Meeting Minutes

February 21, 1997 Meeting

MEMBERS PRESENT: Craig Berry, Paul Hons, Tim Christian, Chris Strauss, Maurice Leatherbury (Chair), Ginger Boone, Jim Curry, Dallas Newell, Kelly Wood, Richard Harris, Ken Moffett (for Cyndie Harris), Rich Anderson, Sue Ellen Richey (Recording Secretary) 

MEMBERS ABSENT: Eric DuChemin, Mike Hatch, Robert Pierce, Abraham John, Bill Buntain, Cengiz Capan 

The minutes of the February 7, 1997 meeting were approved as published. 

Jim Curry said that there was no report from the Call Tracking System Subcommittee; however, he did state that two areas have asked to use the Microcomputer Maintenance Shop's system in the interim. He is planning to call a meeting of the subcommittee. 

Maurice announced that Mike Hatch has accepted the position in COBA replacing Phillip Chukwuma so has resigned as chair of the Desktop Operating System Subcommittee. 

Maurice introduced the subject of Year 2000 problems and issues as they relate to distributed computing support. Richard Harris explained that the Computing Center has been focusing on Year 2000 issues as they relate to mainframe computing, and he thought that this committee should take some time to look at this issue to be sure that PC-based computing is prepared for this. It was noted that some of the database applications would need to be updated to accept a four-digit year; and network managers should look at other specific applications used in their areas in case they need to be converted. Jim Curry pointed out that the only PC's that are compliant with the Year 2000 change-over are Pentiums and MACs. Richard stated that since the equipment upgrade plan has been approved, there will probably not be very many older PC's on campus by the year 2000. 

Maurice said that Bill Buntain could not be at today's meeting, so there was no official report concerning dial-up access and connectivity issues; however, Maurice reported that some problems with the Internet link to Dallas, and timing synchronization problems between UNTs router and one in Dallas have been fixed. He noted that there seem to be problems along the entire Internet system. Maurice also announced that the Sun web server is having problems, possibly due to a saturated switch. They are working on a solution. 

Jim Curry brought up the subject of notification of the distributed computing support areas whenever there is an outage. Everyone agreed that some procedure for notification should be developed and implemented as soon as possible. Maurice said he would work with Chris Strauss to establish such a procedure. 

Richard Harris announced that there is a new Computer Systems Manager position available in the Network & Microcomputer Support area of the Computing Center. The position will serve as a team leader and will be a very technical position that can play a proactive role in solving problems of outages as they occur. 

Richard also commented that there have been some problems reported regarding the interchangeability of Word 6.0 and WordPerfect 6.1. The group discussed some possible remedies . 

Tim Christian reported that Arts & Sciences has rolled out 200 new computers, so they are about half-way through the process. They have run into some unusual problems, and there have been some complaints from users, but Tim said that in spite of this they are continuing the upgrade process. They hope to be back to normal after March. Discussion continued regarding remote access to GroupWise and Richard said he would work with Tim if he wanted to give access to some A&S faculty. 

Richard also reported that he has been waiting for a diskette from Novell which will enable the hook-up of the new Netscape Commerce Server and the Novell SMTP gateway, which together will provide a reliable Internet gateway plus good secure web access. 

Craig Berry said his main problem lately has been to provide GroupWise on Macintosh machines but reported that he has received updates from Apple and Novell that have made that possible. Craig said he has been working with Randy Galloway on this problem. 

Paul Hons said he plans to do training on Windows 95 next week and the week following will do the first group of conversions. He is using GHOST and feels confident that the first group of conversions will go well. 

Jim Curry said MMS is currently working on upgrades to Pentiums for the College of Business. 

Ken Moffett reported that Physical Plant has lost four full-time people in the last three months; however, they are not having any computer-related problems at the present time. 

Kelly Wood of MUSIC reported that they have a full staff now and are still working on the split from SCS in order to become fully self-sufficient. They have completed the server upgrade with help from the NDS team. Their next big project will be to create a Windows volume and are planning their Windows 95 upgrade which they will do in late July or early August. They plan to do a Windows 95 test group right after Spring Break. 

Chris Strauss reported that they have been busy making changes to their Web Site, making all of the old URLs point to the new site. He suggested that everyone browse around the site and see all of the information available. 

Ginger reported that she is continuing to install Windows 95 on machines in her area. Her biggest problem is the user learning curve in beginning to use Office 97 products. Ginger asked if anyone had a set of procedures for checking out laptops. Maurice told her about a Property Custody Receipt that Property & Inventory requires for checking out any UNT-owned equipment. Paul Hons said they use a special form, attached to the Property Custody Receipt, so that the person checking out the equipment knows what all is included and can make sure everything is returned when they bring it back. 

Maurice reported having a problem with disk swap space shortage which prompted a message in Windows 95 indicating a shortage of memory. The message was misleading. Chris Strauss suggested installing Norton Utilities for Windows 95 or the Plus Pack to solve that problem. 

In response to a question about licensing for Office 97, Chris said that he thinks that when D.I.R. publishes their next price list that Office 97 will be the same price from them as Office 95 is now. Hopefully, even before that happens, Mike Wright will have a contract in place with a "Select" vendor to provide a site license. Richard Harris said he would talk with the people at D.I.R. about the fact that the Computing Center can get a lower price from a vendor directly than through them. 

Maurice announced that Duane Gustavus in ACS Unix support has resigned, so the Computing Center will have a position posted soon. 

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:15 p.m. 

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