sipb's grumpy fuzzball
students' portal


This page tabulates a number of WWW services provided by MIT's Student Information Processing Board (SIPB) and other groups and individuals at MIT. The SIPB homepage was the top-level page on between June 1993 and August 1999 -- this historical outline describes its development. In August 2004, MIT Information Services and Technology took over maintainence of from SIPB. SIPB's services migrated to

Customizable Services
Services and Gateways
General Learning Resources
Listings and Collections
Technical Information

Customizable Services

SIPB Web Script Service
SIPB operates to host executable content provided by the MIT community. PHP and CGI are available. CGI programs must be developed for a Linux environment, but any language may be used. The web server has Perl and Python installed.
Alpha Caddie Blog Server
Creating a blog on this server is open to everyone in the MIT community. The server uses the Portal Factory architecture and is operated by MIT's Intelligent Engineering Systems Laboratory (IESL).
This site is a developers' community for the .NET platform. It was created by six MIT alumni (classes of 2002 and 2003). The server is hosted by MIT's Data Center Operations Services.
Comment CGI script
Learn how to use the comment script in your home page. Users will have a more friendly interface to send you email.
Counter CGI script
Learn how to use our simple web page counter.
Matthew Gray and various SIPB members present a popular story-composition service.
Webzephyr gateway
This is a two-way integrated system that interfaces to the Zephyr interactive message system used in MIT's Athena environment. Webzephyr allows sending and receiving of personal messages with Athena users who choose to receive them. Minimal authentication is done through an initial email and a password.
Zwrite gateway
This is an interface to the Zephyr interactive message system used in MIT's Athena environment. Zwrite is available for sending messages, and zlocate can be used for finding if and where an MIT user is available online. For example, you can see if any of the webmasters are currently logged in.

Services and Gateways

Acronym compilation
The acronym compilation allows simple searches of three large acronym databases, with greatest focus on computer-related terms.
AFS directories
AFS (formerly known as the Andrew File System) is a distributed file system used at MIT and dozens of other sites. Our server uses AFS to let you read the web pages that MIT users have placed in their own Athena home directories.
Cview interface
Cview displays information on free Athena workstations broken down by location.
Discuss conferencing system
This gateway allows access to hundreds of discussion groups based at MIT, as well as archives of popular mailing lists.
Finger gateway
This gateway will return useful finger information for as many places as possible. If you know of a place where it isn't as useful as it could be, let us know. Right now, querying is a way to demonstrate one of the nifty features.
Geographic nameserver database
This program allows you to look up geographic information about US locations, such as lat/long, population, zip code, county and lots more. The database has been located at MIT since late 1997. Previously it had been located for many years at the University of Michigan Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department.
Human Genome Map
Searchable database from the Human Physical Mapping Project at the Broad Institute.
Hypermedia Teaching Facility
A database supporting multimedia web-based university-level instruction for students at MIT and for distance learning.
Machine information gateway
This gateway provides DNS information about hostnames, and can handle queries for hostnames which involve odd DNS hacks, like
Radio amateur callsigns database
Interface to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock ham-radio callsign database, written by N1DPU, aka Mark Eichin.
Science Fiction Society's Pinkdex
An on-line index of the MIT Science Fiction Society library, the largest science-fiction collection in the world.
MIT Events Calendar
MIT's online listing of events.
This service provides conversions of GIF files to transparent GIF format -- the transparent portion can be selected via an imagemap interface as well as via a standard text form.
Weather information (only current, not historical) and Boston forecast
This service provides U.S. National Weather Service forecasts via a simple text interface. It was one of the first weather web sites.


Kerberos telnet for Macintosh and Windows systems
This page is intended for folks who want to telnet to systems that offer a telnet service with Kerberos support, e.g., Athena's dialup servers. This is much safer than sending your password over the network to a system that doesn't support logins using Kerberos or ssh.
Macintosh software
Search the Info-Mac software collection, the largest Internet collection of software for the Macintosh (over 10,000 programs).
Virus protection software
The Information Security Office offers free computer virus protection software. Web access is limited to the MIT Community.

General Learning Resources

African American history database
The CLIMB resource for African American history and culture, presented by Charles L. Isbell and Michael Bowen.
Classics Archive
Searchable collection of classical works, in English. Hey, classics can be fun (like when you're punting your 8.05 problem set). Everything from the Iliad to Herodotus' History.
Courses' web pages
A listing of web pages for MIT courses that are using the World Wide Web for any aspects of instruction.
Fishwrap newspaper project
Fishwrap is a personalized newspaper project provided by the News in the Future group at the MIT Media Laboratory. Some services accessible to MIT community only.
Oxford English Dictionary
A monster dictionary. Accessible to MIT community only.
Research databases
Academic journal articles, news resources, and other commercial databases. Includes INSPEC, LEXIS-NEXIS Universe, MEDLINE, and the Sloan Trading Room databases of historical stock prices and corporate information. Accessible to MIT community only.
Usenet FAQ archive
An archive site at MIT lets you read the FAQs from many Usenet newsgroups, sorted by newsgroup hierarchy.

Listings and Collections

Floorplans for MIT
Eytan Adar presents MIT floorplans available for viewing. Accessible to MIT community only.
IHTFP Hack Gallery
Your favorite hacks are here, from the CP Car on the Dome, to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the All-Night Tool.
University list
A large list of the university web sites throughout the world, maintained by Christina DeMello.
Workstation cluster maps
nocturne maintains a set of maps of various workstation clusters around MIT.

Technical Information

Computer Security at MIT
If you administer a Unix system at MIT (even if it's a PC that only occasionally runs a Unix system such as Linux or NetBSD) you should read some new information about maintaining security so that your system isn't compromised by intruders.
Growth of the Web and Internet
Matthew Gray's report documents the growth of the web since mid-1993. The early data was collected using Matthew's World Wide Web Wanderer, the first web spider.
NASA public information bulletins, hosted by MIT's Center for Space Research.
OLC stock answers to common questions
The Athena Consulting answers to common questions. Includes answers to many questions about using Athena.
Publications from AI, LCS, LNS, and PSFC
Searchable collections of publications from MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Laboratory for Computer Science, Laboratory for Nuclear Science, and Plasma Science and Fusion Center, some from as early as 1959. (For AI and LCS, you may prefer to use the NCSTRL interface.)
Semiconductor and microsystems resources
A collection of information about semiconductor devices and the computer-aided design and fabrication of circuits, hosted by MIT's Microsystems Technology Laboratories.
SIPB documents
Information on everything from AFS, to Linux, to Zephyr, to SIPB itself.
World Wide Web for the Clueless, by Eri Izawa
If you're new to the WWW, or don't know a server from a client, drop by!
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