for the HP3000
Available as an option for NetMail/3000 or DeskLink customers or as a standalone
information server is a gopher server for the HP3000. It operates as a background process
controlled by the normal NetMail/3000 background job (or as its own job in standalone
environments). You define the information you wish to make available and enable the gopher
server and you're ready to provide valuable information to your network (or the world). To
access the server, users must use a gopher client for their particular machine (we do not
provide a gopher client, yet). There are free gopher clients for Unix, PC, and Mac systems
available on the Internet, and commercial clients available for these and others.
What is Gopher?
"Gopher" is an Internet protocol for searching for and retrieving information
across a network. A gopher client obtains a menu of items from a gopher server and
presents it to the user. The user is then able to select any item on the menu and retrieve
that item (from whatever machine in the world happens to maintain that item). Items on
gopher menus can be other menus (from the same or different machines), or can be documents
or other computer files. Selecting a menu presents the new menu to the user; selecting the
document or file causes the item to be retrieved from across the network. Each item on a
menu can be another menu (of more detail if applicable), or a file or document stored on
some machine in the network.
How it works
Gopher servers listen for incoming information requests, process those requests, and
return the information requested to the client. For a gopher server to be
"found" it is either listed in a menu from another gopher server, or provided to
individual clients. The gopher protocol was developed by the University of Minnesota, and
they continue to be a "central" point for most gopher clients around the world,
though the Internic (the Internet managers) also list and maintain gopher servers for
worldwide use; either will list your gopher server for free if you choose to make it
available to the world; if not, then you only need notify the clients you wish to access
The gopher server on the 3000 lets you create listings of documents and sub menus.
Documents residing on the HP3000 must currently be ASCII files, though the gopher server
can execute batch files in the background (batch files can run query or any other tool to
retrieve information and write it to a file where the gopher server will retrieve it and
send it to the client) to retrieve information (output) in ASCII format. The gopher server
can point to information on any other machine of any supported "gopher type"
(this includes binary files, executables, graphic files, ftp-accessed files, or even
interactive links to telnet or other information servers like WWW (world wide web) or
Perhaps the easiest way to understand what gopher does is to try it for yourself.
Select here if you'd like to download a free
gopher client for your HP3000 - if your site is connected to the Internet, you can use it
to connect to our gopher site (gopher.3kassociates.com) and get a better idea of gopher's
capabilities. If your HP3000 isn't connected to the Internet but your PC is you can
select here and download a public domain
gopher client for MS Windows.
What Gopher can be used for
Gopher can be used to make any kind of electronic information available across a
network (or around the world if you're on the Internet). Some practical examples; as a
commercial organization marketing products of some type, providing a gopher server on the
Internet with a list of your products, information on each product, price list, and
company contact information can open up your market to users around the world with very
little effort. Graphical pictures of your products if applicable, or multimedia demos can
also be made available for retrieval. Marketing departments might be interested in
providing the latest sales and demographic information via a gopher server. Stock brokers
might like being able to retrieve client or corporate profiles or the latest stock quotes.
Educational institutions might be more interested in providing course information, with a
menu item for each department, leading to sub-menus with listings of each course in that
department, along with enrollment information, credits, and contact information for
enrolling. Public and private organizations alike might be interested in setting up a
repository of supported software for distribution or access to a centralized help desk
database. Gopher provides a simple and flexible means of providing some help-desk
features; let users use gopher clients to get help files on different packages or answers
to commonly asked questions.