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November 2, 1988

                                    MINUTES

                              Computer Committee

                     Burruss Hall Fourth Floor Board Room

                               November 2, 1988

                                     3 PM

 

 

       PRESENT:     Jim Thomas, Don Allison, Jeff Birch, John Burton,

                    Jeanette Cardamone, Randy Crockett, Bob Heterick,

                    Jim Hicks, Katherine Johnston, Harry Kriz, Tom

                    McAnge, Fred Medley, Harlan Miller, Jim Montgomery,

                    Jeff Nelson, Richard Sorensen, Jeff Wilcke, Michael

                    Williams

 

       ABSENT:      David Goodyear, Dennis Jones, Vernon Shanholtz,

                    Patrick Shelor, Ernest Stout

 

       VISITOR(S):  Erv Blythe, Rosie Higdon, Charles Nunnally

 

 

       AGENDA ITEM 1:  MINUTES OF THE 10/5/88 MEETING

 

       Motion made, seconded and passed to approve the minutes of the

       October meeting.

 

       AGENDA ITEM 2:  COMPUTING CENTER REPORT (WILLIAMS)

 

       The problems created for organizations such as the Computing Cen-

       ter by published reports of uninformed observations were dis-

       cussed.  The Spectrum account of a recent Faculty Senate meeting,

       where the proceedings of this committee were discussed, was used

       as an example.  The misinformation is costly, often impossible,

       to correct.  The frequency of occurrence of this problem is high.

 

       AGENDA ITEM 3:  SUBCOMMITTEES FOR 88/89 (THOMAS)

 

       The status of subcommittee membership was discussed.  Current

       composition stands as:

 

       o   Personal Computer

           Members:  Dean Sorenson, Butch Nunnally (Chair), Jeff Birch

 

       o   Unix

           No volunteers;  will be dropped if there are no volunteers.

 

       o   Computer Capacity and Planning

           Members:  Don Allison (Chair), Jim Thomas, Mike Williams,

           Gerry Gibbs, Kathy Johnston, Ernie Stout

 

           The subcommittee has met once and will be discussing computer

           usage levels and making recommendations on computing expan-

           sions, computing usage and cost recovery techniques.

 

 

       o   User Services

           Members:  Fred Medley;  subcommittee will be dropped if no

           further interest is expressed.

 

       o   Library

           Members:  Harlan Miller, Mike Williams, Harry Kriz

 

       Subcommittees will meet to select a chairman and organize an

       agenda to produce a report to the full committee.

 

       AGENDA ITEM 4:  IMPACT OF THE NEW TELEPHONE SYSTEM ON COMPUTER

       CONNECTIONS (BLYTHE)

 

       The students in the dorms are on the new CBX phone/data switch.

       There are currently 5,000 data connections going through the

       switch.  By December there will be 6,500 to 7,000 data con-

       nections.  Some of the load from the local area network will be

       moved to the switch which will significantly improve the perform-

       ance of the local area network.  The majority of academic and ad-

       ministrative offices will be cut over to the switch in November

       and December.  The new CBX system is 100% redundant to allow for

       reliability.  The power to the system is triply redundant to en-

       sure that service is always available.

 

       Electrical Engineering was put on the CBX in October as a pilot

       group.  Dr. Nunnally reported that they have been very pleased

       with the new services and have adapted to the new operations of

       the phone system.  Out-bound modems and analog lines are func-

       tioning fine.  The access to the library's VTLS system is easier.

 

       There have been two principal complaints from the students about

       the new phone system:

 

       o   There has been insufficient access for credit card calls.

           The number of trunks available have been expanded.  Since

           normal direct dial billing is significantly cheaper, the de-

           mand was somewhat unexpected.  To expand the service any fur-

           ther will require a local access charge.

 

       o   There have been a few problems with the billing of long dis-

           tance calls.  When the CBX was originally installed, C&P was

           not providing comprehensive answer supervision services.  The

           effect of this is that it is not possible to detect when a

           call is actually answered.  Any call over 45 seconds is being

           billed for;  consequently incorrect charges for calls which

           are allowed to ring for more than 45 seconds are being

           posted.  Industry standards for the assumption of an answer

           is 30 seconds.  CNS is working to have full answer super-

           vision services in place as quickly as they can.

 

           An active network of electronic bulletin boards has been es-

           tablished throughout the system with very wide participation.

           Some concerns about the appropriateness of some of the mate-

           rials which have appeared on the bulletin boards were raised.

           No action was suggested.

 

           The video system has also been well received by the students.

 

           Buildings which have been the sites of recurring local net

           problems will be converted to the new CBX data services in

           the initial cutover.

 

           A discussion of the fact that off-campus access into the cam-

           pus network will eventually not be free followed.  When CNS

           was established and split from the Computing Center 5 years

           ago, it was set up as a cost recovery center.  The free

           dial-in service which existed at the time was grandfathered

           in, with the Computing Center continuing to provide the ser-

           vice.  A consensus from this committee that the service would

           not be expanded, but would remain available as long as it re-

           mained viable, was reached.  Alternative pay-as-you-go access

           methods were endorsed.  Currently, Datakit services and 2400

           BAUD pay ($.02/min) dial-up services are available.  With the

           new digital switch, the old free dial-up modems are no longer

           viable and will be replaced by CNS operated in-bound modem

           pools.  It is possible for external access to the network to

           be made free, but this will require direct subsidies from

           other sources.  The general philosophy has been to go with

           user fees for communications services, so that those who use

           a given service, pay for it.  Since students in the dorms are

           paying for similar services, it appears inconsistent to not

           require similar recoveries for off-campus access as well.

 

           There is no good information yet on the extent of usage of

           the data lines in the dormitories.  A discussion of the moti-

           vation of faculty to make use of the extensive available data

           communication and computing services followed.

 

       o   University Self-Study - Bob Heterick

           Dennis Hinkle is charged with organizing a response to the

           self-study recommendations.  This committee has been assigned

           several recommendations for evaluation.  It is expected that

           this committee prepare a report by December 15 which states

           the committee's response to the appropriateness of its assum-

           ing responsibility for addressing the referred recommen-

           dations.

 

       Jim Thomas will survey the committee and prepare a response to be

       considered at the next meeting.

 

       AGENDA ITEM 5:  ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA

 

       None.

 

       The next committee meeting will be December 7, 1988 at 3:00 pm in

       Burruss 400.

 

       The meeting adjourned at 4:30 pm.

 

 

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