The English Computer Lab
The English Computer Lab is one of the English Department's programs, serving hundreds of students per year. It is currently located in the Hitchcock Communication Arts Building, Room 108. This room was, from 1975-1991, a 40-seat lecture hall; before 1975, it was the Moot Courtroom of the Creighton Law School (which occupied the building from its construction in 1921 until the new Law School building was finished in 1975).
The ECL was originally set up with funds provided by Michael Proterra, S.J., then-Dean of the Creighton College of Arts and Sciences, and was the first department-specific computer lab at Creighton. It originally contained 25 Dell 386/16 MHz computers without hard drives; all functions and programs were served from the server--an AST 386/25 MHz tower running Novell Netware 3.11. The programs served were Daedalus 3.2 (an integrated writing suite including brainstorming, revision, word processing, mail, and semi-synchronous conferencing software), and WordPerfect 5.1. The ECL had two HP LaserJet III printers.
The upgrades since 1992 have been as a result of a replacement and upgrade program administered by the office of the Vice President for Information Services, with assistance from the Office of the Dean of the Creighton College of Arts and Sciences. Internet e-mail was introduced to the ECL in the summer of 1992; in 1993 the ECL's first major upgrade gave all of the Dells hard disk drives and replaced 7 of them with Zenith 486/33 Mhz computers running Windows 3.1. The next summer the remaining Dells were replaced with Zenith 486s; at that time all computers received Internet access with Telnet, FTP, and Mosaic (later replaced by Netscape).
In 1995 and 1996, the ECL used Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as Daedalus 4.0. The 1996 upgrade involved doubling the RAM of each computer from 8 to 16 MB, installing Windows 95 and the new Windows-based Daedalus 5.2. The software still included Microsoft Word 6.0 and PowerPoint, as well as Netscape 3.0. Recent installation of Web editors gives students the ability to create HTML documents for courses or personal use.
The August 1998 upgrade included the retiring of the Zeniths in favor of Gateway Pentium II MMX computers with 2 GB hard drives, Windows 98, Microsoft Office 97, sound cards, CD-ROM drives, and FrontPage 98 for Web authoring. In Fall 1998, WebBoard was installed on the new Mockingbird server to facilitate further online courses.
In 1999 and 2000, larger monitors began to replace the smaller 15" monitors.
And in 2002, all of the technology was replaced by Gateway Pentium 4 tower computers, with flat-panel LCD monitors, CD-R/RW drives, Windows and Office XP, Daedalus 5.2.
The ECL's server is currently Mockingbird, a Gateway Pentium III with 200 MB RAM and a 9+GB HDD, running on Windows 2000 Server, which serves as a fileserver for the ECL as well as serving the English department's web resources.
The ECL is maintained by English Department faculty, student lab assistants, and the technical support of the Creighton College of Arts and Sciences. The ECL was directed from 1991-2001 by Dr. Bob Whipple; the current director is Dr. Shari Stenberg, Director of Composition.