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May 1, 1991

                                   MINUTES

                             Computer Committee

                    Fourth Floor Burruss Hall Board Room

                                 May 1, 1991

                                    3 PM

 

 

      PRESENT:     Don Allison, John Cosgriff, David Goodyear,

                   Bob Heterick, Bea Mahan (for Katherine Johnston),

                   Gerry McLaughlin, Harlan Miller, K. B. Rojiani, Richard

                   Sorensen, John Hoernemann (for Ernest Stout), J. R.

                   Webster, Jeffrey Wilcke, Michael Williams

 

      ABSENT:      Darrell Bosch, John Burton, Joseph Cochran,

                   Joan McClain-Kark, Fred Medley, Mary Miller,

                   Terry Rakes, Jay Stoeckel

 

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

                   Ed Fox, (Computing Center/Computer Science)

 

 

      AGENDA ITEM 1:  MINUTES OF THE APRIL 3, 1991 MEETING

 

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

      April meeting.

 

      AGENDA ITEM 2:  APPROPRIATE USE DRAFT POLICY (FOX)

 

      The appropriate use policy is comprehensive but not detailed.

      The task force recommended that educational efforts be initiated

      and that details and examples of appropriate behavior should be

      included in those activities.  It was recommended that individ-

      uals sign a statement indicating they've received and understand

      the policy whenever they apply for a Computing Center resource

      and that new employees also be provided with a copy.

 

      The Communications Resources committee will consider the policy

      at their next meeting.

 

      Motion made, seconded and passed to endorse the appropriate use

      policy as drafted.  The endorsement will go forward with the min-

      utes to University Council.  Computer Committee members will be

      asked to electronically approve the minutes when distributed in

      order to expedite the process.

 

      The task force will recommend details to be included in the edu-

      cational initiative.

 

      AGENDA ITEM 3:  COMPUTING CENTER ANNOUNCEMENTS (WILLIAMS)

 

      The Computing Center has established a contract with ANS (Ad-

      vanced Networking Services) to provide a direct high speed link

      to the NSF backbone from Virginia Tech.   ANS is a commercial

      vendor with ties to MCI, IBM and MERIT and offers potential for

      high quality service and upgrades.  Installation is expected by

      the end of the summer.

 

      A high-end workstation with power comparable to one processor on

      the 3090 will be purchased by the Center to connect to the net-

      work as a compute server.  It is hoped the machine will provide a

      modicum of relief to the current overload of the batch facility

      on VM1.  It will also serve as a test bed for the expected tran-

      sition to smaller powerful machines which are becoming available.

      A subset of VM users with appropriate jobs will be identified and

      asked to participate in the project this summer.

 

      AGENDA ITEM 4:  VISION STATEMENT DRAFT (COSGRIFF)

 

      The first section of the draft, which describes the desired in-

      formation systems environment, was discussed point by point.  It

      was observed that current funding problems make predictions spec-

      ulative and that the vision should describe needs rather than ex-

      pectations.  In addition, providing hardware is not enough to

      effect substantial change, for ways to motivate faculty and stu-

      dents to use the hardware must also be found.  Since electronic

      technology can help limit costs, the current budgetary environ-

      ment should encourage its adoption.

 

      The vision statement will be modified to reflect the discussion

      and a new version will be distributed to the committee this sum-

      mer.  The second section of the document, which describes prob-

      lems and issues, will be placed on the committee's agenda next

      fall.

 

      AGENDA ITEM 5:  SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

 

      1.  Computer Capacity and Planning Subcommittee (Allison)

 

          A summary of comments from the survey was distributed, along

          with the subcommittee's conclusions.  The subcommittee feels

          that mainframe support should be maintained close to current

          levels, but that additional requirements should be met

          through high performance workstations.

 

      2.  Personal Computer Subcommittee (Sorenson)

 

          Contact with Virginia Tech Facilities continues.  The

          bookstore will attempt to maintain its 5% markup on mandatory

          computer purchases.  The committee feels the current 7-7.5%

          markup for other computer sales is also reasonable.  A calen-

          dar outlining important dates will be developed to allow co-

          operation between the bookstore and departments with student

          computing requirements.

 

          Site licensing issues have not been resolved.  The bookstore

          is unwilling to make decisions regarding the choice of li-

          censes or provide the funds to support the activity.  The

          subcommittee has asked the Provost to consider the problem.

 

      AGENDA ITEM 6:  ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA

 

      The United States House and Senate are currently considering a

      high performance computing initiative which would increase fund-

      ing for computing in systems, software, high speed networks

      (NREN) and basic research in human resources.  Virginia Tech has

      been actively supporting this.

 

 

 

      The next meeting will be held on September 4 at 3 p.m. in Burruss

      400.

 

      Meeting adjourned at 4:40 p.m.

 

 

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