WebBlitz to move to College web server

by Heather Kofke-Egger | 11/24/98 6:00am

WebBlitz, the student-authored program that allows students and alumni to access BlitzMail over the World Wide Web, will soon find a new home on a Computing Services server.

The program, created by Dan Scholnick '00 and Dave Latham '01, debuted last spring and is run on a server in Latham's room in New Hampshire residence hall.

It was originally housed on the Computer Science Department's server but was moved because it took too much computing time away from other processes, Scholnick said.

Computing Services Special Projects Manager Rich Brown said WebBlitz may be moved as early as Winter term onto a secure server in the Kiewit Computation Center.

WebBlitz does not currently encrypt passwords or messages. This makes it possible, but "highly unlikely," for someone to intercept a user's password, Scholnick said.

He said the new WebBlitz server will support encrypted HTML, which allows for both encrypted messages and passwords. The Macintosh and Windows versions of BlitzMail encrypt only passwords -- not messages.

Brown, who has been helping Scholnick and Latham move the WebBlitz program to the Kiewit server, said Computing Services had some initial concerns about security and support for the program.

Brown said Scholnick and Latham are addressing the security issues and will continue to answer questions about WebBlitz themselves. "I would feel comfortable using WebBlitz anywhere where a Macintosh or Windows version was not available," Brown said.

Until WebBlitz moves to a Kiewit server, there is the possibility of decreased performance, especially during the winter interim.

"When people leave campus, log-ons tend to go up by about 1,000 or so," Scholnick said.

The decreased bandwidth available in dorm rooms may cause WebBlitz to run more slowly. This could also result in slower performance for other network users in New Hamp, Scholnick said. The server will be unsupervised during the winter interim. If it crashes, no one will be in Latham's room to fix any glitches, Latham explained.

He said there may be a backup program available on the Computer Science server. WebBlitz will be moved to the Kiewit server once it has been tested on the new computer and some security issues are resolved, Latham said.

Before WebBlitz, students and alums had to connect to Dartmouth, find BlitzMail and download the program or use Telnet in order to check their mail.

Latham and Scholnick's creation can be accessed through any World Wide Web browser at www.latham.dartmouth.edu/~blitz.