Johns Hopkins Gazette: November 28, 1994

Hopkins in Cyberspace
By Mike Field

     There is an ancient story of European origin about two
innocent children who were lured by their woodcutting father deep
into the woods, where they were abandoned to their fate. Luckily,
the children were smart enough to leave themselves a trail of
pebbles by which they found their way back.
     Sometimes, when traveling through worldwide gopherspace on
JHUniverse, it is easy to begin feeling like those lost children.
Deep within the thicket of lists, files and directories within
directories within directories, you may start to wonder how you
will ever get back. Many are tempted to simply turn off their
machine rather than trying to retrace their steps through a maze
of successive menus. Once out, they realize only too late they
have no clear recollection of where they were, or how to get
     Fortunately for many users of JHUniverse, there is a system
of pebbles you can drop to trace your way back and forth through
the tangle of menus that stand between the JHUniverse first
screen and the information you need. It's called a bookmark.
Using this feature can save untold hours of frustrating searches
and make JHUniverse a handy personalized tool, sort of like the
most diverse and effective personal reference guide imaginable.
     After all, gopherspace is the place where you can find a
searchable version of the complete works of Shakespeare, the
annotated King James Bible, the table of periodic elements and
the lyrics to almost any popular song of the last 25 years, among
other things. The trick with all this useful information is
having it readily accessible and close at hand. With the help of
bookmarks, you can.
     As is frequently the case in the often frustrating world of
computer communications, different systems use different ways of
making bookmarks. Some systems don't offer this feature at all.
JHUniverse does, and university computer-users connected directly
to JHUniverse should have this feature available. If you cannot
find it on your computer, contact your computer support
     Bookmarks work in a relatively straightforward manner. When
you wish to save a particular file item or, in some cases, an
entire directory, you highlight the item on your screen, call up
the bookmark function and save it. The exact location of the item
will be saved in a separate personal file, enabling you to return
to it at any time, from any location. If you use JHUniverse
primarily as a gateway to the Internet, you can save the Into the
Internet! directory in your bookmark list so you can return to
that menu at any time without having to go all the way back to
the introductory screen. If you wanted your personal bookmark
file to include a particular file, the process is the same.
     For instance, you may want to have easy computer access to
zip codes all over the country. After connecting to JHUniverse
you click your computer's mouse or hit enter at #4--Into the
Internet!, then #5--Gopher Jewels, then #10--Library Reference
and News, then #2--General Reference Resources, then #3--General
Reference resources (misc), then #18--U.S. Zip Code Directory (U.
of Oregon). That's a lot of steps. Here's where bookmark can
prove so helpful. With the Zip Code directory highlighted, you
now add it to your bookmark list in one of several ways.
     If you connect to JHUniverse by typing "gopher" at the DOS
prompt of your computer, then you are probably using PC-Gopher
III. There should be a line, located above the main menu,
containing three short horizontal lines followed by the words
File, Window and Configure. Using your mouse to highlight the
word File, or by hitting Alt. F, you will see a list of file
functions available, including Open Bookmark or F9. Again using
the mouse or the F9 function key, highlight and select Open
Bookmark. A list will appear including any bookmark locations
previously assigned as well as two keys: Insert and Delete. Use
the mouse or the tab key to highlight Insert and hit Return. The
Zip Code directory is now part of your personal bookmark list,
which you can call up at any time by hitting the F9 function key.
     When connecting to JHUniverse through a UNIX server such as
the university's JHUNIX or Resource computers there will be no
top line. There are four basic UNIX bookmark commands available
when using a UNIX Gopher client. Lowercase "a" adds the item the
arrow is pointing at to your list; capital "A" adds the current
directory you are in to your list; lowercase "v" pulls up the
booklist for viewing and lowercase "d" deletes an item from your
     Apple-users connecting to JHUniverse via TurboGopher will
also find a list of functions across the top of their screens:
File, Edit, Gopher, Setup and Recent. Bookmark commands can be
accessed by using the mouse to highlight Gopher and then one of
four commands: Show Bookmark, Set Bookmark, Edit or Import.
Alternately, you can use the command key "K" to show, the command
key "B" to set and the command key "E" to edit bookmarks.
     If you telnet to JHUniverse, you're out of luck. "Bookmarks
are not available to people who telnet to JHUniverse because the
Gopher client is actually running on JHUniverse and there is no
place to save a bookmark file since you don't log in," said Lee
Watkins, assistant director of Homewood Academic Computing.
"There is no home directory for users who come in anonymously, so
there is no  place to save a bookmark file. This is another good
reason to convince anyone who is telneting to JHUniverse to use
another means of connecting if at all possible."
     Using bookmarks is a simple and effective way to turn
JHUniverse into your own personalized resource information
center. Think of it as your own pebbles in the woods. And beware
of kindly old ladies in gingerbread houses. 
     Happy wanderings.

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