Meeting Minutes

April 4, 1997 Meeting


MEMBERS PRESENT: Craig Berry, Paul Hons, Tim Christian, Chris Strauss, Maurice Leatherbury (Chair), Ginger Boone, Jim Curry, Eric DuChemin, Kelly Wood, Richard Harris, Robert Pierce, Bruce Pollock, Curry Searle, Cyndie Harris, Sue Ellen Richey (Recording Secretary)

MEMBERS ABSENT: Mike Hatch, Mike Wright, Dallas Newell, Rich Anderson, Abraham John, Bill Buntain, Cengiz Capan

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

Jim Curry reported for the Call Tracking Software committee that they have established a weekly meeting time. They are at a point of looking at major solutions, such as Lotus suites and Clientele. He said there are at least 100-150 solutions on the market and it will take quite some time to look at them all.

Maurice said he has not appointed a chair for the Desktop Operating System committee since Mike Hatch resigned, and asked for volunteers. Tim Christian agreed to chair this committee.

Maurice said he will serve as chair of the Desktop Applications Standards Committee and will try to get the members together to begin dealing with the issues involved in that area. He said the first issue they will deal with will be the standard for files being transferred via e-mail.

Not much progress has been made on a system outage notification system; however, Chris Strauss has been busy making some changes in the Help Desk in order to be prepared to deal with any procedure that is implemented. Chris explained the telephone changes he has made, stating that the new set-up should improve call transferring, and call response. One change will be for Chris and Ty Young to have a separate number that will be available to network managers to use. Chris has spent some time with Blair Copeland about a system outage notification system; he's not sure he has the time to set up something as complicated as Blair's and he thinks some call tracking software packages have a notification system built in. There was some discussion about the various paging systems available.

Tim distributed an interactive survey about Year 2000 readiness he found on the web (Attachment #1). Richard explained that there are designated persons working on the mainframe issues of this conversion for the Computing Center, and that the Distributed Computing Support Management Team is being counted on to deal with distributed computing issues related to the Year 2000 conversion. There are sure to be some common problems throughout the distributed areas, such as databases, spreadsheets, and computers of an older technology than the Pentiums. Maurice asked committee members to bring problems they encounter to this group for everyone's benefit in dealing with Year 2000 conversions. Maurice told the group of a Society for Information Management Year 2000 web site that Dr. Kappelman in the College of Business is heading up. That may be a place that can be used to publish information about this issue. Chris said he would post any information he receives about Year 2000 conversion on his Help Desk web page.

Maurice told the group that the Communications Program Group is proposing, to the IRC, a unified directory system for the campus. This will be a major project, which will involve getting information off the mainframe and tying it to the directory system, plus support services after it is in place.

Bruce Pollock reported that he and Curry have been busy moving people into the new building; and that next week they will be setting up for the NCAA.

Eric DuChemin reported that he is trying to finish product-selection for the APAP system.

Tim Christian reported that Arts & Sciences is finished with their roll-out and are doing clean-up now. They will have to go back and re-install the preliminary test group of machines. They plan to upgrade their servers and the network in the first summer session. Tim reported that they have had some problems with servers freezing up. Others in the group shared similar server freeze-up experiences.

Richard Harris announced that the Computing Center is interviewing for the team leader's position in the distributed computing systems group and will be bringing a couple of people on campus soon.

Jim Curry reported that his shop is continuing to work on computer upgrades for various departments. He said that he doesn't have many used machines for sale because most of the ones he has gathered up are going to be used for spare parts.

Kelly Wood reported that he has managed to move 99% of all of Music's users off of the SCS server. He is working on database creation and needs some expertise in that area to set up calendar scheduling for Music's classrooms. He explained that they don't see how they can use the GroupWise scheduler for this purpose because they want students to be able to schedule the rooms themselves and students don't have GroupWise accounts, as a rule. Kelly explained that there are a lot of security issues involved. Several suggestions were made by committee members.

Paul Hons reported that they are continuing with the rollout of Windows 95. He asked when the next Microsoft Select contract will be in effect. Sue Ellen Richey reported that the purchase order should go out next week, and that the legal contract has been to the University Attorney and returned with the attorney's comments already.

There was some discussion about establishment of standard spreadsheet packages and word processing applications. Maurice said that when the administration changes to a products in these categories and sends out documents to the entire campus in those formats, that will set the standard.

Robert Pierce reported that the Library has brought its new jukebox on line and it is in full production now. They are hoping to buy another one by the end of the year, and then another one later on. They are in the process of hiring a full time information technology librarian for applications development and training. Robert said that people should contact John Stanton in the Library to help with problems with the Library's CD ROM system.

Robert distributed a mission statement of the UNT Network Managers' Group (Attachment #2). The group is trying to become active again and asked for this committee's views about the relationship of that group to this committee. Ginger stated that she doesn't see this committee replacing the Network Managers' Group because it provides a forum for delving into the technical problems network managers have - more so that this committee does. Chris Strauss stated that the Network Managers' Group should provide input into this committee for decision making. Maurice said he envisions the NMG as working with more technical issues; whereas he sees this committee as working on policy. Robert said he would send e-mail to all DCSMT members in order to obtain their input on this subject.

Chris Strauss reported that he will be lose about half of his help desk staff this summer. He explained that all of his new help desk staff have to go through a 30-hour training program, during which they meet with the various people in the Computing Center to whom they will be referring calls. It was suggested that Chris take new employees to Microcomputer Maintenance as well. Tim suggested that this committee address the issue of training of new employees, at a future meeting.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.


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