Without really intending to, I have become increasingly intrigued by Gopher. As the web gets ever denser, ever more cluttered and ever more complex, Gopher continues to tunnel along in sublime simplicity. No jarring ads, no pop over / pop under windows, no video crawlers clamoring for your attention… just pure content. All the content, all the time, and nothing else. I love the elemental simplicity of it all.
I have decided to create a Gopher space of my own to serve the Happy Macs community. Over my many years of involvement in the world of vintage Macintoshes, I have built up a sizable and (I think) impressive archive of Mac OS Classic software packages. Many of these are of course available from some of the larger and better known vintage Macintosh archives on the web, but many are not, and some of them were more than just a little difficult to unearth. I plan to make the full collection available via this new Gopher space, along with my equally large archive of Mac OS X PowerPC titles. I hope that the publication of these archives will be of some assistance to those interested in vintage Macs.
The new Happy Macs Gopher space will be a longer term project, likely taking many months to complete. I am investigating Gopher hosting right now with traditional web hosting companies that might allow me to install and run a Gopher server alongside their more “traditional” web server offers. As an alternative, there is no shortage of viable computers here at the Happy Macs lab – I may simply put one of them on the net and host the site directly. All of this will fall out of my ongoing investigation.
Development of the site will be easy enough. Gopher is fairly easy to learn and as an added bonus, my earlier posts on networking have had the happy side effect of leaving me with a fully functioning NetPresenz server loaded and running on my Mac OS 9.1 powered 7300/200. NetPresenz includes a full Gopher server, and so I should be able to do the site development completely within the safe confines of my own LAN.
Eventually, I will publish the finished gopher space via either Gophernicus or Bucktooth, the two best known current Gopher servers. This is a few months down the road however. In the meantime, I will keep you posted from time to time on how things are progressing. Wish me luck in the new and subterranean world of gophers!