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Online San Diego

From the January 17, 1997 ComputorEdge (Issue 1503)

By Jim Trageser

This week, we continue visiting local university Web sites:

Cal State San Marcos

Cal State San Marcos is the newest school in the California State University system. Located off Highway 78 in North County, it's still a small campus – but growing rapidly.

The CSUSM Web Site is subtitled "Campus Wide Information System," and the CWIS acronym is sprinkled throughout the pages here.

The main page offers tons of info for students, from class schedules to admissions. But the best way for students or faculty members to get to those different places is to go the "CSUSM CWIS" link from the main page, and then add that secondary page to your bookmark file.

Those of us who aren't students or profs on campus will find the "Links to Other Places" to be a favorite page for revisiting. Everything from The Louvre and NASA to a list of Supreme Cout decisions to the National Science Foundation can be found here.

And truly cool stuff: "Whole Frog Project" where "you can dissect a frog without getting your hands all yucky." The Periodic Table of the Elements (multimedia, with links to a page for each element; very cool). Molecules R Us (design your own molecule). The Cyrano Servicer, which "translates your raw emotions into pure poetry" – and sends them to the object of your desires, assuming they've e-mail.

At one time, the CSUSM site hosted a huge Windows and Mac software archive of fonts, shareware, demos, etc., but that doesn't seem to be here anymore. Pity, too, because it was one of the best such sites.

University of San Diego

USD is the local Catholic university up on the hill overlooking Mission Bay. Great basketball, very bad football, so-so Web page. You might want to change your color scheme on your browser so that unused text links are a color other than blue, otherwise you'll have a hard time reading some of the hypertext on the USD pages.

The pages aren't particularly well laid out, either. You have to go through too many levels to get where you want to get. For instance, to get a class schedule, you have to go through three levels – only to find out the most recent schedules are from Spring '96.

Another drawback – the graphic on the Alumni Association page is entirely too huge – at 100k it takes forever to load, even at a connect rate of 28.8 (although it's a beautiful photo of the Immaculata, the campus church). If you've lots of hard drive space and time, there's a Quicktime video clip promoting the university you can download

On the upside: While a bit dated now, the page dedicated to the final presidential debate between Bill Clinton and Bob Dole (located off the "Information" like from the main page) has everything from video clips and still photos to a transcript of the debate itself.

And as with UCSD and SDSU, there is a virtual tour of campus (off the "Community" link on the main page).

Other links go to the Navy ROTC program, the law school, and the university library.