Gopher Net Nostalgia

A back in my day, we surfed the net with rodents

Via Wired News: “Back in 1992, when “yahoo” was something cowboys yelled and “ebay” was just pig Latin, the University of Minnesota developed a new way of looking at data on the Internet. Their protocol, called “gopher” after the UMN mascot, allowed archivists to present the mishmash of information in a standard format, and enabled readers to navigate documents on a world of servers using a simple visual interface.

For a while, it seemed as if gopher might open the Internet up to the nontechnical masses and usher in a new era of online communication. It very well might have, if the Web hadn’t come along and done it instead.

Mention gopher to a newcomer to the Web and you might get a blank stare. Mention it to an old-timer and you’re likely to see a nostalgic smile…”

Indeed. Before NCSA Mosaic hit FTP servers and made the WWW usable, Gopher clients/servers were all the rage.

One thing I’d like to point out that the article neglected to mention was the fact that Wired Magazine had its own Gopher Server, which existed back in the days before its web site.