8.2 Burrowing Deeper
Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet

Go to Table of Contents. Visit Gifcom.

     As fascinating as it can be to explore "gopherspace," you might one
day want to quickly retrieve some information or a file.  Or you might
grow tired of calling up endless menus to get to the one you want.
Fortunately,  there are ways to make even gophers easier to use.
     One is with archie's friend, veronica (it allegedly is an acronym,
but don't believe that for a second), who does for gopherspace what
archie does for ftp sites.
     In most gophers, you'll find veronica by selecting "Other gopher and
information services" at the main menu and then "Searching through
gopherspace using veronica."  Select this and you'll get something like

                    Internet Gopher Information Client v1.1

                  Search titles in Gopherspace using veronica

 -->  1.                                                             .
      2.  FAQ:  Frequently-Asked Questions about veronica  (1993/08/23).
      3.  How to compose  veronica queries (NEW June 24) READ ME!!.
      4.  Search Gopher Directory Titles at PSINet <?>
      5.  Search Gopher Directory Titles at SUNET <?>
      6.  Search Gopher Directory Titles at U. of Manitoba <?>
      7.  Search Gopher Directory Titles at University of Cologne <?>
      8.  Search gopherspace at PSINet <?>
      9.  Search gopherspace at SUNET <?>
      10. Search gopherspace at U. of Manitoba <?>
      11. Search gopherspace at University of Cologne <?>

Press ? for Help, q to Quit, u to go up a menu                        Page: 1/1

     A few choices there!  First, the difference between searching
directory titles and just plain ol' gopherspace.  If you already know the
sort of directory you're looking for (say a directory containing MS-DOS
programs), do a directory-title search.  But if you're not sure what kind
of directory your information might be in, then do a general
gopherspace search. In general, it doesn't matter which of the particular
veronicas you use -- they should all be able to produce the same results. 
The reason there is more than one is because the Internet has become so
popular that only one veronica (or one gopher or one of almost anything)
would quickly be overwhelmed by all the information requests from around
the world. 
     You can use veronica to search for almost anything.  Want to find
museums that might have online displays from their exhibits?  Try
searching for "museum."  Looking for a copy of the Declaration of
Independence?  Try "declaration."
     In many cases, your search will bring up a new gopher menu of
choices to try.
     Say you want to impress those guests coming over for dinner on
Friday by cooking cherries flambe. If you were to call up veronica and
type in "flambe" after calling up veronica, you would soon get a menu
listing several flambe recipes, including one called "dessert flambe." 
Put your cursor on that line of the menu and hit enter, and you'll find
it's a menu for cherries flambe.  Then hit your q key to quit, and gopher
will ask you if you want to save the file in your home directory on your
public-access site or whether you want to e-mail it somewhere.
     As you can see, you can use veronica as an alternative to archie,
which, because of the Internet's growing popularity, seems to take longer
and longer to work.
     In addition to archie and veronica, we now also have jugheads (no
bettys yet, though).  These work the same as veronicas, but their
searches are limited to the specific gopher systems on which they reside.
     If there are particular gopher resources you use frequently, there
are a couple of ways to get to them even more directly.
     One is to use gopher in a manner similar to the way you can use
telnet. If you know a particular gopher's Internet address (often the
same as its telnet or ftp address), you can connect to it directly,
rather than going through menus.  For example, say you want to use the
gopher at info.umd.edu.  If your public-access site has a gopher system
installed, type this
         gopher info.umd.edu

at your command prompt and you'll be connected.
     But even that can get tedious if there are several gophers you use
frequently. That's where bookmarks come in.  Gophers let you create a
list of your favorite gopher sites and even database queries.  Then,
instead of digging ever deeper into the gopher directory structure, you
just call up your bookmark list and select the service you want.
     To create a bookmark for a particular gopher site, first call up
gopher.  Then go through all the gopher menus until you get to the menu
you want.  Type a capital A. You'll be given a suggested name for the
bookmark enty, which you can change if you want by backspacing over the
suggestion and typing in your own.  When done, hit enter.  Now, whenever
you're in gopherspace and want to zip back to that particular gopher
service, just hit your V key (upper- or lower-case; in this instance,
gopher doesn't care) anywhere within gopher.  This will bring up a list
of your bookmarks. Move to the one you want and hit enter, and you'll be
     Using a capital A is also good for saving particular database or
veronica queries that you use frequently (for example, searching for
news stories on a particular topic if your public-access site maintains
an indexed archive of wire-service news).
    Instead of a capital A, you can also hit a lower-case a.  This will
bring you to the particular line within a menu, rather than show you the
entire menu. 
    If you ever want to delete a bookmark, hit V within gopher, select
the item you want to get rid of, and then hit your D key.
    One more hint:
    If you want to find the address of a particular gopher service, hit
your = key after you've highlighted its entry in a gopher menu.  You'll
get back a couple of lines, most of which will be technicalese of no
immediate value to most folks, but some of which will consist of the
site's address.