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October 6, 1993

 

                               MINUTES

                         Computing Committee

                    Information Systems Building

                           October 6, 1993

                               3:30 PM

 

 

  PRESENT:     K. B. Rojiani, Sean Arthur, Earving Blythe, John

               Burton, David Goodyear, Tom McAnge, Harlan Miller,

               Frank Schima, Peter Shires, John Tombarge, Michael

               Williams

 

  ABSENT:      Gregory Brown, Scott Johnson, Katherine Johnston,

               George Libey, Gerry McLaughlin, Bhaba Misra, Terry

               Rakes, Lawrence Skelly, Jay Stoeckel, Ernest Stout,

               D. B. Taylor

 

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

 

 

  AGENDA ITEM 1:  MINUTES OF THE SEPTEMBER 1 MEETING

 

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

  September meeting.

 

  AGENDA ITEM 2:  COMPUTING COMMITTEE ANNUAL REPORT, 1992-93

  (ROJIANI)

 

  Motion made, seconded and passed to approve the Computing Commit-

  tee Annual Report, 1992-93.

 

  AGENDA ITEM 3:  COMPUTING CENTER ANNOUNCEMENTS (WILLIAMS)

 

  IBM has announced they will drop support next year for the old

  versions of VM and MVS which are running on our central

  mainframes.  Our hardware is too old to run newer, supported ver-

  sions of the operating systems.  While the Computing Center is

  actively working toward a more distributed computing environment,

  dependencies on mainframes will continue to exist for several

  years.  On VM1, for example, an average of 6500 different userids

  log on each week.  Since some administrative applications, such

  as those for accounting, must continue to change to meet state

  and federal requirements, operating system support is critical to

  assure systems can continue to accommodate those changes.

 

  The problem is most precarious for MVS, which runs on the oldest

  machine, an IBM 3084.  Committees in the Computing Center are ex-

  amining the dependencies and interdependencies of mainframe sys-

  tems and are likely to recommend a used machine be purchased to

  replace the 3084.  Such an upgrade would not be a major purchase

  on the scale of previous mainframe procurements.  Used hardware

  is relatively inexpensive and the objective would be a minimum

  upgrade which would allow the Computing Center to run supported

  software in the interim while migration to distributed systems

  proceeds.  Implementing an upgrade would be a major project, how-

  ever, which would require significant systems programming effort,

  and the user community would need to make changes as well.

 

  There is some concern that the purchase might be misinterpreted,

  and the committee was encouraged to convey to the University com-

  munity that an upgrade in the traditional sense will not occur.

  Any purchase would besolely to minimize immediate risk for crit-

  ical transaction systems.  The Computing Center continues to ag-

  gressively pursue and support migration from mainframes.

 

 

  It was suggested that owners of mainframe applications be

  formally asked to initiate planning for their own migration.  A

  proposal will be drafted for the next meeting.

 

  AGENDA ITEM 4:  SUBCOMMITTEE REPORTS

 

 

  o   Site License Subcommittee (Robinson)

 

      The subcommittee met in mid-September and discussed how ac-

      tivities might be better publicized.  There have been arti-

      cles in Fastline and Spectrum and a direct mailing to deans,

      directors and department heads.  A small scale effort by Bob

      Sumichrast, chair of the committee, to put flyers in 150 fac-

      ulty mailboxes resulted in five inquiries within a few days.

      This effort may be expanded.

 

      Proposals for this cycle were due September 30 and the sub-

      committee will meet soon to consider them.  Awards will be

      made by October 18.  The next deadline for proposals will be

      February 7, and publicity for that cycle will begin in early

      December.

 

      Two pending proposals were also discussed.  One is for a vol-

      ume purchase of Acrobat, software which allows users to view

      documents even when they don't have the application that cre-

      ated it, and the other is a new Microsoft program which is

      similar to the WordPerfect plan already in place.  Bob

      Sumichrast has been talking to the bookstore and other ven-

      dors about managing the Mircosoft distribution, and he hopes

      to have something in place by the end of the year.

 

      The status of several purchases from last year was also dis-

      cussed.  The Computing Center is now distributing

      Mathematica, about 300 copies to date.  Approximately $20,000

      of Word Perfect software has been purchased by departments

      and is being distributed.  This is a fairly labor-intensive

      process but seems to be very well received on campus.

 

  o   Other subcommittees

 

      No other subcommittee meetings were held.

 

  AGENDA ITEM 5:  COMMITTEE ISSUES AND SUBCOMMITTEES (ROJIANI)

 

  The current subcommittee structure has been somewhat ineffective

  and a transition subcommittee will be appointed to suggest

  changes.  It is hoped the Computing Committee can become more

  proactive, rather than concentrating on acting as a conduit for

  information transfer.  Ad hoc subcommittees formed to address

  specific pressing issues may be more effective in helping this

  occur.  With this in mind, a motion was made, seconded and passed

  to dissolve all existing subcommittees, excepting the Site License

  Committee.

 

  AGENDA ITEM 6:  ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA

 

  None.

 

  The next meeting will be held on November 3 at 3:30pm in confer-

  ence room D in the Information Systems Building.

 

  Meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.

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