Gopher Novice - Part VIII.


Cont. [Gopher Novice - Part VII].


I'd like to summarize answers for my question about [Cont. how you were using the Internet in the 1991-1995 and 1995-2005?] in aspect of Gopher, what was the main intension of that question. I got about thirty answers, and they are describing about twenty people who were using the net in that times. They could use Gopher, sometimes they did so, sometimes they didn't (what is also some information). All answers can be found by the links at the bottom, or on the SDF internal board. I try to respect privacy and cut only essence of Gopher topic from every answer. I used given names or nicks to mark that they aren't my thougts. If someone would like to modify their statement or hide some information, please contact me.


Hypotheses


After I've read answers I have the following hypotheses:









How often did you use Gopher in 90's?


Normally     | ####        (20%)
Occasionally | ########### (55%)
Never        | #####       (25%)

Years mentioned in answers


General 90's | #######
1992         | #
1993         | ###
1994         | ####
1995         | ###
1998         | #

Answers


1. Alex:


[...] I took me a while until I finally did get access. When I went to university in 1994 [...] There was a young dude there telling me a thing or two. How to use finger.

I think I learned about the tools available from welcome messages and local help menus. I suspect it was all Gopher, back then. [...]


2. Gerikson:


[...] I moved to Stockholm and started at KTH in 1992. [...]

In our class about information retrieval held by the university library I read about Gopher and something new from CERN called the "world wide web", which looked interesting but was way less structured than Gopher. [...]


3. Kelson:


By 1990 my family had moved [...] to what was then known as an "IBM Compatible" PC. [...] Then I got to college and discovered "Mosaic" at the computer labs.

[...] Gopher was still around but fading fast. I remember looking things up occasionally, mostly using Netscape or Lynx. I'm half-convinced that I used a gopher-specific client once or twice in one of the labs, and there was one on the floppy full of internet utilities, but I can't remember anything specific about it. The school had a gopher space, but it may have only been official documents like course catalogs. If they had student space available, I never set up on it. [...]


4. Jeffrey:


I was born in 1988, so I was too young during 1991-1995. My first time using the Internet was in 1998. [...]


5. Beto:


[...] I applied for college at the end of 1995. I don't remember using a Gopher a lot in this period, but I used it to access the university and check the results from the entrance examination. That's how I discovered I was going to college: via Gopher. [...]


6. Sandra:


[...] That was my 90s. Email, email, email and IRC. [...]


7. Tomasino:


i was basically just on BBSes and Prodigy at the time. Email through FidoNet in 1995 I was a beta user of (Skimmer) what would become Prodigy Internet, finally getting truly online. I also got USENET access around then.


8. Lux:


Mix of ftp discovery (through http sources usually) and gopher itself. Mostly the http route tbh. Gopher indexing was developing at the time but didn't really make the cut before it got devolved. It was promising, but FTP / HTTP at the time got you more "interesting stuff" most of the time.

Was a long time back. [Gopher] Accessed through uni network when I was working there, so was mostly tech related info I was looking for. Did have lunch breaks though, so did explore a bit for "what else is on here?". Memory isn't great on how well it went, feels like it was more of a novelty / last option at the time


9. Everbern:


My first tech support job was with IBM. They had an amazing, surfable LAN. Internal FTP and Gopher sites, accessible modem banks for BBSing. It's a wonder I got any work done.

[Gopher sites] I'm not sure they were "official". I remember there being all sorts of stuff: from tech info to ascii art to fiction. A subset of what you'd find on textfiles.com now. I recall reading many Lovecraft stories someone had taken the time to type into text files.


10. The Doctor:


Dial up BBSes. The odd BBS network (LilNet, VampNET). No real net.access until maybe '94 when I stumbled into a certain SunOS network.


11. Kermode:


n 91-93 a friend in govt gave me the credentials to his internet account. They charge by the *byte* back then where I live!

I used my Amiga to log into various universities around the world ftp-ing stuff I found with gopher back to UBC. Finally, I'd pull everything down from there to my local computer in Terrace.

Not long after that, I got into linux.


12. Fuuma:


I was using CompuServe and Usenet in the early 90s, and then I started using IRC with mIRC in the early 2000s. I did use gopher once or twice in the early 90s as well.

[Using Gopher for] I think it was using Netscape Navigator... and it wasn't anything academic, just wanted to browse around and see what it offered at the time.


13. Michael:


[...] around 93-94, began using Usenet, ftp, gopher, and some www from college.

If you were doing real research from the library, it seemed like ftp and

gopher were more information rich, and there were lots of gopher sites with

"tunnels" to other sites. For me as young and kind of immature, the www

seemed mainly for entertainment, though more and more useful things started

creeping in, and then it exploded. In short order, the www was the place

to be, and development of gopher sites stopped. I'd say by 1995 this was

true. The gopher sites that were already there hung around for some time

after, but with no improvements. They were allowed to wither. [...]


14. Anna:


[...] I briefly saw gopher circa 1994, I think, on a green-on-black terminal in

the school library, as a research tool. It is a front-end to FTP that

allows imposing a web structure on hierarchical filesystems networked

across great distances, designed by librarians.

I never saw the humor, enthusiast, etc content from the (later) '90s you

link to back then. I saw that type of material in 'zines at the time. Other

people saw it on BBSs, usenet, and email lists. My understanding of gopher

was it was like an encyclopedia, or a card catalog linked directly to

library materials.


cont. Anna:


Maybe gopher acquired social media vibe in wake of atrophying pre-http

"social media" (like BBSs, USENET, and MOOs).


15. Secretdecoder:


[...] Then I got to college in Fall 1993. [...]

Quickly figured out how to use email, gopher, & lynx. Archie. Veronica.

Gopher did indeed have the most content. But it was a bit of a treasure

hunt. Linking through and trying to find stuff. [...]


16. Dan:


[...] Gopher in particular never made much of an impression on me. It

was marginally useful for accessing specific information, but

USENET as both a collaborative space and directory of pointers

to other resources elsewhere on the net, coupled with telnet and

FTP were much more broadly useful. The "archie" protocol was

similarly useful for finding things across anonymous FTP sites. [...]


cont. Dan:


[...] I have fond memories of telnet,

talk, and VMS phone. Even using a 3270 terminal to access a

mainframe to some extent. The early wide-scale information

systems including gopher and the early web were less interesting [...]


17. Anna about Wayne:


Wayne was administering a BBS when gopher was in its growth phase, so kind

of missed it. By the time he got interested in browsing linked documents

via internet, http was ascendent.


18. Anna about Christina:


Christina's primary internet social world was MOOs and MUSHs. She remembers

gopher had the library vibe you noted, downloading software via FTP,

content reposted from USENET.


19. Xiled:


Around 1993 [...]

Also around that time, I attended a local university, [...]

It also had access to gopher, veronica, jughead, and WAIS (Wide Area

Information Server.) [...]

Back then, gopher and WAIS didn't have much appeal for me,

especially since it was used mostly for academic stuff. Nobody

that I was aware of had personal gopherholes and the personal home

pages were on the web. I was still drawn to the BBS communities,

but the new SLIP/PPP accounts and the Internet that it connected to

had my curiosity as well.


20. nm03:


I found Gopher in 1995 and accessed it through a VAX terminal. I didn't have

anyone to tell me what it was, so I exlored it on my own. I remember there

being Telnet links, like places to check the weather, and humor collections. I

soon moved on to using Netscape and didn't get back into Gopher until joining

SDF a few years ago.



[Gopher Novice - Part VII]

[Cont. how you were using the Internet in the 1991-1995 and 1995-2005?]

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