The Web Server as a Teaching and Research Resource

Stan Beeler
English Programme
University of Northern British Columbia

In this paper I will discuss the creation and maintenance of two WWW servers for use in research and teaching at the University of Northern British Columbia. The first, experimental server that I installed was on an Intel 486 platform running BSDI unix. The purpose of this preliminary project was to test the feasibility of applying the WWW to the special problems that the University of Northern British Columbia's regional mandate provides. UNBC is located in the sparsely settled area of central northern British Columbia and is intended to serve communities that are up to 700 kilometers from the central Prince George campus. During the development of the web server I quickly realized that the Intel platform was not ideal for high volume use of the integrated WAIS. The second stage of this project became possible when a colleague and I received a grant from the British Columbia government that allowed us to purchase a Silicon Graphics Indy to use as our server. I would like to discuss the relative merits and limitations of the two systems as well as the special problems involved in providing a WWW server for an academic community.