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New developments on the UConnWeb
September 14, 1998

Your search is over. UConnWeb has a new search engine that makes it easier and quicker to find information within the domain.

Mark J. Roy

As frequent users of the UConnWeb know, we have been looking for an effective search engine for some time. Previously searches of the University's websites were done through Harvest, free software maintained by the UConn Libraries. However, when the developer of Harvest stopped providing support, the University experienced continuing problems with it and needed to find a new method of searching UConnWeb-based information.

Search engine software can be very expensive, so we first tried tying in with commercial search engine providers that let you use their offering free of charge. A big drawback with this approach was that every search took users off the UConn site to the provider's advertising-festooned site. Another drawback was that although providers said their engine would restrict searches to the domain, every search pulled in URLs from thousands of non-UConn sites.

Late last spring, just as we were about to make the case for buying our own search engine, we learned that ConneCT, the State of Connecticut's official website, was purchasing a search engine and making it available to other state agencies. During the summer the bugs were worked out and since mid-August, the ConneCT-provi ded search engine has been in place for the UConnWeb.

Early indications are that it is working very well and, as billed, searches are restricted to websites. The process still takes you off the UConnWeb, but now there is no advertising, and you can use the search engine to find information on other state websites, easily locate state statutes, and even expand your search to the entire Internet.

The new UConnWeb search page can be found at

New developments for Web developers
Also during the summer an excellent resource for developing websites and Web pages became available. The Web Development Laboratory, formerly known as the Multi-media Lab, officially opened with new equipment at the University Computer Center in July.

Faculty, staff and students can now create everything from simple Web pages to websites that carry video and audio. The equipment available includes a color scanner, color laser printer, audio and video equipment and graphics tablets.

The lab has Apple workstations for a variety of needs: midi music files and other audio production; video editing; art and graphics; and animation and three-dimensional graphics. Software includes: Media 100; VideoShop; MacroMedia Director; Adobe Illustrator, PhotoShop and Premiere; StudioPro; QuarkXPress; and MediaPaint.

You don't have to be a Web wizard either. Consultants are available to assist in the development of homepages and class materials for the Web. There are two student consultants on duty at all times during lab hours.

The hours are: Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to midnight.

The lab is located in the Math/Science Building of the Edward V. Gant Science Complex at the Computer Center. It is opposite the Mac lab, in Room 037 on the ground floor.

Find out more about the lab at

Some useful UConnWeb sites:

  • Contacting people: use the online directory at - this site allows you to search for e-mail and postal addresses, as well as telephone numbers for UConn faculty, staff and students. If you find your entry needs to be revised, you can update it yourself on line. E-mail addresses can be clicked for sending immediate messages, and individuals can post their Web addresses, which also can be clicked. There is a separate directory to search for Health Center numbers and addresse.

  • The latest local news: - this is your fastest way to find news about the University, through the UConn Advance, news releases, and other campus sources, including The Daily Campus. The Advance is posted each Friday -- before the printed version arrives in your mailbox. The news archive goes back to September 1995 for news releases and February 1997 for past issues of the Advance.

  • Local weather: - current conditions and links to more than a dozen sites for local, regional, national and international forecasts.