Everything Available Electronically Having To Do With Berkeley
by Kathleen Scalise
Berkeley has a whole new look on the Internet and it isn't going unnoticed.
Along with the new look comes a variety of campus information never before available online, including Berkeley's general catalog.
The main campus gateway to the world wide web, a flashy Internet technology, has been redesigned to look better and be more functional. The gateway is called the Berkeley home page and it's already drawing both praise and helpful comments.
On it, the word "Berkeley" now rises up in tall gold letters against a blue background complemented by an engraving from the tip of Sather Gate.
Included on it is a listing of just about everything available electronically having to do with Berkeley, some of it newly online. In addition to the catalog, stories from Berkeleyan, archived to September 1994, and Visitors Center information are now available online.
A home page is "like the title page for a book," said Michael Blasingame, senior programmer/analyst at Information Systems and Technology and the point man for registering new web resources on campus. "And maybe like a table of contents. It tells you what you'll find inside the book." Or in this case, inside the troves of electronic information offered by the campus.
The world wide web itself, where the home page resides, is one of the latest offerings of the Internet. "It's a more sophisticated tool than gopher. It's also newer," said Blasingame.
While not all computers on campus are able to access the web, most should be able to by using software such as Mosaic. The program is freely distributed on campus through Information Systems and Technology. For details, call 642-8899.
Early feedback on Berkeley's new web gateway has been generally positive, albeit plenty of people have their two cents to add, typical of the Internet community.
"The new home page is nice, but as an alumnus I don't think you can do better for a home page symbol than the campanile," wrote one alum, nixing Sather Gate.
Another electronic visitor suggested leaving the gate but dumping the gold color on the lettering.
Yet another wouldn't change a thing. "It's colorful, striking and inviting," he said.
"It's hard to sum up what Berkeley is in just one image," said Linda Currie, the graphic designer from Berkeley Publications who prepared the home page picture.
"I think that when you bring up Berkeley's home page, it looks academic and as if it comes from a university. That was one of my goals, to make it look like you were at a place of higher learning."
Currie laughed and added, "It's neat to think that probably more people will see this image than see all my print pieces put together."
Perhaps the most in-demand new offering will be the catalog. Previously, the nearly 500-page catalog of campus information and course descriptions was only available in print.
Having the catalog online allows students and advisers to use it in ways that a printed version would never allow.
"The print catalog is out of date even when it's first printed," said catalog editor Nancy Chapman. "My dream for this online catalog is to have it updated as often as monthly."
Not only can the information now be accessed from around the world, but users can employ handy electronic search functions.
For example, a prospective student could pull together all courses on campus on any one subject, even crossing department lines.
"An economics professor who told me in the past how useful he finds the online schedule of classes for his advising said the online catalog is an order of magnitude better," said Margaret Baker, manager of Infocal, a partner in the catalog project.
The home page was redesigned thanks to combined efforts of Information Systems and Technology, Public Affairs, Development Communications, Undergraduate Affairs, Media Services, and Planning, Design and Construction.
Keep in mind, said Blasingame, the web and everything on it "is fluid, it's never really settled. It's kind of a live creature and it's going to keep changing and growing. Who knows what technology will be out in a year, or even in a month?" n
o To access the home page:
Using Mosaic, Netscape, or another world wide web browser: open the location http://www.berkeley.edu.
o To access the catalog:
Using Mosaic, Netscape, or another world wide web browser: Open the Berkeley home page at http://www.berkeley.edu, select Campus Information, then select General Catalog.
Using Telnet: Telnet to telnet://infocal.berkeley.edu and follow the menus to the general catalog online.
Using Gopher: At the moment, only the course database part of the catalog can be accessed from gopher. To reach it, select Infocal from the Berkeley gopher menu and use the menus to move to the general catalog online.
Using Public Terminals: Selected terminals in the campus library, Sproul Hall lobby, Student Union Building, and Visitors Center show Infocal at the top level of the menu. Select this service and use the menus to move to the general catalog online.
o To access the online Berkeleyan or Visitors Center information:
Using Mosaic, Netscape, or another world wide web browser: Open the Berkeley home page at http://www.berkeley.edu. For Berkeleyan stories, select Campus Information, then select Campus News and Events. For Visitors Center information, such as directions to campus using autos or public transit, and visitors' services offered, select Campus Information, then select Visitors Information.