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January 6, 1988

                                     MINUTES

                               Computer Committee

                            Newman Library Board Room

                                 January 6, 1988

                                      3 PM

 

 

        PRESENT:     Jim Thomas, Don Allison, Jeffrey Birch, Randy Crockett,

                     David Goodyear, Bob Heterick, Jim Hicks, Katherine

                     Johnston, Harry Kriz, Tom McAnge, Jim Montgomery,

                     John Hoernemann (for Al Steiss), Mike Williams,

                     Michael Leahy

 

        ABSENT:      John Burton, Sharon Crawford, Ray Dessy, Dennis Jones,

                     Joan McLain-Kark, Vernon Shanholtz, Paul Torgersen,

                     Jeffrey Wilcke, Christopher Chenard

 

        VISITOR(S):  Sam Hicks, Sandy Birch, Rosie Higdon

 

 

        AGENDA ITEM 1:  MINUTES OF THE NOVEMBER 4, 1987 MEETING

 

        A motion was made, seconded and passed to approve the minutes of

        the November meeting.

 

        AGENDA ITEM 2:  COMPUTING CENTER REPORT (WILLIAMS)

 

        System usage facts (comparing July-December 1986 to same period

        in 1987):

 

        o   CMS (interactive) usage has increased by more than 40%.

        o   VMBatch usage has increased by a factor of 7.  Some depart-

            mental usage of VMBatch has increased by a factor of 35.

        o   42% of all CMS cycles are under VMBatch (VMBatch is used ex-

            clusively by science applications.)

        o   Connect time is up by only 2%.

        o   Page printing (3800 laser printers) has increased by 80%.

            This is a problem because costs are not fixed.

        o   IMS usage is up 30%.

        o   This year's total charges are up only 10% despite the dra-

            matic increases in usage.  Second and third shift computing

            has increased and giving us a more effective use of the fa-

            cility.  Most of the increase in charges has come in the En-

            gineering School accounts.

 

        A rate adjustment was effective January 1, 1988.  The rates have

        been adjusted to correct an over-recovery situation.  Two changes

        were made: (1) CPU charges were reduced (daytime rate reduced by

        25%), (2) Shift differential changed (evening and night discount

        factors were changed from .5 and .25 to .33 and .11 respec-

        tively).  The ratios affect CPU and connect time.

 

        The CADCAM system (VM3) is now totally saturated the last half of

        each term.  The CADCAM system must be moved to a larger processor

        if the situation is to be remedied.

 

        The VAX systems are similarly saturated.  An upgrade for the VAX

        systems is being negotiated.

 

        It is projected that the large VM systems will be saturated

        within one year.  Upgrades done synchronously with the move of

        the Computing Center to the Corporate Research Center could pro-

        vide substantial savings.

 

        In response to questions, it was noted that additional memory for

        the personal computers in AJ and Hillcrest has been ordered and

        that accounts for recognized student organizations can be estab-

        lished through the Computer Accounting office.

 

        AGENDA ITEM 3:  APPLE COMPUTER VIDEO (HETERICK)

 

 

        The committee viewed a video of a John Scully presentation on

        computers of the future.

 

        AGENDA ITEM 4:  DISCUSSION OF CENTRALIZED VS DISTRIBUTED COMPUT-

        ING

 

 

        The committee, in a wide ranging discussion, touched on many is-

        sues relating to distributed computing.  Some of the points

        raised included:

 

        There are no rigorous guidelines concerning what should be proc-

        essed on the mainframe computers versus what should be processed

        on personal computers.  Choices are generally based on economic

        or pragmatic factors relating to the user department.  Different

        word processing applications may lead to microcomputer-based or

        mainframe-based solutions, depending on factors such as avail-

        ability and compatibility of printers, whether the document must

        be shared or distributed electronically, technical symbol re-

        quirements, etc.

 

        One factor that influences the amount of centralized computing

        used by a department is the size of its computer allocation.

        This is a limited resource.  Computer allocations are distributed

        through the same decision making chain as ordinary operating

        budget allocations.

 

        The effectiveness of distributed printing was discussed.  Compat-

        ibility is a critical issue.  While printing on the IBM 3800 la-

        ser printers costs the University less than doing so on office

        laser printers like the IBM 3812 or HP Laserjet, other issues

        like higher quality output, convenience and personnel time are

        encouraging their widespread adoption.

 

        It was suggested that a comprehensive information center be es-

        tablished to support microcomputer users.  It was noted that the

        area PC user groups provide much of this kind of support.  Lim-

        ited personnel is currently the limiting resource.

 

        The inherent conflict between centralized controlled equipment

        and software purchasing and the needs of the academic community

        to experiment and make their own decisions was discussed.

 

        AGENDA ITEM 5:  ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA

 

        None

 

        A motion was made, seconded and passed to accept the revised

        wording of the resolution on software rights previously discussed

        and to recommend the proposed policy to the University Council.

 

        The next meeting will be held on February 3, 1988 at 3 p.m.  in

        the Library Board Room.

 

        The meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.

 

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