The University of Pennsylvania's Online Computing Magazine

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November 1996  -  Volume 13:3


The General BusinessFile:
Library Database for Business Research on the Web

by Steven J. Bell and Michael Halperin

HTML 3.2 and beyond
by Judy Smith

Printout-Almanac Digest

Web Provider information

CGI-based forms and server-side image maps may sound like techno-babble to you, but for Penn Web developers who want to add a touch of interactivity or image pizazz to their sites, these terms signify basic building blocks for creating effective web sites. Yet many don't realize that forms and image maps are not only allowed, but encouraged on the Penn Web. You can't create your own scripts, but you can utilize generic scripts to provide these functions. Information is available on creating image maps and forms.

You may also want to consult the online style guide for the Penn Web, Web Style, which contains information on page design, including practical tips about typography, navigational aids, and graphics; step-by-step instructions on how to begin constructing web pages; a sample template; a glossary of web terms; and both general and Penn-specific resources. Also included are catalogs of Penn Web and University logo graphics, with instructions on how to download and use these graphics.

If you're looking for guidelines to help you understand and manage color palettes for graphics on your web pages, try John MacDermott's "I Am Curious Yellow" site.

Finally, if you have basic HTML coding down, but wonder what the future holds, check out the Penn Printout article "HTML 3.2 and beyond" for an overview of future directions; possible stumbling blocks; the carrot-and-stick promise of HTML-based style sheets that, perhaps, both designers and HTML purists can live with; as well as a variety of pointers to related information on the web at large.

Library adds new business database

Steven J. Bell and Michael Halperin discuss the General BusinessFile, Lippincott's newest database for business research on the web, in the latest edition of the Penn Printout Online. The article includes an overview of the database and provides descriptions of EasyTrac and PowerTrac, the simple versus the sophisticated search tools included with the General BusinessFile. If your research would benefit from online access to business journal articles and abstracts, U.S. company profiles, and investment analyst's reports, don't miss the Bell/Halperin article.

Why wait in line?

Penn InTouch, the password-protected online service for Penn students, is accessible from any PennNet-connected computer running a recent version of the Netscape web browser. From the Penn InTouch home page, you can view personal financial information, such as your billing account, loan disbursements from your lender, and the status of your loan or financial aid application. You can also check your transcripts, examine class schedule information, and update your address online.

Penn students can access the system by pointing Netscape to, selecting the Penn InTouch option, and entering their personal access code (PAC). First-time users must enter their birth date as their PAC and then change it when prompted. Students accessing Penn InTouch from a computer lab or from a friend's machine, should close the Netscape window when they finish using the system; otherwise the next user may be able to view their information. A demonstration version of Penn InTouch is available at for anyone who does not have access to the live system.

New technology equipped classrooms

This summer's classroom renovations brought substantial improvment to twelve Central Pool classrooms. Ten rooms in Towne Building, a large Chemistry lecture hall, and one seminar room in Van Pelt College House are now in service. You can see the details of these and other recently renovated classrooms at the classrooms web site.

Chemistry 102 features a new lab bench that provides a safe, spacious, well-equipped area for chemical demonstrations and operation of the AV and computer systems. Dual computers, video tape playback, and a document camera are displayed via high-resolution projection. A master control system integrates all functions to a single panel.