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2004/04/14 gopher

Old timers alert! Before the World Wide Web, there was Gopher. Yes, I thought it was dead too, but apparently not: Gopher Still Going Strong, Gopher: Underground Technology and Overbite.

There are more of these than I ever would have guessed!

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© Tony Lawrence

"Before the World Wide Web, there was Gopher."

One of my little exercises back in the days when I had my Commodore C-128D computer was writing a simple Gopher client. It turned out the BASIC 7.0 interpreter in the 128 wasn't fast enough to keep up with my screaming 9600 baud modem (in fact, the built-in RS-232 handler in the 128's kernel couldn't run at 9600 -- I ended up building an external RS-232 adapter attached to the game cartridge port and writing an IRQ handler to drive it). So what should have been a relatively simple programming exercise turned into a substantial 6502 machine language effort.

In some ways, Gopher was superior to WWW. Unlike many of today's websites, Gopher sites didn't (and probably still don't) bury you in kilobytes and kilobytes of mostly useless graphics. It was, as Joe Friday usta say on "Dragnet," just the facts.


Yep. Not saying there's no place for graphics, but a lot of sites would be better off if they were just gopher sites - or simple text anyway.

Of course, when Microsoft invented the Internet (two weeks
after they invented tcp/ip), text had to go.. Bill is allergic to it.

(it is really sickening how many Windows morons think that Microsoft invented the Internet)


Worse yet are the folks who believe Bill Gates invented the computer. BTW, Tony, it was Al Gore who invented the Internet -- let's keep our history straight. <Grin>


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In fact, my main conclusion after spending ten years of my life working on the TEX project is that software is hard. It’s harder than anything else I’ve ever had to do. (Donald Knuth)

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