Meeting Minutes

April 16, 1999 Meeting

Members present: Rich Anderson, Troy Bacon, Craig Berry, Allen Bradley, Sandy Burke, Tim Christian, Wil Clark, Mike Hatch, Maurice Leatherbury, Dallas Newell, Bruce Pollock, Chris Strauss, Kelly Wood

Members Absent: Ginger Boone, Bill Buntain, Jim Curry, Eric Duchemin, Cyndie Harris, Paul Hons, Abraham John, Kirk Kelly, Gary Matthews, Ramu Muthia, Robert Pierce, Mike Wright, Roy Zumwalt

Guests Present: Richard Harris

The minutes of the April 2, 1999 meeting were approved as written.

Chris Strauss reported that a meeting of the Call Tracking committee was being called for April 27th at 3:30 to go over the status of the project and to set plans for the future. Training on FERPA as well as on the current version of Remedy has been developed for delivery on WebCT and is now available.

Maurice reported that the RFP for the Microsoft Campus Agreement had been sent out to be posted on the state bid board.

Maurice reported that he, Bill Buntain, and Patrick Pluscht had attended a meeting of universities and companies in the Dallas area sponsored by the Alliance of Higher Education.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of AHE establishing an Internet 2 gigaPOP for the north Texas region.  Representatives from UTD, UTA, SMU, TCU, UT Southwestern, UNTHSC, Alcatel, Nortel, and AHE were at the meeting that was held in one of the office towers in Las Colinas. Because AHE has a fiber "spine" connecting many universities in the area, the spine running from TCU to UTD, the universities that are already connected to the fiber line would not incur T3 costs to get to the gigaPOP, making the project more attractive to those institutions. UNT is not connected to the spine so would have to pay the approximately $150,000/yr. necessary to get to Dallas over a T3, but would benefit from sharing the Abilene connection costs with the other universities in the gigaPOP (approximately $120,000/yr.) In addition, AHE is exploring the feasibility and costs of connecting to an Internet backbone provider through their fiber spine, something else that UNT might be interested in participating in. AHE had asked for an expression of interest in pursuing the Internet 2 gigaPOP, and the UNT attendees indicated that we'd be participants.  AHE will contact the universities to get the names of task force members and will hold the meetings.

Tim Christian asked the attendees about what they were doing to license the various file compression/decompression programs such as WinZIP, PKZip, etc.  Mike Hatch responded that COBA has a site license for WinZip at $4.00 per copy: Tim remarked that PKZip would be $2.00/copy and InfoZip is free. Following discussion about the relative merits of the various products, Tim asked who would be interested in joining together to obtain a site license for WinZip.  Seven or eight of the attendees responded affirmatively, so Tim said that he would pursue the issue.

Kelly Wood opened a discussion of hourly technical support in the various colleges and departments, noting that there is a growing need for technical support of administrative uses of computers on campus. The College of Music, Kelly said, is underfunded for hiring the necessary personnel and asked whether a request for an increase in funding for all departments could come from the DCSMT.  Maurice then asked whether that issue would be appropriate for the committee on personnel issues to discuss, and the attendees decided to let that group make a determination of the need for increased funding for hourly computer support positions.

Chris Strauss raised the issue of high-level technical support for Microsoft software products, particularly the server products (NT Server, SQL Server, etc.) He remarked that the campus has a support agreement for Novell products and is able to call upon technical experts when we can't resolve problems internally, but we have no such support structure for the Microsoft products that are increasingly becoming important to our operations.   Maurice said that he'd asked Allen Bradley to get data on the costs of obtaining a support contract.

A question was asked about how various support units were going to handle students in the NDS tree, and that question led to to several other student computing issues such as how support will be provided in the dormitories once they're wired and why the general access labs have different desktop interfaces.  Since no other group on campus is working on those issues, Maurice said that he'd appoint a committee for that purpose and asked for volunteers. Quite a few of  the attendees subsequently volunteered and Maurice said he'd set the committee up soon.

The meeting adjourned at 11:20 am.


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