Web Publishing

Tenured Faculty Course Evaluation Feedback

This semester is our initial launch of the Senior Faculty Course Evaluation system. As with any new technology, we expect there may be a few hiccups here and there. We've done our best to make it helpful and easy to use. If you've discovered bugs or have suggestions for improvements, we'd love to hear from you.

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Traditional Webserver (www3.amherst.edu)

IT maintains a traditional Apache web server, www3.amherst.edu, as a platform for some web applications, services, and websites that were not migrated into the Drupal environment. Note that using this service requires substantially greater technical skill in comparison with the main Amherst web site.

Note: The www3.amherst.edu web server will be decommissioned after the end of the 2015-2016 academic year. Please contact IT if you have content that must be migrated from the server.

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Features and Benefits: 

All faculty, staff, and students have a personal web space on the traditional web server where they can build web pages from scratch, with full access to all HTML, CSS, and JavaScript capabilities.

In addition, the PHP server-side preprocessor is available, though it is currently version 4.3.2 to maintain compatibility with older applications. It is recommended that new server-side applications be built using IT’s web hosting service.

The web address (URL) is in the form http://www3.amherst.edu/~username (if you use just www.amherst.edu, it will be forwarded to www3).

Requirements: 

Web pages on the traditional web server are accessed by mounting a network volume on a local computer, or via accounts on Unix servers that also mount this network volume. The Unix servers can be accessed via SFTP clients, which are commonly built-in to web-development software such as Dreamweaver, or by using an SSH client and Unix commands.

Getting Started: 

Generally speaking, it’s advisable to edit your web pages on your local computer’s disk or on your U: / Userfiles network volume, test them with a web browser, and then publish the files to the web volume afterward (since they are then immediately visible to the world).

To directly mount the web volume, learn about your Unix Network Space.

To access your traditional webspace with SFTP, see the Dreamweaver Configuration page to learn how to set up an SFTP connection. The settings for other FTP programs will be analagous to those described here.

Babysitter Board

The Babysitter Board is an online listing of Amherst College students interested in watching children on or off campus. The board contains contact and other critical information (experience, availability and access to a vehicle, among other things), and is searchable.

To help our busy parents find childcare coverage, the initiative is open only to Amherst College faculty and staff.  To better connect our students to the families in our community, only Amherst College students may create a listing.

 

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Requirements: 

You be must be logged in as an Amherst College faculty, staff or student to access the Babysitter Board.

Campus App

Amherst Campus is the official mobile app for Amherst College students. The students have spoken! And, the tools you asked for are now available on your smartphone.

Download the Amherst Campus app.

Download on the App Store Android App on Google play

Amherst Campus features:

  • AC Dollars: Check your card’s balance or quickly add funds.
  • Events: Find out what’s happening around campus.
  • Moodle: Access all your course sites to view assignments, e-reserves, and other online material.
  • News: Read the latest campus news and announcements.
  • PVTA Schedule: Find when and where you can catch a Pioneer Valley Transportation Authority bus.
  • Valentine Dining Menu: Peruse the menu, check if there’s a line, and review nutritional info.

 

Audience: 
Students
Five College Students
Applicants
Resources: 

Need help or just want more features? Let us know!

We’ll add new features based on your feedback, so be sure to use the app's Poll feature to up vote new tools

You can also share your thoughts directly via email or online.

Additional Information: 

Amherst College Campus App Homescreen

Web Hosting

IT performs web hosting services for College websites that have requirements that can't be addressed by the College main website or by the College’s traditional web site. 

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Features and Benefits: 
  • Freedom to use whatever web-publishing tools you wish
  • Integration with the College's authentication service

 

Requirements: 

IT only supplies the web-hosting environment. Your or someone in your organization needs to be able to install any web-publishing tools you need and create the website. You must also obtain and register your own domain name if you do not want to use the default supplied url.

Getting Started: 

Contact the Help Desk for more information about the web hosting options available to you.

Additional Information: 

Each user/organization receives a Linux VPS or "virtual private server".

This is a linux container that offers the user their own linux operating system where they have root access to install whatever software they want. Some of the available containers already have Apache, MySQL, PHP, etc installed. Some have nothing installed. Here is the current list of containers available:

  • Centos-6.4 x86_64
  • Centos-6.4 x86_64 (with complete LAMP stack: Apache 2.2.15, PHP 5.3.3, MySQL 5.1.69 and various PHP modules (gz, gd, xml, mbstring, pdo, apc, pear, soap))
  • Debian-7.0 x86_64
  • Fedora-18 x86_64
  • Ubuntu 13.04 x86_64

Upon request IT can install some older versions of the above operating systems if need be.

Users have to install and maintain their own software, patches, etc. IT takes a snapshot of the disk nightly and can recover a machine to its previous day's state (or to an earlier nightly snapshot if we have it available). In addition, the user can initiate a backup of the machine at a particular state and recover that backup themselves. Data that would not be stable for a snapshot (ie; MySQL INNODB files) should be exported to a format that can be re-imported if necessary. Dumping the MySQL database of the server daily (or more frequently) is recommended.

The user will have access to a control panel where they can initiate backups (they can have 3 stored), recover to barebones system, or recover to a backup snapshot. They can set the root password of the machine and can reboot it. The control panel also shows the user the current CPU, Memory and Disk utilization.

We imagine this environment for faculty projects, clubs, personal sites, etc. College business should not be conducted on a Linux VPS. Every machine has a hostname of the form "v102.web.amherst.edu", though IT will add aliases outside of the Amherst top-level domain for user machines (ie; bobryan.web.amherst.edu or frisbee.club.amherst.edu). IT will provide support for issues with the machine itself, but does have capacity for support on installing particular applications and configurations.

Amherst Website

The Amherst College website (www.amherst.edu) is the College's primary online presence. It provides a web-publishing platform for all departments, constituencies, and individuals associated with the College.

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Alumni
Features and Benefits: 

The website is based upon the Drupal content mangagement system (CMS), which provides the following:

  • easy content creation using a web browser; no HTML or special software required
  • a robust, scalable permissions system
  • an application development platform
  • extensive profile management
  • hosting for departments, individuals, student orgs, alumni classes, and more
Requirements: 

You can access the Amherst website with any web browser. For creating and editing content, the preferred browser is Mozilla Firefox.

MySQL Server

Systems and Networking maintains a MySQL server (mysql-public.amherst.edu) for use by faculty, staff, and students for web programming projects that require a sophisticated back end database.

Audience: 
Students
Faculty
Staff
Getting Started: 

Please contact the Help Desk, which will route your request for more information about the MySQL server to Systems & Networking.

Additional Information: 

Authentication to the MySQL server is not tied to your Amherst account. You will receive a separate username and password to use the server.