Troubles fixed, Northwest University internet based registration system fires on all cylinders : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Troubles fixed, Northwest University internet based registration system fires on all cylinders

February 23, 2000


In the fall they wanted to bury CAESAR, but on Tuesday the students of Northwestern University came to praise him.

CAESAR, the Evanston school's Web-based class registration system, was up and running without any of the problems that plagued the system during the winter registration period.

"Pre-registration is done, and so far everything is going fine," said Al Cubbage, a spokesman for the university.

"Knock on wood; all systems are working OK."

That is a far cry from the troubles that plagued the registration system during the winter sign-up period, when it was launched.

The system, designed to let students register over the Internet, failed. Students were left scrambling to change vacation plans during the Thanksgiving break and stood in long lines at Kresge Hall, where school officials were entering the registrations into the system by hand.

On Tuesday, the scene at Northwestern was different. Instead of waiting in lines, students headed to the school's computer lab to log on or huddled in dorm rooms to pick their classes.

Senior Alicia Weber said the process could have taken as little as 10 minutes with the new computer system.

However, because she wasn't sure what classes she wanted to take, it took her an hour.

"This is a lot easier because you can do it from anywhere," said Weber, who was in the computer lab signing up for her history classes. "It is better than waiting in line like last year."

Although Northwestern officials remain optimistic, they want to make sure they do not overburden the system.

The school set parameters on when the 12,000 or so students could register, assigning each student a start time,

Cubbage said. On the first day, which was Monday, they limited it to 100 students every half hour. By Tuesday, that number increased to about 130.

Registration should close by the end of the week, Cubbage said.

-- Carl Jenkins (, February 23, 2000

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