3k Associates Logo
About 3k Associates
What's New?
Vendor/Product Info
Job Listings
Public Domain Software

3kassociates.com Web

Site Map

Gopher Server for the HP3000

Specification Sheet

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 it.

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 WAIS).

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.