History

Our Learning Center has had a presence on the Internet virtually from day one back in 1999. The first web site was a bulletin board that allowed the staff to communicate effectively. If youíre curious, parts of that old web site may be found at its original URL: http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a.tcl?topic=aiken+seniornet+staff. (By the way, one lesson from that URL is to be careful what you put on the Internet as it almost never goes completely away.)

The first webmaster was Paul Lewis, a USCA librarian as well as a Learning Center volunteer. It wasnít long before Paul, a big fan of open source software, converted the web site to run under software called PmWiki, the same software used for the USCA library web site. PmWiki is wiki software that allows anyone to add or change the content of the web site online through any web browser. In our case, we require a password to be able to edit our pages, just to keep down the number of unauthorized and irrelevant changes.

From 2003 until 2013, USCA hosted our web site at library.usca.edu/seniornet (URL no longer active). USCA notified us in late 2012 that it would make changes to its systems that wouild result in PmWiki not being available. As a result, we moved our web site to a commercial host, with a domain name of aikenseniornet.com (URL no longer active). Charlie Brown purchased this domain name some years ago and set it up so that it would redirect users to the actual web site on USCAís computers. That way, our students and the public could access our web site with the easier-to-remember and easier-to-type aikenseniornet.com rather than library.usca.edu/seniornet. Charlie graciously allowed us to move the entire web site to this host.

On January 1, 2015, we ended our 15-year relationship with SeniorNet and changed our domain name to http://www.mcgrathclc.com. Charlie Brown once again stepped up and paid for the commercial service to host our web site. He did so until April 2018 when McGrath assumed payment responsibility for our hosting service and domain registration. We thank Charlie for his generosity over the years.

On June 27, 2018, we converted our web site from HTTP to HTTPS. The major browsers had begun labeling HTTP sites with input forms as "not secure." Additionally, Google announced that beginning in July 2018, any page accessed through HTTP would be labeled "not secure" in the Chrome browser. To avoid any our our users thinking our site had become infected with malicious software, we changed our site to HTTPS. Our SSL certificate is issued by Comodo (acquired through our web hosting provider Total Choice Hosting.

We continue to use PmWiki to manage the content on our site. If you are a McGrath volunteer and want to know more about how PmWiki works, start with this page and explore from there. The linked page is part of our Faculty Intranet and requires a password. (If you are not a volunteer at McGrath and want to learn about PmWiki, go here).

Bookmarking Our Site

To save a bookmark (or favorite if you are using a Microsoft browser) to our site to allow you to easily visit, go to the Home page. On your keyboard, press the Ctrl and D keys together (Mac users press Command and D). A window will pop up allowing you to specify the folder that you want to save the bookmark to. After you so specify, or if you just want to accept the folder that the browser picks for you, press the Enter key (Mac users press the return key). Your bookmark will be saved by your web browser.

Description of Site

There are two parts to the site: a public part where we post information about our schedule and courses for anyone with Internet access to read and a private part where we post internal information for you as a volunteer. The private part is named Faculty Intranet and is for volunteers of McGrath only.

The public, Internet part of the web site provides:

  • A directory of volunteers
  • Current class schedules
  • Current course descriptions
  • Current workshop descriptions
  • General information about the Learning Center

The private Intranet is a way of sharing information among the volunteers. Volunteers should visit frequently to keep up with what the committees and staff are doing. The Intranet site is a repository for:

  • Learning Center Guidelines for operation, including the responsibilities of staff, instructors, and coaches
  • Minutes of committee meetings
  • The Volunteer Orientation Handout used in our training sessions
  • Key documents related to the Learning Center
  • Agendas of meetings as needed
  • Historical information

The web site is here to help you. We try to be receptive to any suggestions you have for additional information or improvement of the web site. Send your comments to the webmaster at the address below.