There's Gold in them thar Networks! or Searching for Treasure in all the Wrong Places
RFC 1402

Document Type RFC - Informational (January 1993; No errata)
Obsoletes RFC 1290
Also known as FYI 10
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                          J. Martin
Request for Comments: 1402                         Ohio State University
FYI: 10                                                     January 1993
Obsoletes: 1290

                  There's Gold in them thar Networks!
                                   or
             Searching for Treasure in all the Wrong Places

Status of this Memo

   This RFC provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard.  Distribution of this memo is
   unlimited.

Abstract

   A wealth of information exists on the network.  In fact, there is so
   much information that you could spend your entire life browsing. This
   paper will present some of the "gold nuggets" of information and file
   repositories on the network that could be useful.

   The ultimate goal is to make the route to these sources of
   information invisible to you.  At present, this is not easy to do.  I
   will explain some of the techniques that can be used to make these
   nuggets easier to pick up so that we all can be richer.

Table of Contents

   1.0  Introduction................................................   2
   2.0  Lists and Indexes of Network Resources/Bibliographies/
        Information Available over the Network......................   7
   3.0  Libraries Available over the Network........................  14
   4.0  Anonymous FTP Sites.........................................  14
   5.0  Network Information Centers - NICs..........................  17
   6.0  Network Statistics..........................................  19
   7.0  Campuswide Information Systems - CWISes.....................  20
   8.0  Internet Bulletin Board System/Interactive
        Databases/Freenet...........................................  28
   9.0  WHOIS - E-mail white pages..................................  32
   10.0 Books.......................................................  35
   11.0 Free Periodicals/Tabloids/Magazines.........................  36
   12.0 Glossary....................................................  37
   Security Considerations..........................................  39
   Author's Address.................................................  39

Martin                                                          [Page 1]
RFC 1402                 Searching for Treasure             January 1993

1.0  Introduction

   This paper is a list of the essential things, in my view, that a
   people who are responsible for providing network information should
   have in their hands as reference material.  One of the basic problems
   with information is making it easily available to those who need the
   data.  Libraries have been performing a cataloging function for many
   centuries.  Information flow is now being provided so fast that it is
   difficult to keep up with it, even partially. Computer networks have
   only added to the problem by opening up access to even more
   information.

   Attempting to make this wealth of information available to those who
   would find it useful poses some problems.

   First, we need to know of its existence.  To that end, this paper
   provides an index to the vast realm of network information. Most of
   the documents listed here are POINTERS to the final information.

   Second, even if you know of a document's existence, you may not know
   if it is important or relevant.  Few of us are knowledgeable in more
   than a limited area.  We need to rely on others to make us aware of
   the importance of databases in a specific discipline. Librarians can
   be of great assistance here.  They are familiar with the research
   databases that individuals search in law, mathematics, and many other
   fields.

   Finally, once existence and importance are known, the information
   needs to be indexed so that researchers can find it.  This is the
   most difficult task to accomplish.  Information available on the
   network is rarely static.  It is always moving, growing, changing,
   and dying.  Computers should be able to assist us in managing this
   ever-changing environment.  Right now, we have to catalog the
   information as it passes through the network.  In my  case, I
   generally save it in a file somewhere and spend far too much time
   trying to retrieve it again when I need it.

1.5  Access to the Internet

   A frequently asked question concerns how the average mortal gets
   access to the Internet.  The most common way is via electronic mail.
   Using e-mail, it is possible to communicate with anyone on the
   Internet and on any other networks as well, and there are many
   "gateways" to the Internet from other networks and systems.  For
   instance using CompuServe, a large commercial electronic information
   and communication service, you can send e-mail to and from
   individuals on the Internet.

Martin                                                          [Page 2]
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