Meeting Minutes

August 7, 1998 Meeting

Members present: Kelly Wood, Jim Curry, Chris Strauss, Paul Hons, Tim Christian, Maurice Leatherbury, Craig Berry, Rich Anderson, Robert Pierce, Sandy Burke

Members absent: Abraham John, Bruce Pollock, Bill Buntain, Eric Duchemin, Cyndie Harris, Gary Matthews, Ginger Boone, Dallas Newell, Mike Hatch, Curry Searle

Guests present:  Mike Wright, Pat Evans

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

The minutes of the July 17th, 1998 meeting were approved as written.

Tim Christian reported that Remedy training and startup are continuing, with all of the large support areas having gone through the ramp-up.  Some of the smaller support organizations such as the Registrar and Physical Plant remain to be brought into the system.  More than 2,000 actual tickets are in the system now, an increase of about 1,000 over the previous month and in a relatively slow period for computing support on campus.

Pat Evans, in response to questions about the Ghost license, reported that an upgrade of the product would cost just under $400.  He had given the quote to Bill Buntain in the previous week and the upgrade should be on order soon if not already.

Tim opened a discussion about software licensing on campus with the observation that our current process is difficult, particularly for Mike Wright who manages the Microsoft Select and Adobe licenses. Tim wants to see if a better procedure, such as a Web database or Remedy, could be adopted to simplify the ordering and tracking of licenses. Mike Wright gave a history of site licensing tracking on campus, which involved Novell Netware and Wordperfect, and he enumerated some of the problems we're facing now:  the College of Arts and Sciences bundle that MMS sells can't be tracked to the purchasing department; Microsoft has greatly expanded the number of products offered, many of which have numerous versions that we have to track; and other similar problems.  After some discussion, the DCSMT members in attendance agreed that a database to track software licenses on campus is desirable but there is no support unit on campus that currently is able to develop the system.  Tim stated that he would continue to pursue solutions to the problem.

Chris Strauss reported that our Remedy licenses are being "used up" in the sense that we're utilizing all of the floating licenses that we purchased.   He estimates that we'll need five to ten additional licenses to satisfy the anticipated demand within the next year.

Maurice raised the question of the need for continued support for Windows 3.1, particularly in the context of the development of a new Internet software installation package that Ty Young is developing.  Several attendees said that Win 3.1 is still in use in their areas or they know of other areas on campus that still run the operating system.  The consensus was that we'd need to continue support for at least another year.  However, it was emphasized that Win 3.1 is not Year 2000 compliant and that departments will have to replace it by that year.

Jim Curry reported that he is unable to obtain the older Pentium chips any longer and that Pentium II, 300 MHz chips are the minimal processer he can now get. Consequently, that's the lowest model on the MMS order form at this time.  He expects to be able to start supplying the Celeron chip soon as a lower-cost option and questioned whether anyone had any objections to that configuration.  No objections were raised.

Jim then noted that Windows 95 doesn't natively support all of the hardware options that we now supply through MMS, thus requiring many additional software installations of device drivers and configurations of the operating system to take advantage of the advanced hardware features of the new machines. Windows 98, on the other hand, does have built-in support for the hardware and the College of Education now specifies the new OS be on the machines they purchase from MMS.  Jim then asked whether Windows 98 should be listed as an option on the workstation order form, which would amount to a de-facto statement that Win 98 is a supported software option on campus.   It was pointed out that at the previous DCSMT meeting, the majority of support managers had said that they would not be rolling out Win98 for some time, if ever.   However, with the new information that Jim supplied at this meeting, the attendees agreed that we should adopt Win98 for new MMS machines, with the stipulation that the user interface that is installed be as close to Win95 as possible. Each support area can decide whether it wants to upgrade other machines to the latest OS. Both Win95 and Win98 will be listed on the MMS order form but the recommended OS on new machines will be Win98. We'll need to notify the user community of this change to campus practice.

The meeting adjourned at 3:30 PM.

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