Meeting Minutes

June 6, 1997

MEMBERS PRESENT: Craig Berry, Tim Christian, Chris Strauss, Maurice Leatherbury (Chair), Ginger Boone, Jim Curry, Kelly Wood, Richard Harris, Ramu Muthiah (for Rich Anderson), Sue Ellen Richey (Recording Secretary)

MEMBERS ABSENT: Paul Hons, Mike Hatch, Cyndie Harris, Bill Buntain, Mike Wright, Eric DuChemin, Robert Pierce, Dallas Newell, Abraham John, Cengiz Capan, Bruce Pollock

Craig Berry requested that the following correction be made to the minutes of May 16th meeting:

Fourth paragraph on page two: "Craig also reported that he is looking into getting a site license for all Adobe products."

The minutes were approved with the correction.

Jim Curry reported for the Call Tracking System subcommittee that the committee met on June 5th. Tim, Cyndie and Rory reported on Remedy, which they had been working with separately. They came to some conclusions yesterday, and added more products to their study. They will no longer consider Magic Solutions, or Software Artistry. They are keeping Clientele and Remedy as possible out-sourced solutions. Tim Christian is looking at APriori for the committee and Robert Pierce will look at an Intel-based solution.

Maurice reported for the Desktop Applications Standardization Committee that they have been giving this issue serious consideration. He distributed a draft of a Standards document prior to the meeting (Attachment #1). Following the committee's approval of this document, it will be presented to the Standards & Cooperation Program Group. The document recommends that Word 6.0 be the standard word processing package to use for file transfer after January 1, 1998. Until that date, the standard is WordPerfect 5.1. The suggested direction is to go to Word 97; however WordPerfect 6.1 will be supported for a period of time, but support will not be provided for future versions of WordPerfect. In addition, support for DOS-based WordPerfect will be dropped at the end of calendar year 1997. At the present time there is no standard for databases, but the committee recommends Microsoft Access. It is suggested that users should check with their LAN managers on any departmental or mission-critical applications. Excel will be the spreadsheet standard; and the presentation package standard will be Microsoft PowerPoint. Discussion followed. Maurice pointed out that there is some opposition to this plan from the faculty. He is presently trying to find out the cost of a site license for WordPerfect from Corel. It was pointed out that the price difference shows up when you compare Microsoft's office suite and Corel's office suite. It was reported that COBA is the only department that has said they will continue to support both WordPerfect and Word. It was acknowledged that this issue will have to be reconsidered on a yearly basis. In summary, the group agreed with the sub-committee's recommendations based on the facts that: 1) it is too costly to support and teach two different products; 2) the Microsoft products work better with the Microsoft operating system; 3) the Corel suite is NOT integrated, whereas the Microsoft suite is; and 4) if everyone is using the same word processing package, there are economies of scale. Maurice asked members to look at the draft document again and let him know if they wish to make any changes. He plans to take it to the next meeting of the Standards & Cooperation Program Group meeting, and possibly to the June IRC meeting, if S&C approves it.

Maurice reported that he has not been able to work on the System outage notification process because of Chris being tied up in NT training classes.

Maurice reported having met with COMP USA, and various others to discuss a laptop, portable computer purchase plan. They discussed the financing issues, legalities, etc. of a lease/purchase agreement with COMP USA, but they did not go into the issues involved in a purchase/trade-in and maintenance agreement. His idea was to find an easy way to purchase laptops. Mike Wright plans to talk with Dell to see what process they have for purchase of laptops. There was some discussion about the pros and cons of setting up a laptop pool. It was mentioned that COBA has a crew of employees who support classroom equipment, who prepare and support about 6 different equipment set-ups for their faculty.

Richard asked for input from members on the use of Microsoft Project, as a project management tool. Chris reported that several places on campus are using this product, and that it seems to be simple enough to use without taking a class.

Tim stated that he was grateful for the message Mike Maner sent out about the internet outage. He asked that the Computing Center send a quick message to LAN managers until a paging system gets set up, just to let people know what is going on, whenever there is an outage.

Ramu Muthiah reported having upgraded the SCS labs to Pentium 200's and that Windows 95 will be installed at the end of June, with Pentiums and Windows 95 being compulsory by December, 1997.

Richard Harris asked if anyone was having problems with Groupwise receiving autoforwarded mail out of Pegasus. Craig Berry reported that he has had a lot of problems reported to him and he has done some testing with it, and found that when Pegasus messages are forwarded to GroupWise, GroupWise picks up only the part of the header that shows who the message was "resent from." So when someone replies to that message, they reply to themselves.

Tim announced that all Arts & Science faculty have top-level UNT e-mail addresses (such as "myname@unt.edu") now.

Jim Curry reported that he has been working with Tim on installation of his new servers. He reported having seen a drive deactivation problem, and he is not sure what is causing it. He asked the other members of the group to call him if they have problems of this nature. He also stated that he has been working with Allen Bradley on the GroupWise servers, in an attempt to make them more stable.

Craig Berry reported that he has ordered several new Pentium Pro servers, and is also trying to figure out how to get Windows 95 to function on 386's. He is also upgrading some of the equipment in his department.

Ginger Boone reported that she has received two new machines. Her department has received additional money so she is trying to decide how to use it; and she will try to upgrade PCs in the lab with more RAM. In June, LIS will begin renovation of two rooms for video conferencing, to serve as models for video conferencing setups on campus. There are plans to modify the Chilton Hall videoconference room this summer.

Chris Strauss reported having hired four new help desk personnel. Chris shared some problems that occurred related to servers, and gateways. Chris reported that the NT class he attended was very useful.

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


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