Down The Gopher Hole

Today, for some reason I remembered about gopher:// protocol. And was I surprised to find out that there are still gopher sites operating: gopher://

Gopher is a pre http:// protocol that was created at University of Minnesota an named after its mascot, Goldy Gopher.

Goldy is apparently not really a gopher:
““He’s actually a chipmunk,” said Sarah Compton, a student worker at the University’s Bell Museum of Natural History.

The museum has created a mock criminal lineup comparing five stuffed rodents alongside a stuffed Goldy Gopher.

Although this comparison makes Goldy’s mistaken identity seem obvious, other rodents have been mislabeled as gophers since before Minnesota became a state.”

Well, it could have been worse. If MIT or Caltech geeks created it, we would have had beaver:// protocol on our hands.

Browsing about a little I found this gem:

“Happily, most web browsers will still understand Gopher, but they are at best suboptimal. No major web browser understands Gopher+, for one thing.

Because of security bulletin MS02-047, Gopher support is NOW DISABLED IN INTERNET EXPLORER 6 and higher. Rather than fix the buffer overrun in the Gopher protocol handler, Microsoft, in typical fashion, simply decided to disable it entirely. Instead of spending another paragraph or two on a droll rant about how high up their rear ends the heads of Microsoft technical designers are, we’ll just talk dispassionately about the impact of this security flaw: while the risk of an exploit is low in our very friendly community, it is not impossible, and the flaw is apparently damaging enough to be graded Critical. Nevertheless, if you want to reenable it, download the registry file from the clients directory here at Floodgap, or go into RegEdit, drill down to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings, and enter a key named EnableGopher
with type DWord and value 00000001. The reg file is available from gopher://

Rooting around I found some protocols that I haven’t even heard of, like “Hyper-G“. Man, why do I like to dig up this obscure stuff?

Michael and Friends

The number of ljusers who added me to their friends list has reached 100. There are probably some more people who read me through “friends of friends” newsfeeds and non-lj aggregators (I think I saw a poll answer from and somewhere). And I bet there are some inactive ljusers who still have me added. Nevertheless, it’s a nice round number. Woohooo!

I think the number of friends would be much larger for me if I automatically added those, who added me. That is probably true in real life as well. I should know – I am down to only two close friends who keep in touch with me right now. One of them is my dentist ( a childhood friend). In fact, I am typing this on my laptop while in his waiting room. The rest don’t call me unless I call them, lost contact with me altogether or got married to people I can’t stand and became too much like them. None of my real life friends (except my wife) read my journal.

In any case, now that there are more people reading me, I am going to try to use them as information resource. I could do that on Usenet but posting to Usenet is a pain in the ass for a variety of reasons. Google answers costs money (although I think about trying that). So I in addition to wildly informative and awesome WML (What Michael Learned) type posts I am adding a mildly annoying WMW (What Michael Wants (to know)) category. Stay tuned.