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December 4, 1991




                               Computer Committee

                         President's Board Room, Burruss

                                December 4, 1991

                                      3 PM


   PRESENT:     Don Allison, Jim Bishop, John Cosgriff, David Goodyear,

                Michael Finch (for Matthew Jackson), Dr. Allan Bloom

                for (Gerry McLaughlin), Carolyn Moore, Terry Rakes,

                K.B. Rojiani, Ernest Stout, J.R. Webster, Mike Williams


   ABSENT:      Erv Blythe, Darrell Bosch, John Burton, Jan Carr,

                G. Wayne Clough, Katherine Johnston, Harlan Miller,

                Mary Miller, Jay Stoeckel, Jeff Wilcke,


   VISITOR(S):  Lawrence A. Blankenship, Staff Senate Observer

                Ed Fox, Barbara Robinson, Bill Sanders, Computing Center





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

        November meeting.




        The Computing Center will be following its usual practice of low-

        ering interactive computing rates during the Christmas holidays

        in order to encourage use when activity is normally low.  Weekend

        rates (nine times less than daytime charges) will be in effect

        from December 21 through January 5.


        Betty Hillis, sole buyer in the Computer Purchasing Department,

        will be taking a well-deserved retirement at the end of December.

        She has done a tremendous job handling the large number of pur-

        chases which go through the small office.  Replacing her would

        always be difficult, but it is currently impossible with the hir-

        ing freeze.  Cooperation and patience will be required on the

        part of departments making computer purchases during this diffi-

        cult time.





        o   Personal Computer (Rojiani)


            The Personal Computer subcommittee met twice last month.  The

            first meeting was devoted to discussing an agenda.  The sub-

            committee set its first priority on investigation of how they

            might facilitate the use of PCs in the classroom, with spe-

            cific emphasis on multimedia.  Projected activities include

            identification of the equipment required and determining

            which individuals on campus are involved with multimedia.


            Issues remaining from last year, particularly the adminis-

            tration of site licenses, will continue to be pursued and

            other questions, such as the obsolescence of equipment, will

            be investigated if time permits.


            The subcommittee also met with John Moore from the Learning

            Resources Center (LRC) to learn more about multimedia equip-

            ment and software, as well as services provided by the LRC.

            Dr. Moore demonstrated several multimedia prototypes which

            his department is developing.


        o   Computer Capacity and Planning (Allison)


            The subcommittee expects to meet once this year, in January.


        o   User Services (Goodyear)


            The subcommittee expects to meet in January.


        o   Workstations (Rojiani)


            The subcommittee will send a letter to department heads ask-

            ing for names of individuals who are familiar with or have an

            interest in workstations.  A survey asking about hardware,

            software and support will be developed and sent to individ-

            uals identified through the letter.  Other subcommittee ac-

            tivities may follow, depending on the results of the survey.





        The needs and concerns for computing in the academic and adminis-

        trative communities are sometimes divergent.  Security require-

        ments, for example, may be different and can cause confusion.

        Also, the increasing use of networks may lead to security con-

        cerns for administrative groups, while researchers may regard the

        use of the equipment as a tool to be of greater interest.


        Mr. Goodyear suggested a subcommittee might discuss these differ-

        ences.  In the area of security it was noted that the task force

        which developed a policy for acceptable use last year felt that

        dissemination of the policy was an activity that deserved further

        attention.  It was suggested that the proposed subcommittee might

        be charged with that task.


        It was decided that this issue could appropriately be added to

        the charge of the User Services Subcommittee, which currently has

        members from both academic and administrative areas.  Represen-

        tatives from Communications Resources will be invited to join the






        A question was raised about the responsibilities of User Services

        for PC software support.  A list of supported software is avail-

        able on the INFO system on VM.  Support is available for specific

        packages which directly relate to central computing, such as com-

        munications packages, Kedit (which emulates the mainframe editor,

        XEDIT) and PC SAS.  While other software is not explicitly sup-

        ported, User Services will attempt to answer questions if exper-

        tise is available in the department and time permits.


        Questions relating to the purchase of software, including sug-

        gestions on packages to meet specific needs, should be addressed

        to Joe Kelley, the consultant in Computer Purchasing.  In addi-

        tion to his own considerable knowledge of hardware and software,

        Joe is able to draw on the experience of other individuals in the

        Computing Center and can locate users of particular software on

        campus through the department's database of purchases.


        It was suggested that a clearinghouse would be useful for facili-

        tating the interaction of users of particular software packages

        on campus.  Some national e-mail LISTSERV lists exist which focus

        on particular software applications such as WordPerfect, allowing

        individuals to communicate with others with similar interests.

        Successful operation of such groups requires someone to organize

        and lead the group.  The Center can set up such lists and publish

        their announcements in Fastline if an individual wishes to admin-

        ister such a forum.  The next issue of the LOG, a Computing Cen-

        ter publication, will have an article on LISTSERV.





        The next meeting will be held on January 8 at 3 p.m. in the Pres-

        ident's Boardroom.


        Meeting adjourned at 3:35 p.m.


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