ThatLionLoser's profile picture

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Category: Web, HTML, Tech

So much on my mind [a lion talks about the smallweb, part 1]

I have more to say about the smallweb, and if we're lucky, I'll actually make part 2 and talk about that.

For now, though, I can just say I'm thinking a lot about the smallweb lately. I'm attempting to learn more about alternate protocols, but tend to scare myself out of doing so. There's so much I have to learn about computers and networking, and something as seemingly simple as reading up on the Gopher protocol throws me down the dreaded "Wikipedia rabbit hole," and suddenly there's more information than I could ever hope to digest... >_<

Another thing I'm really wondering is if I could feasibly use an old machine (Windows 98 or earlier) to access the smallweb... Are there any browsers I'd even be able to run on an older OS? Could the darn thing even connect to the internet at all anymore?

I don't super desperately need an answer to those particular questions, BUT if anyone knows of anyplace I could find accessible information about any of these things (i.e. they explain it like they're talking to a 7-year-old), please let me know! I'm not the best at conducting research, I'm afraid.

I've learned a bit from Yesterweb's guide to the Gemini protocol, but feel like I still have a lot of unanswered questions. :[

Edit: Got linked to a helpful website, and also found a handful on my own! For easy access (I haven't imported my meticulously-organized bookmarks from my laptop yet, and don't want my bookmarks on this computer to become a mess in the meantime), here they are:
  • Kristall: A browser that supports Gopher, Finger, and Gemini. They link to helpful information on their website.
  • Gopher Zone: One of the sites Kristall linked to. A whole hub of information about Gopher.
  • Floodgap: My God there is so much information here, about retro computers, computing history, and of course, Gopher!

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NosyCat's profile picture

The starting point for all things Gopher is; there are tons of old clients for vintage machines if that's what you're into. On the desktop, nowadays I just use Lynx, or Gophersnake if I'm feeling fancy, but other new, modern clients exist, most of them also supporting Gemini. And on Android there's a client called Pocket Gopher.

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Thank you very much! ^_^ Lynx was actually the first browser that popped into my head, but if possible, I'd want to use a client that can display images.

The absolute dream would be exploring the smallweb through an old computer, but I'm open to the fact that I may not be able to do that (at least not now). A few years ago, I found an old work laptop of my Dad's that we miraculously did not get rid of, running Windows 98. It still turns on and has his documents on it.
While I'd love to use that, the presence of his old work files makes it feel like a sacred artifact that shouldn't be disturbed. :P He probably doesn't need them if he hasn't touched them in this long, but I dunno. I've just kept it safe in my closet since finding it, because otherwise, it would have been gotten rid of.

by ThatLionLoser; ; Report