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October 10, 1990


                            Computer Committee

                   Fourth Floor Burruss Hall Board Room

                             October 10, 1990

                                   3 PM



    PRESENT:     Ed Fox (for Don Allison), John Burton, Joseph Cochran,

                 John Cosgriff, David Goodyear, Gerry McLaughlin,

                 Fred Medley, Mary Miller, K. B. Rojiani,

                 Richard Sorensen, Jay Stoeckel, John Hoernemann

                 (for Ernest Stout), J. R. Webster, Mike Williams


    ABSENT:      Darrell Bosch, Bob Heterick, Katherine Johnston,

                 Terry Rakes, Jeff Wilcke


    VISITOR(S):  Barbara Robinson and Bill Sanders (Computing Center)

                 Butch Nunnally, College of Engineering





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

        September meeting.




        User Services has initiated more focused support for continuing

        problems with microcomputer viruses on campus.  Anti-virus tools

        are now available in the Center's computer labs, and User Ser-

        vices consultants can offer help in identifying viruses and using

        the tools.


        IBM has announced a supercomputing contest with a $25,000 first

        prize.  It is designed to encourage high end use of the vector

        facility on the 3090, but distributed approaches that interact

        with the 3090 are also included.  Details are available in the

        October 4, 1990, issue of Fastline.


        In keeping with the Center's emphasis on reducing the flow of pa-

        per on campus, Fastline, the Center's weekly news bulletin, will

        now be published exclusively on-line.  Access has been enhanced

        through a new, easier to use utility, available on all mainframes

        through the FASTLINE command.  Those whose home-based computing

        is not on one of the Center's mainframes may subscribe to a

        LISTSERV service which will deliver an electronic copy each week.

        A facility to automatically display on VM any issues that have

        been published since the last login is also available.


        Some adjustments have been made to delivery of computer output on

        the weekend midnight shift, resulting in decreased service to

        some buildings.  Resources devoted to delivery of output, how-

        ever, remain extremely high.


        The Computing Center has issued an IFB for a high-function TCP/IP

        terminal server that will allow asynchronous devices (such as

        terminals) on the CBX to access Internet hosts on Virginia Tech

        networks.  External Internet users will also be able to use it to

        get to the CBX to access such services as VTLS.  SLIP, a serial

        line Ethernet connection, will also be supported.


        Problems with evening dial-up access were raised.  This is caused

        by a shortage of trunks and modems, which is under the purview of

        Communications Resources, where budgetary concerns have necessi-

        tated some cuts.  It was noted that the problem will compound if

        users begin to worry about getting a connection and protect them-

        selves by staying connected for long idle periods.




        Volunteers were solicited for membership on the three subcommit-

        tees, Personal Computers, Computer Capacity and Planning, and

        User Services.  As of yet no subcommittee has a charge, with the

        exception of the Personal Computers subcommittee, which will be

        acting as an interface with the University Bookstore.




        Proposal for the Committee


        The chairman is preparing a draft proposal for medium range plans

        for computing systems at VPI&SU.  He feels a formal examination

        of directions would be useful, especially in light of the current

        budget situation and expects to make a preliminary document

        available as a basis for discussion in the next few months.





        The next meeting will be held on November 7 at 3 p.m. in Burruss



        Meeting adjourned at 3:29 p.m.

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