CIT Meeting Minutes

2/3/05

 

In attendance: Stan Thomas, Jay Dominick, Susan Smith, Peter Ayoub, Richard King, Bill Marcum, Kurt Shaw

 

Topics for Discussion

 

Virtual Campus availability

 

The committee discussed the problem of the availability of the Virtual Campus during registration periods. Jay reported that IS will fix problem, although probably not this spring. Currently the Virtual Campus Web front end points to an HP 3000server. All student transaction records go through here. The system has a maximum of 25 users. In addition, the database being used is hierarchal, not relational. It is being replaced with a new system. March 24 registration for fall will be in the new system. Advising for summer 1 or 2 will be old system. Graduating seniors will stay in the old system until they go. Policy issues such a time assignments and length of registration will be decided by the Registrar’s office.

 

We discussed problems with the Wait List functionality as of the first day of classes; faculty could not see individual lists by class. This will be corrected.

 

Wireless Issues in the Classroom

 

We discussed problems that are taking place when trying to use wireless in a classroom situation. The paragraphs below summarize the problems as reported by Giz Womack (sent email memo that was distributed at the meeting.

 

“At the last TTF meeting, the following issues came up, I've tried to streamline them into three big issues:

   * Students often go WEEKS without rebooting. This means they are not
     getting the regular updates via the login script.
   * These same students, when they do reboot, NEVER use the wired
     network, some have not been on a wired connection since that first
     wired boot of the computer. As a result they miss many updates
     that require a wired connection!
   * Lastly, many students (and even some R40 faculty) only use GUEST
     Wireless, never authenticating (many of these same users are R40
     users who got a wireless card, but never got Access Connections on
     their computer, so they only see GUEST Wireless, via the XP
     wireless icon in the system tray.)

We are seeing this a lot in the library, where students cannot print to the networked printers, cannot access certain databases, and cannot access their website via Dreamweaver, all because they are using GUEST Wireless instead of STUDENT wireless. Our observations were backed up by the ITGs on the TTF who are seeing the same issues.

In a recent training class, we made all the users shutdown, plug into a wired connection and reboot, fully 1/3 of them suddenly got the IBM Access Connections update (a good thing!) ALL of them had to wait while the login script ran various other updates because it had been so long since they had received updates.

I definitely see this as a training issue for next year's ThinkPad Orientation, and something we will focus on intently, but even with more focus in training, the fact that we've got so many users not getting updates bears pondering. Here is what I've been pondering as of late.

   * Is there a way we can get students to stop using GUEST wireless
     when they should be using STUDENT wireless?
   * Is there a way to encourage students to shutdown and reboot on a
     wired connection once a week, or even better, are there ways more
     of the updates could be pushed out via Student Wireless so they
     don't need to use a wired connection? (I realize this is harder
     than it sounds!)”

 

IS Update

 

Jay Dominick reported:

 

Banner: payroll came up this month. Financial Aid due in Feb, AR in March, Advancement due in July. The Housing module has been postponed for 6 months

 

We will see new ThinkPad within next few week. Also, IBM has announced a tablet model IS wants to test. No internal dvd. IS plans to pilot this next year with faculty and staff.

 

Silicone Chalk is being tried out in Health & Exercise Science. Thus far it has been troublesome.

 

IS is working on cell phone pilot.  One possible approach to deployment is to

provide a handset supported by common carriers such as Verizon/Cingular/Sprint

and have students use the handset on their existing plan.  At some point the handset

would probably be a combination cell phone + PDA. 

 

The new network has been stable.

 

There has been only 1 RIAA complaint so far this year. It was a subpoena threat.  Horde: has been rolled out to law school.  Quiet roll out next week.

 

IS needs to look at Outlook Exchange. It has the capability to integrate voice mail and email. However, it only works with Lotus Notes and Exchange. Its functionality allows you to see your voice mail on your laptop. To use it here, IS would have to put up Exchange Server.

 

Next year’s standard load planning

 

One of the main decisions to be made on this year’s load is which Mail/browser to use: Mozilla vs. Firefox. Yip has posted a Web page compare features: http://www.wfu.edu/~yipcw/atg/moz_ff_tb/

 

Send ideas for the standard software load over the next few weeks to CIT list.

 

Next Meeting: March 3 4 pm, library

     (Note: additional February 24th meeting called after adjournment.)