Meeting Minutes

May 2, 1997

MEMBERS PRESENT: Craig Berry, Paul Hons, Tim Christian, Chris Strauss, Maurice Leatherbury (Chair), Ginger Boone, Bill Buntain, Mike Hatch, Mike Wright, Jim Curry, Kelly Wood, Richard Harris, Cyndie Harris, Rich Anderson, Sue Ellen Richey (Recording Secretary)

MEMBERS ABSENT: Eric DuChemin, Robert Pierce, Dallas Newell, Rich Anderson, Bruce Pollock, Abraham John, Curry Searle, Cengiz Capan

There being no corrections to the minutes of the April 4th meeting, the minutes were approved as written.

Bill Buntain reported that he has hired a Manager for the Campus-wide Networking Team, and will next work on filling Mike Hatch's vacant position for desk-top support. The new manager is Allen Bradley; he is from El Paso and has owned his own company for several years.

Bill said he has put together an ad hoc group to look at the issue of implementing student accounts on the NDS tree, mostly dealing with general access labs. He also reported that after dealing with some issues regarding training, the Microsoft Select agreement is finally in place. Mike Wright explained that the agreement has four parts: 1) Microsoft Select, including all of the software available under the educational license; 2) training, especially for NT, but also providing options and special pricing on other training UNT may need; 3) technical support - initially providing a 100-call package of NT technical support; and 4) consultation services which should help with the integration issues to be addressed with NT and Netware. Mike stated that training opportunities are available now; he expects to receive CD Rom software for that purpose next week. He further explained that UNT can either set up classes here on campus or at the Lewisville Store, or in Dallas. Bill told the group he would get information out to committee members soon. He said he is going to get materials in, possibly be held in the library, for people who can't leave campus - both for the NCSE and for the CNE.

Bill further reported that the Computing Center Fiscal Team has decided to use Lotus Notes as the workflow front end for the Accounts Payable Automated Purchasing system. Also, Bill said the Computing Center has changed the configuration of the internet connection. They found out that there was a bottleneck between the GSC-managed router in Dallas and the GTE router. GSC has a plan to set up another point of presence atUTD, in mid to late May. Since UNT can't wait that long, earlier this week, they ordered and deployed a T1 connection directly from GAB to Southwestern Bell Internet service, as a way to have more stable performance.

Tim Christian pointed out that Arts & Sciences has a lot of grant-based activity on the web, which makes internet access very important to that school.

Maurice asked Bill to speak to the issue of GroupWise 5.x. Bill stated that earlier this week he lined out the priorities for the server group explaining that they are the critical factor in the complete migration to GroupWise, because there are still five areas that need to have the current version of GroupWise implemented. They have a couple of test servers dedicated to GroupWise, plus a couple of servers set up to test Netware 4.1. When he has a schedule for that, he will inform this group.

In response to a question about web access through GroupWise, Bill responded that it is pretty unstable. He has been attempting to get the Harding Group back here to go over these instability issues. There was some discussion about encrypted passwords and the security associated with that. Tim Christian said he was using a software product called Remotely Possible 32, which encrypts passwords. He said it worked quite well and gave the web site where a free trial demo can be obtained (www.avalon.com).

Jim Curry reported for the Call Tracking System Sub-committee that they have been looking at some viable software options; for example, SA Expert, at $120,000 (not including equipment). They have rejected canned Lotus Notes solutions because they won't meet UNT's needs. The group agreed that when the committee looks at writing an application, they will look at Lotus Notes again, as a way of writing one. Magic Solutions, is another possibility; they have a full demo set up in COBA with a show schedule on Thursday, May 8, 10:45 a.m., in BA 258. Mike Maner is setting up Remedy as a demo, which they expect to see the following week. Chris has been setting up the latest version of Clientele, as a possible solution. Last week, when the committee met, they looked at the issues of licensing. They originally thought that 36 licenses would meet UNT's needs, but in re-studying the issue, they believe 50 licenses will be needed. This is contrary to what Remedy told them so they have requested names of references, who are being contacted by Chris Strauss. They will continue to study issues related to licenses. Jim explained that when the committee does decide on an outside solution, they will use the price of that solution to compare with an in-house solution. Jim stated that he believes the committee has looked at, or is looking at, all of the viable options and will not be attempting to find others. Cyndie Harris remarked that she is entering all of the Physical Plant trouble calls on the Magic Solutions set up in COBA, in order to give it a really good test.

