of de Presno seems unverifiable. I tried to send an email, but both of the email addresses mentioned there are not working.
SPECIAL INTERNET CONNECTIONS aka. Yanoff's list [Update 2022-03-11]
These indexes are like they are like dinosaur footprints frozen in the mud. Gophersphere of the 90's seems to be covered like fog of war. People stuck in not efficient Veronica servers, like mentioned in [Usenet 22-06-1994 about Veronica servers]. Since it was not easy to search for information, another index is created. [SPECIAL INTERNET CONNECTIONS: LAST UPDATE 5/16/94] called in short by author's name - Yanoff's list.
Interesting findings are:
CAREER CENTER ONLINE
Jobs database, resume listing service, search by location/keyword
Also: mail email@example.com
* gopher gopher.msen.com
* H.E.A.R.T. Career Center telnet career.com [157.151.1600.1]
AMIGA USER AREA
Lots of useful information for Amiga owners.
+ telnet gopher.unomaha.edu
Number of Gopher sites
Going through Usenet archives give also some informations about number of Gopher sites:
- [Usenet 08-07-1993 about 1600 Gopher sites]
- [Usenet 26-07-1994 about 4600 Gopher sites]
- [Usenet 05-10-1994 about 4809 Gopher sites]
- [Usenet 20-10-1994 about Minnesota Other Gophers Directory with 2500 Gopher sites]
- [Usenet 07-03-1995 about 5772 Gopher sites]
Again, we can't see how the dinosaurs looked like, but we have their footprints. The funny thing is that some of these posts were treated as an unnecessary question and a waste of time. If it were not for them, this information would be lost forever.
[BIGSURF Netguide vol 3.1 July 1995]
[Gopher Jewels on Web Archive]
[Gopher Protocol repository]
[The Well on Wayback Machine]
[Information Sources: the Internet and Computer-Mediated Communication, 01 Sep 95; Release 3.999]
[All of the Gophers in the World]
[Odd de Presno]
[Content of Gopher sites]
[Usenet 22-06-1994 about Veronica servers]
[SPECIAL INTERNET CONNECTIONS: LAST UPDATE 5/16/94]
[Usenet 08-07-1993 about 1600 Gopher sites]
[Usenet 26-07-1994 about 4600 Gopher sites]
[Usenet 05-10-1994 about 4809 Gopher sites]
[Usenet 20-10-1994 about Minnesota Other Gophers Directory with 2500 Gopher sites]
[Usenet 07-03-1995 about 5772 Gopher sites]
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tags: #gopher, #archive