The Internet provides access to a wealth of information, however, users often find it difficult to locate the specific information they need. Fortunately, there are tools to help you navigate the World Wide Web, FTP sites, and gopherspace.
Searching on the World Wide Web: Search Engines and Directories
There are a couple of ways to find information on the World Wide Web: directories of Internet sites and search engines which search for terms you specify.
Yahoo is the most commonly used and comprehensive directory listing of sites on the Internet. Yahoo is an extensive subject tree of Internet sites, broken down by subject category and subcategory. You can also use a search engine to search the sites listed in Yahoo. The URL for Yahoo is http://www.yahoo.com/.
To search Web pages by subject using a search engine, type the search term or terms you are looking for in the space provided and the search engine will generate a list of Web sites that include that subject. Some popular search engines are Alta Vista (http://altavista.digital.com/), InfoSeek (http://www2.infoseek.com/), Lycos (http://www.lycos.com), and Open Text (http://www.opentext.com/omw/f-omw.html). Some search engines allow you to search gopher or FTP sites as well as the World Wide Web and will even search links within a page. The Internet does not have a standard language or thesaurus to use for searching; all search engines use a different mechanism for searching. Therefore, search results will differ depending on the search engine you choose. To find the information you are looking for, you may need to try a couple of search engines.
Hotlists: Hotlists are a convenient way to organize Internet sites of interest or sites you plan to visit often. Hotlists are collections of Web addresses that you can store in a file on your Web browser. Sometimes called "bookmarks," these lists are compiled by the user and allow you to directly access saved Internet addresses. You can create a hotlist (done differently in different browsers) of sites which you can then use each time you visit the Web without having to remember the URL.
Searching FTP Sites: Archie
Finding files on FTP archives can be a bit tricky and difficult. To help, there is a search tool called Archie. To use it, you must access an Archie server using telnet. There are several Archie servers; here are some addresses:
Once connected, log in as Archie unless the system tells you differently. To search, the command is: prog <search term> You can change how Archie searches by setting the search type. Searches are either exact or substring. Exact means that the file name must match your search string exactly. Substring means that the file must contain your search string somewhere in its name. To change the search type, the command is: set search sub or set search exact
When your search results are several screens long or you don't want to read them immediately, you can have Archie searches mailed to your E-mail account. The command is: set mailto <e-mail address>.
Once a search has been run, issue the command to mail the results to yourself. The command is: mail.
To leave Archie, the command is: quit. This will exit you out of the Archie server and return you to your account.
Searching Gopher Sites: Veronica
Information found on gophers is searchable using a tool called Veronica. Veronica searches directory titles on all registered gopher servers and looks for words that match a search term. Veronica works well because compared to the World Wide Web, gopherspace is relatively small and better organized.
The "Search Gopherspace Using Veronica" option can be found on many gopher menus. Select any of the search options (usually between 14 and 20 menu items) and enter your search term(s) in the space provided. Veronica will then look through gopher menus for the term, and build a menu of items meeting your search requirements. You may then use that menu as you would any other gopher menu.