Meeting Minutes

April 2, 1999 Meeting

Members presentTroy Bacon, Craig Berry, Ginger Boone, Sandy Burke, Tim Christian, Wil Clark, Jim Curry, Cyndie Harris, Mike Hatch, Kirk Kelly, Maurice Leatherbury, Ramu Muthia, Dallas Newell, Bruce Pollock, Robert Pierce, Chris Strauss, Kelly Wood, Mike Wright, Roy Zumwalt

Members Absent: Rich Anderson, Allen Bradley, Bill Buntain, Eric Duchemin, Paul Hons, Abraham John, Gary Matthews

Guests Present:  Joey Cranmore

The minutes of the February 19th, 1999 meeting were approved as written and the minutes of the March 5, 1999 meeting were approved with two changes.

Maurice outlined the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund grant proposal that is being written. It has three major components: upgrading Library computers and software, upgrading the campus datacomm infrastructure, and enhancing our distance education equipment, including providing multimedia development machines. He said that the college/school network managers had been contacted about their willingness to support distributed multimedia productions machines and most had agreed to take on that responsibility. The machines, which are intended primarily to produce distance education course materials, will be built and supported by Microcomputer Maintenance. They will have video and audio input and output, editing software, and will be accompanied by digitial video cameras. Academic Computing will be installing a streaming media server to deliver the content over the Web.

Maurice reported that the Campus Agreement purchase order had been typed and should go out that day.

The subcommittee to rewrite computing position descriptions has not been appointed yet, but Maurice said that he'd try to call it together as soon as he's finished with the TIF grant proposal.

Jim Curry led off a discussion of the Dell laptop purchase program by handing out statistics on the machines that had been purchased to date (119 machines,) showing the number of service incidents encountered per machine. Although Dell had said that they wouldn't be changing the machine architecture very rapidly, the fact is that the machines the campus has purchased represent six different models of the two classes of laptops. "Events" that required service calls by MMS ranged from broken latches on the screens, to coffee (or Coke) spilled on one machine's keyboard, to users' not knowing how to set the machine to show on external display devices. The majority of the machines had no events during the past year, but there were obvious clustering of incidents on particular machines. Jim reported that he had been quite pleased with the service that Dell had been providing on the machines (they send a technician to campus periodically to work on machines needing service.)

Jim asked the DCSMT's evaluation of the Dell purchase and support program, reminding everyone present that MMS had agreed to a one-year trial period during which it would support the program. Unanimously, the group said that the program had been a success since it provided a convenient way to purchase a class of machine that was needed on campus. However, the group did express concern about some of the problems that MMS had encountered with supporting the Dell machines, particularly those that were the result of user negligence or abuse. As a result of the discussions, the following actions were agreed upon:

Tim Christian raised the question of whether there was a need for a separate listserv for discussion of issues raised at the DCSMT. Others noted that the "netman" listserv was generally used to announce/discuss many of the same issues that were brought up at DCMST, but there was also some sentiment that netman didn't serve the same needs or constituents as a DCSMT mailing list would.  The consensus of the group was that we should establish a separate listserv, see if it was used and met a need, and decide whether to continue it after some experience was gained.

The meeting adjourned at 11:33am.

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