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September 30, 1992


      Minutes of the University Communications Resources Committee



  Date & Time:      Wednesday, September 30, 1992 @ 3:00 pm

  Location:            206 Sandy Hall


  Present:             Fred  Bailey,  David  Bevan,   Earving  Blythe,

                       George  Crofts (Chairman),  Jim Evans,  Ed Fox,

                       Carolyn  Furrow,  Gail  Gray, Bernard  LaBerge,

                       Judy  Lilly,  Charles  Litchfield, Tom  McAnge,

                       Lenwood  McCoy,   Mark  Sanders, Arthur  Snoke,

                       Matt Swift (for Katherine Johnston)


  Guests:              Phil Benchoff,  Phil (Theta) Bowden,  Tom Head,

                       Mathew Mathai



  1.      Introductions of the members  initiated the first meeting of

          the new academic year.


  2.      The April  minutes, having  been approved by  e-mail ballot,

          were received by the  University Council.  Thus  no approval

          at this meeting was necessary.


  3.      Blacksburg Electronic Village - Update:

     >    Phil  Bowden  reported  on activities  associated  with  the

          Blacksburg Electronic Village project.

     >    He mentioned  that Robert  Heterick would leave  the project

          when he takes the position  of president of EDUCOM in  Janu-


     >    Discussions with C&P continue.

     >    A  "beta-test" of  DOS  software related  to the  project is

          scheduled.   A student  computing group has  offered to help

          with the test.

     >    The new residence hall  under construction will have "ether-

          net" installed.  All existing  residence halls will be  con-

          verted  to ethernet installations  within the  coming years,

          likely within  five years.   This  new  data connection  has

          implications  on the  configurations of  microcomputers stu-

          dents should bring to campus.


  4.      Network Security:

     >    Phil Benchoff distributed a primer on network security.

     >    He  stressed that  having  an ethernet  hook-up exposes  the

          device to security challenges.   "Hackers" use sophisticated

          programs to invade devices on the network.

     >    Education can  help individuals and departments  protect the

          materials in their devices.

     >    Keeping passwords secret is still the first line of defense.

     >    Snoke  suggested that  those who  want  ethernet connections

          should  pass through  a "ritual"  before being  approved for


     >    This  topic will  surely  return for  additional discussions

          over the years.

     >    Mathew Mathai spoke  about the "datalock 4000,"  a device in

          the  chain of  devices for  modem users.   It  allows better

          security for the CBX network.  It should allow the recording

          of statistics on the quantity of modem use.


     >    Lilly mentioned  the need  for greater  phone-mail security.

          Users should not continue to use the default password.  That

          will allow others to access and misuse their system.


  5.      Rate Structure:

     >    Judy Lilly gave  statistics on the  changes in data  connec-

          tions  following the rate change.  From May 8 to-date, there

          were 300 CBX data and 500 10baseT connections added; 197 CBX

          data connections were moved.  These indicate good acceptance

          of the change.

     >    Objections to  the new  rate involve charging  per computing

          device  that can "see" the network.  This has caused consid-

          erable cost  increases in  some departments that  have large

          internal networks.   CNS  is continuing  to work  with these

          departments to see if  alternative, but equitable approaches

          are appropriate and possible.

     >    Metering  data traffic as a charging scheme is possible now,

          but will remain impractical for some time.

     >    A future  topic for  this committee should  be communication

          technology  to classrooms.   This issue will  fall under the

          preview of the new Enrollment Services program.


  6.      Faculty Network Access, Call for Questions to Subcommittee:

     >    A subcommittee  will investigate  faculty network  access to

          the data network.

     >    Members of the committee  are Litchfield (chair), Fox, Hunt-

          er,  Lilly, Snoke, and Swift.   This committee will investi-

          gate  possibilities  of assuring  all  faculty  access to  a

          computing network.



     The final two items of  the agenda (7. Phase II responses  to the

  budget cuts in information  systems, and 8. Confidential mail)  were

  postponed to the next meeting, on October 28.


     The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.



     (Minutes prepared by George Crofts and Desiree Dolan.)


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