Meeting Minutes

April 3, 1998 Meeting

Members present: Chris Strauss, Jim Curry, Cyndie Harris, Eric Duchemin, Rich Anderson, Kelly Wood, Ginger Boone,  Tim Christian, Maurice Leatherbury, , Robert Pierce, Allen Bradley

Members absent: Abraham John,  Bruce Pollak, Paul Hons, Bill Buntain, Eric Duchemin, Dallas Newell, Mike Hatch, Sandy Burke

Guests present: Nancy Spaid, Philip Baczewski, John Bradley

The meeting was called to order at 2:00 PM. 

The minutes of the March 6th meeting were approved as written.

Chris Strauss reported that he had given an overview of the Remedy call tracking system to the network managers meeting on Wednesday.  He said that he's about finished studying the changes that the latest version of Remedy contains over the previous version, and by the end of the month he hopes to have the system working at the Help Desk.  The implementation committee will have to meet to further define case categorization.  It was agreed that a three-hour training session for call center users will be adequate for initial rollout of Remedy.  Tim asked whether a one-month deadline to get the first version ready for use was realistic:  Chris responded that he hoped to have it ready by that time frame.  He still has some interface issues to iron out, including some screen design changes that his CECS class is working on. 

Maurice reported on the progress of the virus protection and metering subcommittee, saying that it had met just prior to the DCSMT meeting and would be going to CompUSA on the following Tuesday to see presentations from McAfee and Symantec.  The virus protection packages that were under consideration are F-Prot Professional, Norton Antivirus, McAfee VirusScan, Managewise's Intel LanDesk implementation, CA Inoculan (comes with ArcServe,) and Dr. Solomon's Antivirus.  Various subcommittee members have agreed to study one or more of the packages, with the whole committee looking at the Norton and McAfee products. 

Jim Curry led a discussion of the Dell laptop technology upgrade offer, asking the question "Do we want to participate in that plan?"  Jim explained that Dell isn't interested in small numbers of "trade-in" laptops and that we'd have to gather a large number of such machines to have a viable offer to Dell.   After discussion of the costs and benefits of upgrading through trade-in's of old laptops, the group decided to treat laptops the same as desktop machines, meaning that obsolescent machines will be handed down to users who can benefit from them and the machines will be allowed to "die a natural death."  The consensus was that the costs of trying to manage an upgrade program through Dell were not offset by the benefits we'd gain, particularly because we anticipate low trade-in values on existing laptops on campus.

Jim then reported that Dell would be bringing out a Pentium II, 266MHz version of our "research" laptop, and asked the group whether Micro Maintenance should sell that machine or continue with the current version. The group discussed the pro's and con's of changing the configuration and decided that we hadn't rolled out so many of the high-end machines yet that the new configuration would cause a problem, so we'll adopt the new machine.  The DCSMT members would like to review major configuration changes to the laptop offerings as they occur, particularly those that would require changes to the software setup on the machines (device drivers, etc.)

Chris Strauss asked how the distributed support units would be distributing the Office 95 software (which can be installed free of charge if users have Office 97 on their desktop machines.)  Sandy Burke has already gotten requests for home installation of the Office 95 product, so the question is how to do the installation which occupies several hundred megabytes of disk space.  Arts and Sciences and the College of Education have already made a policy of not servicing non-UNT machines, so the home installation isn't a problem for them.  Other departments do plan to allow the installation of Office 95 on faculty and staff home machines, though, and after discussion of the means by which to do that, it was decided that Chris would put the installation version on CC2 and let distributed areas create their own installation CD's, etc.

Tim Christian noted the growing concern in the trade press about shortages of computer workers and suggested that it may be time to request that Human Resources conduct a salary survey to insure that we're competitive with area employers for hiring computer support personnel.  The group decided that for the time being, it would be difficult to document an inability to hire because of salary differences, but that we'd keep an eye on the problem and request action if the problem becomes more evident.

The meeting adjourned at 2:45 PM.


Return to Distributed Computing Support Management Team Home Page.

Page last modified on April 30, 1998 by Philip Baczewski