Meeting Minutes

January 17, 1997

MEMBERS PRESENT: Mike Hatch, Robert Pierce, Paul Hons, Tim Christian, Chris Strauss, Maurice Leatherbury (Chair), Ginger Boone, Jim Curry, Dallas Newell, Cengiz Capan, Mike Wright, Cyndie Harris, Eric DuChemin, Sue Ellen Richey (Recording Secretary) 

MEMBERS ABSENT: Craig Berry, Paul Dworak, Rich Anderson, Abraham John, Bill Buntain, Phillip Chukwuma 

The minutes of the December 5, 1996 meeting were approved as published. 

Paul Hons reported for the Call Tracking System subcommittee that a few people had met to see a demo of the SupportMagic help desk product. He said the product looked good on the demo. Several businesses in Dallas are evidently using the product; also the University of Texas Medical Branch and Univ. of North Carolina. The cost for a 12-user license would be around $30,000; which provides for that many help desk staff members to be logged on at the same time. Paul felt like the company might be willing to negotiate on the price. He stated that the product is a mid-range system. Paul has some demo packets for people to try out if they were unable to attend the demo meeting. Maurice stated that other alternatives need to be investigated. 

Mike Hatch reported that his sub-committee has not met but members of the committee have been working on some of the bugs of WinInstall with Windows 95, etc. Tim Christian is working with WinInstall with Windows NT and seems to be happy with it. Mike said he is hesitant to release it to the campus for general use for Windows '95 because of some unresolved questions. He expects to be ready for general release in about 2 weeks. The product is available if Network managers want to get it and work with it prior to general release. It was reported that Ghost software has already been ordered, with the Computing Center paying for 1/2 of it; GALC paying $1000.00 and the Colleges of Business Administration, Arts & Sciences, and Education paying $250.00 each. The rest of the campus will get it free. 

There was some discussion about these two software products. Tim Christian said that Ghost cannot be used with Windows NT; evidently there are some problems that cannot be fixed because of Windows NT's creation of a unique workstation identifier when it is installed. 

Cengiz Capan reported that the Desktop Applications Software Team has never met. He has made four attempts to get the members together and decided to abandon the committee. He asked for input from the committee as to what to do at this point. Discussion followed. Maurice pointed out that the original purpose of this subcommittee was to come up with some common application packages to standardize on for the whole campus. Eric DuChemin stated that it will be important for the implementation of the new purchase order system to have similar and compatible application products on staff computers that will be operating this new system. It was stressed that standardization of desktop applications is important from the point of view of support staff being stretched thin, as it is. Cyndie Harris reported that Standards and Cooperation Program Group is dealing with the issue of support staff roles, both central and distributed. Maurice urged Cengiz to try again to get the committee together, to deal with these important issues. He agreed to make another attempt. 

It was reported that the Windows 95 order is complete; with most of the copies having been picked up by departments who had wanted them. 

Maurice reported that there are now two T-1 lines connected to Dallas and working. However, Mike Hatch said there have been some problems. It was agreed that a report from Datacomm was needed on this subject. 

Jim Curry presented the subject of a minimum desktop machine for departments to order from the Microcomputer Maintenance Shop. He also asked the group for input about whether or not to continue offering both Windows 3.1 as well as Windows '95. The suggested minimum machine would be a 120 MHz machine, with 32 megabytes RAM, 15" monitor, sound card, 12X CD ROM, video card and speakers, a mouse, a 10/100 network card, a 1.4 megabyte floppy drive, a 1.2 gigabyte hard drive, and keyboard, which would cost $1400.00. There was discussion about this configuration. Jim explained that if someone does not want this particular configuration, they are free to pick and choose from a list of components and design a different configuration. The group voted to accept this suggested minimum configuration machine. The group also agreed, after lengthy discussion, that both Windows 3.1 as well as Windows '95 will be offered on the order form and the ordering party will choose which operating system they desire. 

Maurice asked Jim Curry to provide some information on the number of MACS, high-end workstations, and laptops in order to get an estimate of the cost of the 3-year upgrade plan being submitted by the Standards & Cooperation Program Group. Jim said he would work with Maurice later to provide the information needed. 

Mike Wright asked the group for input on pursuing a Microsoft Select agreement with a local vendor which would provide not only software, but consulting and training services. The three vendors he has contacted are Ameridata, Stream, and CompUSA. He also asked if the group would be interested in seeing vendor presentations of their services, in order to make a decision of which one to contract with. The group discussed the subject of training in the use of the new Microsoft operating systems. The consensus of the group was that Mike Wright should go ahead and make a decision about which vendor to contract for the Microsoft Select software and services, trusting him to get the best deal for the best price he can. They agreed that if there is a big benefit in cost to include training in the agreement, to go ahead and include that; otherwise, training could be done separately, as needed. 

Maurice announced that at the next meeting of this group NT server issues will need to be discussed. 

It was also announced that DS Expert software has been received, but not deployed. Ovee Rahman said the plan is to deploy it sometime in the next two weeks. 

The meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m. 

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