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Academic Computer Services

CLUG Notes August 6, 2003

Attendees: Mustafa Rashid, Elmo Cooper, Lyn Eisenhour, David Winney, Kyle Berns, Josh Madakor, Jessica Wallace

Peggy Ross, Karl Camozzi, Becky Monroe, David Winney,  Pat Gales, Misty Cline, Kathie Richer, Lauri Kram, Susan Simons, Marti Baker, Charlotte Thomas, Paul Bladek, and Ginny Olson

ACTION ITEMS AS A RESULT OF MEETING:

  1. NEW PCs FOR COMPUTER LABS: There will be 72 new Micron computers with flat panel monitors that will be delivered during the quarter break for the fourth floor of LYN Hall.  In addition to the PCs, there will be new cabling and new switches installed on the fourth floor of LYN Hall.  Also, an additional 64 Micron PCs will be delivered which will go in ALD 101 and ALD 102.  The PCs that are currently in ALD 101 and ALD 102 will go in ALD 103 and ALD 105 to make them faster labs.
  2. REMOVAL OF NETSCAPE COMMUNICATOR: Charlotte Thomas has been assigned to help with the ACS software compliancy project.  While reading over the software licenses, it was discovered that all the features of Netscape Communicator including chat needs to be run in order for the software license to be effective.  Running all of the features of Netscape Communicator can cause some potential problems.  By dicing the program into parts and only running Netscape Communicator, it cancels the software license.  Marti Baker strongly objects to the removal of Netscape Communicator.  She says she has to have it for her class and have it installed in the labs for her students to do their homework and that there are huge differences between the other options and Netscape Communicator.  Karl Camozzi said that it would probably be discontinued in the near future.  Marti said that if it’s discontinued that’s one thing, but that she doesn’t want it taken off the PCs.  Karl will research other options, such as opera and AOL browser without it being connected to AOL.  Peggy will email Marti as ACS researches this issue.  ACS is glad to have Marti’s input.  ACS needs to know what problems its removal might cause.
  3. TESTING AVAILABILITY: Beginning next week, there should be a PC set up in SNO 103 for instructors to test software.  Because this room is kept locked, the instructors will need to contact ACS so one of the ACS staff can let them in to test.  Peggy will email the instructors about the PC testing machine.  The instructors will need to contact one of the ACS technicians if special configurations would be required.  There has been no progress on the .NET solution.  Pat is researching the classes that require swap drives and adjusting the room schedules accordingly.  Steve Higdon’s CMPSC 243 class’s final project is setting up images for the following quarter classes. 
  4. DISTANCE LEARNING FEES: The hybrid classes will not max out the computer labs.  If nested properly, the hybrids will allow more room in the computer labs. They will, however, reduce the lab fees to $20.00 minimum per class that means that ACS will loose approximately $900 on a five-credit class. Fees are based on the amount of time that a class is in the computer lab.  Distance Learning receives a $35 fee.  The purpose of this fee is to provide support for Blackboard for on-line classes.  The BSTEC classes are structured differently than the CIS/CMPSC classes.  Peggy does not know how many classes that could potentially move to hybrid classes.  Peggy would like the departments that use the computer labs and have the potential to move a class to hybrid to be aware of the impact of the loss of fees they could have on the ACS department.  There is also a rise in Blackboard support for classes that are not on-line classes, but the instructor has chosen to use Blackboard as a communication tool.  With the rise in Blackboard use in non-on-line classes, there are no additional fees attached for students using the system.  What does a student do for support?  The question of student support is in the process of being defined.  How does a student get support/help/answers when calling from off-campus?  The suggestion was to direct the student to the department/department chair.  Even though ACS is a service department where our goal is for “the student to come first”, there is the issue to consider that once ACS starts addressing computer questions from off-campus, that ACS could potentially be inundated with daily calls.  There is also a liability issue involved.  ACS does not have the staffing to deal with numerous daily in-coming phone calls about computers and computer programs.  Also, can hybrid classes really help the space issue unless there are massive amounts of classroom classes changed to hybrid classes?  These are issues that are still being addressed.
  5. OTHER BUSINESS: Marti Baker wanted to thank the ACS technicians for wonderful support during summer quarter.  Marti had serious problems when ATS came to audit her PC software on her office PC.  They ended up formatting her PC while she was on vacation, and she lost hours of work.  Peggy said that at the U of W their focus is to spend more time devoted to data recovery and less on data protection.

There were inquiries about the progress of the wireless network upgrades.  Anyone with questions about the wireless network should check with Scott Farrand.

Watch the ACS website www.edcc.edu/acs for current updates and changes.