Summary of the first (Thursday, November 11, 1992) of Microcomputer Support Staff on campus
Present: J. Baldwin (Libraries), M. Baycroft (Libraries), R. Blore (Hardware Services), H. Casbourn (Medicine), J. Dunkin (CCS), L. Flodorski (SSCL), J. Fracasso (SLIS), G. Harness (Campus Computer Store), D. Jones (CCS), B. Kay (Engineering), B. Mathers (DAS), C. Mills (Education), H. Morrin (DAS), M. Neville (CCS), E. Placko (CCS), A. Rasmussen (CCS), J. Steward (CCS), P. Westmacott (Epid. & Biostats)
Regrets: D. Goldstein (Education) K. Hoffman (CCS), D. Mills (Journalism), V. Tryphonopoulos (CCS), J. Winkler (CCS)
General Issues Discussed included:
The participants thought that it was a good idea to have this group meet periodically to discuss microcomputer issues.
There is a problem with not being able to go to a single place for information.
The possible ways that we could draw on each other's expertise was discussed. Ideas included producing a directory of our names, campus extensions, and areas of expertise, a mailing list, or a closed news group, as well as further meetings of this type.
There is a need to find a good presentation graphics package in many departments. Cost and support benefits of having one package across campus were discussed. It was suggested that this group could consider such packages and then recommend one to the campus community.
Some departments are concerned that they still have to access the IBM mainframe through a PACX connection rather than through an Ethernet connection, the way they access other campus mainframes. B. Mathers explained that for security reasons, that is the only way of accessing the IBM mainframe at present. B. Kay and C. Mills expressed strong interest in eventually eliminating their PACX connections.
The need for a central server with DOS applications that people can try out before actually purchasing was discussed at length. The possibility of departments donating pieces of software that they purchased for testing and then decided not to use was also suggested. It may also be possible to have evaluation copies of software available through this server.
The need for an accessible central database detailing the hardware and software available across campus was expressed by a few participants. J. Dunkin mentioned that an initial meeting will take place shortly to discuss Karol Eskedjian's proposal for UWO to participate in Novell's Education Account Purchase Program for Netware 3.11. He will report back to this group with the results of that meeting.
In early 1993, WordPerfect should be releasing WordPerfect 6.0 and WordPerfect Presentations (formerly DrawPerfect). Interest was expressed in the Campus Computer Store working through this group to negotiate a better price for these, and perhaps other packages. For this to work, G. Harness needs to know well in advance of the release of a product how many copies everyone will need. It is possible that if we all work together, the price for a package like WP 6.0 could be greatly reduced.
The possibility of each department hosting one of these meetings was discussed. A request for tours of certain computer facilities in these departments was made.
Agreement was reached on the following items:
This group should continue to meet, perhaps every second month. J. Steward and J. Govindarajan will organize the next meeting. Discussions will continue at that time as to how subsequent meetings might be organized.
Anyone not being able to attend a particular meeting is welcome to send someone else from their department, if possible.
Karol Eskedjian (Occupational Health & Safety) will be invited to join the group.
Everyone initially contacted about this meeting will be sent copies of this summary.
All members of the group will send their name, phone extension, and area of expertise to J. Steward (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible.
J. Steward will set up a closed newsgroup on CCS's VAX. The purpose of this newsgroup will be to disseminate information among the group and raise technical and policy questions as they arise.
M. Neville will arrange with G. Harness preparation of an article for the Western News discussing the virtues of educational pricing and site licences for educational software.
CCS and G. Harness will look into the possibility of setting up a server with both popular and occasionally used software as well as software for evaluation.
G. Harness will notify this group periodically about the availability of new releases of software.