Tim Christian said he has not held a meeting of the Desktop OS Standardization committee. He shared his doubt that there is a real need for this committee; since, in his view, it is not possible to decide on a campus-wide standard desktop operating system. Maurice explained that initially this subcommittee was formed to look at the issues of Microsoft NT versus Microsoft Windows 95, and there was a short-term need to make a decision about that. Chris Strauss suggested that when NT5 and Windows 9.x are released it would be useful for the committee to meet and work on migration guidelines. Even though there is a position in the Computing Center set up to do this, it would be helpful for that person to have a committee to work with. Craig Berry suggested rolling the Desktop OS Standardization committee and the Desktop Applications Standardization Committee into one. Maurice agreed to combine the two subcommittees.

Maurice reported for the Desktop Applications Standardization Committee that the group has met twice and has developed a draft of standards for word processing, and other applications. The group came up with a recommendation for standardizing on Microsoft Word 6.0 for sending shared files across campus by the end of this year, and that by the end of 1998 the standard would be Word 97 (or its successor). The Chair of the Faculty Senate, who is a Word Perfect advocate, heard of this and exclaimed that WordPerfect could not be dropped. The committee met again and decided that WordPerfect could not be dropped. Maurice said he would talk with Corel about licensing issues for just WordPerfect, without the rest of their suite of products. The committee will meet again in 3 weeks, with a new draft of a recommendation. There was some discussion about this, which included the problems of supporting several different word processing applications, as well as the difficulty in getting people to change over to a new word processing application. Maurice said the committee will continue to grapple with these issues and he hopes to have a recommendation to bring to this committee by the end of the summer. Maurice asked DCSMT members to let him know what they hear about this issue from their department staff and faculty. In further discussion, it was suggested that the issue be approached from the standpoint that this committee was assigned the task of determining the best product for the task, and it has decided upon Microsoft Word; therefore, that is the supported software. It can be made clear that people who continue to use other word processing packages will not be able to obtain support for those packages. Maurice took a straw poll of the committee with the following results: 5 areas currently are, or will support both WordPerfect and MS Word, 3 areas currently are, or will support Word but will allow WordPerfect, and one area will support only MS Word.

Maurice said there has not been much progress on the system outage notification process. He has talked with Chris and has thought about it, but has had other pressing priorities.

Chris Strauss reported that MAC anti-virus has become an issue. He said that the Computing Center has kept up to speed with FPROT, but he has had to buy Symantec's anti-virus for Macintosh to handle some of the viruses that have cropped up. He asked anyone who is having problems with Mac viruses to talk with Eriq Neale.

Maurice announced that the Graduate School has been looking at the issue of electronic transmission of theses and dissertations and they have drafted a report recommending that by the end of this year that the Graduate School will accept electronic submission of theses and dissertations in pdf format. That means another format to support, at least in some of the labs.

Maurice also announced that in the Teaching with Technology Workshop, Mark Wilcox will be teaching web authoring, using Front Page, 1997 version.

Tim Christian reported that his area is gearing up to replace six of their file servers with Pentium 90s. They are also changing their network to afford more reliability.

Craig Berry reported that he is dealing with Adobe issues; but is preparing an order for Illustrator/Dimensions and Streamline. He is beginning to make plans for rolling out the 32 bit OS; though he still hasn't decided whether it will be Windows 95 or NT.

Paul Hons said he is continuing the Windows 95 rollout. He said one of Education's old buildings has finally been taken off of thin-net wiring and is on twisted pair now.

Mike Hatch reported that he has been working in COBA for a month and said they are planning a migration of all faculty machines, as well as student labs, to new hardware and a new OS beginning May 12. All labs are currently wired with COAX and they plan to re-wire with twisted pair this summer.

Jim Curry announced that he is working with Tim Christian to re-cycle his old machines and upgrade his 6 servers, and is getting ready for the 182 PC upgrades in COBA.

Rich Anderson said he is preparing for Windows 95 implementation by the end of the summer. He is training new student workers at the present time.

Kelly Wood reported that they have a room full of MACS for labs which they plan to install over the break between Spring and Summer sessions.

Cyndie Harris reported that they are beginning the process of re-doing their in-house software inventory control and work control. They anticipate it will take five years to complete that project.

Chris Strauss reported that he has hired three replacements for graduating student workers and will be training them over the next few weeks.

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m.


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