Industry Canada logo Section One

  1. Brief Outline of the Internet

  2. The Internet Tools

  3. The Internet Statistics

The Internet Tools


Archie is a search tool, developed at McGill University, which archives lists of files located on 'anonymous FTP' sites. Internet users can access public Archie sites and search the Archie index for file names. The Archie server will return a list of hits, including the name of the file or directory, its size, the date it was last altered, and the name of the FTP server on which it is stored.

What follows is a list of publicly accessible Archie servers. Internet users can Telnet to these sites, login as 'archie', and conduct searches.

It is always advisable when choosing an Archie server to choose one close to you. All Archie servers have the same capabilities, so choosing one close to home will never be to your disadvantage and will always be appreciated by other Net users.


Electronic Mail was one of the original uses of the Internet. By assigning individual addresses to users, the routing system of the Internet is able to direct messages from user to user. This process is usually very quick, because electronic mail is often made up of small quantities of low-ASCII (plain text), which is not resource intensive. Many electronic mail packages are commerically available for SLIP, PPP and Direct Connections to the Internet.


File Transfer Protocol. FTP is one of the standard languages of the Internet which determines how files are transferred from one location to another.

Many FTP sites are called Anonymous FTP sites, because they allow users to log in with the user name 'anonymous'. This is much like being able to go to a private club as a guest. It also means that certain restrictions will govern the use of a site by an anonymous user. For example, an anonymous user will not usually be able to alter the contents of a directory, though they may download from it.

FTP is a client server application, which means that an Internet user must have access to an FTP client (a program which resides on the user's computer or host computer to which they dial-up), and an FTP server (a host computer on the Internet which will allow users to connect and access files).


A menu-driven system of organizing information in a hierarchical and intuitive order.

What makes gopher so useful is that it is a browsing tool. It doesn't just tell you where a document is, it takes you there, offers the document for your perusal and then offers you the choice of abandoning it, e-mailing it to your account or saving it to your notebook.

The following is an extract from the Internet Gopher Protocol:

University of Minnesota Microcomputer and Workstation Networks Center Spring 1991; Revised Spring 1992. Bob Alberti, Farhad Anklesaria, Paul Lindner, Mark McCahill, Daniel Torrey.

n. 1. Any of various short tailed, burrowing mammals of the family Geomyidae, of North America. 2. (Amer. colloq.) Native or inhabitant of Minnesota: the Gopher State. 3. (Amer. colloq.) One who runs errands, does odd-jobs, fetches or delivers documents for office staff. 4. (computer tech.) software following a simple protocol for burrowing through a TCP/IP internet.

The Internet Gopher protocol is designed for distributed document search and retrieval. The protocol and software follows a client-server model. Documents reside on many autonomous servers on the Internet. Users run client software on their desktop systems, connecting to a server and sending the server a line of text, such as a search word.

The Gopher interface is designed to resemble a file system to enable users to easily access files and documents which are arranged according to categories. The Gopher collects menus and documents from all over the Internet and presents them for display or mailing in a standard menu format.


HyperText Markup Language. HTML is a set of codes which World Wide Web Browsers use to display documents in a rich format. The codes are ordinarily placed within corner brackets. The way a user would instruct a browser to display text in italics would be to insert italics codes on either side of the text, such as the following. <i>This text would be displayed in italics.</i>


HyperText Transfer Protocol. This is the language used by the World Wide Web to transfer files during a client-server session.


An automated mailing list to which Internet users can subscribe and will receive mail from regularly. Listservs are often designed for the purpose of participating in discussions about specific topics.


Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. This is the language which is the heart of the Internet, and allows computers to exchange information by using the different Internet tools.


The Terminal Emulation protocol which allows users to log in to host computers remotely over the Internet. Telnet applications are available for most operating systems and are typically provided with Internet access accounts.


A distributed and decentralized world-wide system of topical discussion groups which are arranged according to abbreviated prefix and suffix groups. The following is an example.

alt. - prefix indicating alternative discussion groups
comp. - prefix indicating computer-related discussion groups
rec. - prefix indicating recreational discussion groups

There are approximately ten thousand different news groups.


Very Easy Rodent Oriented Net-wide Index to Computerized Archives. A search engine which locates menu items from Gopher servers around the world. Veronica is accessed through Gopher sites.

World Wide Web (WWW)

The World Wide Web is a client-server application system which transfers text, graphics and sound files through the HyperText Transfer Protocol. The WWW clients are called Web Browsers. There are many available, such as Mosaic and Netscape, both of which are compatible with PC, Macintosh and Unix.

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