A   C o m p r e h e n s i v e   M a n u a l
Not all versions of the gopher program
will be able to suggest some places to
allow you to easily extract or download
the information, but you can read it as
you go.  Some sites do have pointers to
A selection of Web sites for lgbt
other gopher sites or databases off their
resources is contained in Appendix A, p.
menus, but again you have to know
100.  Most of these point to additional
where to start, if not precisely where to
sites and most are accessible in more than
go to, just as with FTP.
one way.
HTTP and the World Wide Web
: the
IRC or Internet Relay Chat
World Wide Web is a set of linked sites
The Internet Relay Chat program can run
which offer files compiled in hypertext.
on your home computer or on the system
The two special features of the Web sites
which you dial into.  The program then
and files are, first, that they have links
connects you to one of many sites which
built into their documents that point you
gives you access to the world of IRC, a
to other documents at other sites, which
set of hundreds of public "channels"
you simply click on to move to.  The Web
where simultaneous communication
is becoming a fully cross referenced set
takes place.  It s as if several people are
of links, enabling the user to find similar
exchanging one line email notes, which
or related information at the click of a
are simultaneously displayed on each
mouse.  Its second advantage is that Web
person s screen.  Private or closed chan 
documents are not just basic text but can
nels can also be set up for specific topics.
also include pictures, graphics, sound and
Many commercial Internet provider ser 
video, depending on the level of sophisti 
vices offer similar options such as chat
cation or interactiveness at a site.  In
rooms, although nothing can compare
order to access these hypertext docu 
with the free wheeling nature of conver 
ments on the World Wide Web sites, you
sation on IRC.  System administrators
need a Web browser, such as Mosaic or
often frown on IRC as a poor use of com 
Netscape.  In addition to sites offering
puter resources, however, many isolated
hypertext documents, browsers can also
and not so isolated members of our com 
emulate both gopher and ftp (and in some
munity have found it a valuable source of
cases enable mail and news readers too).
fun and social interaction.  However peo 
Thus, the Web networks not just the
ple tend to stick to email and newsgroups
hypertext sites but also all other Internet
for more serious discussion.  
sites too.
Most versions of the IRC software pro 
The one drawback to both the Web and
vide you with a list of available channels,
the Internet in general is the general diffi 
but here s a few to start with:  #bisex
culty in finding a comprehensive list or
#gay   #Gay   #gaysex   #lesbian   #les 
index of sites or information.  There are
bians   #transgen.  IRC is definitely not
however a number of ways of searching
for the faint hearted, so be warned! And it
the Internet depending on what you are
is definitely addictive.
looking for.   Any good provider   and
the personnel responsible for maintaining
Getting Started
networking facilities on your campus  
Now that we ve taken a quick look at the
different types of resources and what s
B a s i c   S k i l l s     M     9 7


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