A Gopher's Gopher To Burrow Through The Internet

Connecting to and getting around the Internet, that worldwide network of computer networks, can be trying--especially for novices. It usually requires a good deal of technical knowhow because the net was designed by computer scientists. So to help newcomers plug in and find their way to the data they need, Notis Systems Inc., a software subsidiary of telephone company Ameritech Corp., has come out with WinGopher Complete.

The $129 package is for use with PCs running Microsoft Corp.'s Windows software. It provides graphical aids for searching and collecting data from the more than 1,400 so-called gopher servers available over the Internet. They help people find and retrieve all sorts of files, ranging from lists of music albums to images received by NASA spacecraft. The gopher scheme, developed at the University of Minnesota, has long been popular among Internet jockeys. WinGopher, a version for the masses, will come packaged with promotional materials from companies that sell access to the Internet--including a voucher good for 30 minutes of free connect-time.