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Wake Forest University

Committee on Information Technology

CIT Minutes
November 3, 2005

In Attendance: Matt Nelkin, Bill Markham, Stan Thomas, Tommy Murphy, Lynn Sutton, Susan Smith, Peter Ayoub, Joshua King, Jo Fennel Lowe, Luis Gonzalez, Ching-Wan Yip, Jay Dominic, Paul Escott,  Terry Blumenthal, John Pickel.

1. Jay Dominic introduced two marketing representative from Lenovo. They gave an overview of the changes in the corporate structure of Lenovo since acquiring the IBM personal computer division, explaining that there is much in common with the corporate ideals in both firms.

The representatives passed around several examples of current laptops for our consideration, including the ThinkPad X41 Tablet, ThinkPad Z Series, and a  ThinkPad T Series. There was considerable conversation about the pros and cons of each. For example, the X41 Tablet is light weight and has text recognition, but has no optical drive a smaller hard drive, and slower processor. The  Z series is a wide screen version, which is good for watching DVDs but would limit the height of viewable area, which could be a problem for viewing and editing standard 8.5 x 11” pages.

The committee is considering the possibility of IS offering two options for laptops, such as a tablet PC or one more similar to the R series. There was much discussion about the problems, cost, and logistics in offering two laptops and two standard loads. Since the faculty and student loads are different this would mean two laptops and four loads,
making much for the committee to consider. Jay agreed that it would be a good idea to take examples of the possible choices to the department chairs and department meetings. Stan Thomas said he would talk to the chairs and get back to us.

2.  Matt Nelkin reported from Creative Services concerning the move to the new server and website standard.  He
answered written question from Allison Snow who wasn’t able to attend. There is no longer a hard timeline, since much has changed and slowed since the process began. The top tier of the University web site and related pages are scheduled to move to the new server and design in the fall of 2006. Contribute will not be installed on all student machines but would be available for the students who maintain university sites.

3. The committee discussed the possibility of the University adopting an open document standard since Microsoft and other software providers are making their document software more proprietary. The committee agreed that we need more information before making any decision. Terry will invite one or two people with both knowledge and opinions on this point to our next meeting to explain the issue in greater detail.

4. The committee discussed the current pilot program MobileU which provides Smart Phones/PDAs to students and faculty. Stan said that some members of the faculty are concerned about the cost of the devices and where the $300-$500 might come from. Jay commented that IS is still negotiating with wireless carriers. He said that the logistics and cost of wireless service is much greater than the devices. Joshua commented that he is now in the MobileU program and finds the device very useful and that it adds to the quality of student life. John commented that he hopes to test the devices with a class in Berlin next summer. He believes that they will be very useful while teaching abroad.

5. Jay updated the committee on the problem with the dialup dropping users. He explained that there is a problem with the IBM modems and the Cisco modems at IS. A bios fix is being installed and hopefully will solve the dialup problem and the same problem with IRove.

The committee adjourned at 5:30 PM.

The next meeting is on Thursday, December 1st at 4:00 PM

 

 


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