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Wake Forest University

Committee on Information Technology

CIT Minutes
January 25, 2006

In Attendance: Lee Norris (for Jay Dominick) , Bill Marcum, Stan Thomas, Tommy Murphy, Lynn Sutton, Susan Smith, Jo Fennel Lowe, Allison Snow, Luis Gonzalez, Paul Escott, Allin Cottrell, Joshua King, Terry Blumenthal, John Pickel.

1. Terry asked Stan Thomas to explain an issue with backing up data. Stan explained that a student suggested to him that external hard drives should be issued with every laptop. Although the committee was amused by the suggestion, there was much discussion concerning data backup. Terry asked Lee Norris if backup servers would be cost prohibitive. Lee answered that they would be costly. He also added that it might be possible to make backup more simple, but that it is reasonably simple now. The committee discussed options and the continuing need to educate users on the importance of data backup, but agreed that no action was necessary at this time.

2. Terry asked Paul Escott to elaborate on an earlier email he sent to the CIT listserve concerning the reliability of the R52. Paul explained that he has had many more delays and system freeze up problems than with past laptops. He is concerned that, as the machine becomes more complicated with larger standard loads, this will become a problem for all. Some members of the committee agreed that they too were noticing more problems. Lee Norris explained that the ever larger standard load can create reliability problems. It was suggested that Paul have his laptop re-imaged. Jo Fennel Lowe explain that computers can be like cars where once and a while a “lemon” slips through and that Paul might ask for a replacement if the problems persist.

3. The committee discussed issues with Banner, many of which are design problems on the “virtual campus” page on WIN, for example, the long list of options that are sometimes counterintuitive. Lee noted many suggestions to pass on the Banner team.

4. The committee discussed the standard load for the 2006-07 laptops. Since we are now using an older, “keyed” version of EndNote, there is a need to either upgrade or consider an alternative that is less costly. Since Adobe bought Macromedia the cost of Dreamweaver may become prohibitive. It was suggested that we consider options. John Pickel suggested that since we may have to make “tough choices” on software that it would be good to have statistical data on the usage of the standard load software. No such information is available. At Terry’s suggestion, Lee agreed to ask Jay Dominick to provide the current list for the standard load before our next meeting.

5. The committee discussed the option of providing an alternative of a Tablet PC/laptop for faculty. Lee explained that Lenovo won’t be shipping the new (faster, better) Tablet laptops until the summer of 2006.  After some discussion the committee agreed to wait until next year and revisit the subject then.

The committee adjourned at 5:00 PM.

The next meeting is on Wednesday, February 15 at 4:00 PM


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