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1234 There are now hundreds of different search engines and directories. Names like Yahoo, Magellan, Alta Vista, Excite, Infoseek, The WWW Worm, and of course, Lycos have become part of the Internet vocabulary. But none of the now popular search engines was the first. That honour went to Archie, an application created in 1990 by Alan Emtage while he was a student at McGill University in Montreal.
1234 The author originally wanted to call the program "archives," but had to shorten it to comply with the Unix world standard of assigning programs and files short, cryptic names such as grep, cat, troff, sed, awk, perl, and so on. Archie-that's archive without the "v"-stands for "Archie servers". Archie servers are programs which maintain databases of Anonymous FTP host directories. They are used to find specific file titles. The files can be texts, images, software etc. Archie works by regularly connecting to remote public hosts and automatically downloading directory listings of public files.
1234 At the early date of 1990, there was no World Wide Web. Around this time, Nonetheless, there was still an Internet, and many files were scattered all over the vast network. The primary method of storing and retrieving files was via the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). This was (and still is) a system that specified a common way for computers to exchange files over the Internet. It works like this: Some administrator decides that he wants to make files available from his computer. He sets up a program on his computer, called an FTP server. When someone on the Internet wants to retrieve a file from this computer, he or she connects to it via another program called an FTP client. Any FTP client program can connect with any FTP server program as long as the client and server programs both fully follow the specifications set forth in the FTP protocol.
1234 Initially, anyone who wanted to share a file had to set up an FTP server in order to make the file available to others. Later, "anonymous" FTP sites became repositories for files, allowing all users to post and retrieve them.
zzz 4 Even with archive sites, many important files were still scattered on small FTP servers. Unfortunately, these files could be located only by the Internet equivalent of word of mouth: Somebody would post an e-mail to a message list or a discussion forum announcing the availability of a file.
1234Archie changed all that. It combined a script-based data gatherer, which fetched site listings of anonymous FTP files, with a regular expression matcher for retrieving file names matching a user query. In other words, Archie's gatherer scoured FTP sites across the Internet and indexed all of the files it found. Its regular expression matcher provided users with access to its database
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