Duke ITAC - April 15, 2004 Minutes

DUKE ITAC - April 15, 2004 Minutes


April 15, 2004

I. Review of minutes and announcements

Web policy
Tracy and David Jarmul met with the Dean's council and reviewed the Web policy document with them. They will provide feedback in a few weeks. She wants everyone to know that the initiative is moving.

Email update
M. Gettes says a result of the long outage we experienced is the switch to a new set of disk arrays and everything is looking stable. We continue with the analysis to find what happened. There is still strange behavior between the two arrays. Eventually the arrays will go back to Sun because they will probably have to take the hardware apart to figure out what is going on. There is another outage planned this weekend.

SAP upgrade
Mike Pickett reminds ITAC that we had an SAP upgrade this past weekend—early on Saturday. It worked and everything is up and running smoothly.

II. Cell phone contract, Angel Dronsfield

The contract is still a work in progress and we do not have an approved plan. It looks like we will end up with two providers. We did a lot of test calls. We are happy with the coverage in this area from the two vendors we like and we hope to have an announcement in a week or so. A lot of work went into this and I hope everyone will be happy with what we decide.

There will be a period of transition between when the contract is announced and when services are offered. End users will need time to make a decision on which company they want to go to for their service. All the plans will save the end-users money over current plans.

We will have a low-end plan that is local only.

Robert Wolpert wants to know if we will have a plan that works in Europe. Kyle says, no.

III. Fall 2004 back-to-school hardware/software recommendations, Debbie DeYulia

Debbie hands out a draft of the computer systems to be offered through the Duke Technology Advantage Program.

We know what computers are coming in, we know the vendors and we are promoting them to students. We are familiar with the support issues for the computers. Basically the offer is for laptops or desktops, from Apple, Dell, and IBM.

John Board asks what is the rationale on the numbers for the minimum older computer recommendations.

The answer is that we are ramping them up in anticipation of not supporting Win98 and Me and we want student computers to get through at least a few years before they are obsolete.

John wants to know why we offer the prices in June instead of August. The answer is that we need to plan ahead. Ginny adds that Jim Rigney waits to actually place the order until late summer to get the best prices.

IV. ePrint update, Mike Pickett

The big picture piece is that we normally see about a 20% increase in the use of paper every year in the labs. Last year we saw about 12 million pages printed. This year we are at 10.8 million and this is substantial improvement and an obvious reduction in the rate of growth. We are seeing some improvement in the program.

About 80% of the users are printing about 40% of the pages.

Mike ran percentages of double-sided prints. The inter-institutional group is followed closely by the Nicholas school in taking advantage of double-sided printing capabilities.

Mike feels this is a success story. We are saving quite a bit of paper. The question is do we want to try to promote social/cultural changes.

Ed Gomes says the library has printed 1.1 million pages.

Mike says he went to the academic affairs subcommittee of DSG and was asked if OIT was going to impose a quota on printed pages per semester. He told them we have no plans to do so at this time, but would like to be guided by the students on the issue.

Kyle Johnson asks at what point will we know if ePrint has paid for itself because it did cost money to implement. The answer from Ginny is we don't have that data available today, but we can get it.

Kyle asks if there are departments that might benefit from using ePrint. Ginny says that is in phase two.

V. Student technology issues (undergraduate), Eileen Kuo

Eileen says it seems like a few students are abusing ePrint and printing thousands of pages at once. Sometimes you can see kiosks around campus that are blanketed with a thousand copies of the same flyer. Eileen feels students will be receptive to some limit on printing as long as it does not interfere with their academic printing.

Students have also noticed the collection box next to the color printers. This is okay, but students would not be receptive to being charged for each black and white printout.

The ePrint system is good but some students have complained that the printers are often down because of no paper or toner or other reasons. Could students perhaps help with the maintenance?

Others have told Eileen that OIT is very helpful in the residence halls during the SWAT effort at the beginning of the year, but then sort of disappears as the year moves ahead. Few people know where the Help Desk is physically located so going there with a computer for help is often difficult.

Eileen herself has had a problem with response time from the Help Desk on a fairly unique problem related to the DSG election. She feels these kinds of problems can probably be solved with more communications between DSG and OIT.

From what she has heard, Eileen says students love the portal.

Some students have mentioned that they were notified that they were using too much bandwidth. This was usually due to leaving a file sharing program running. Most students feel the program is fair.

In addressing student concerns about the Help Desk, John Board recalls setting up a quad computing consultant at one point. What happened with that?

Ginny says that was done out of the labs. They tried to have 2 to 3 students in the lab so one could stay in the lab and the others could be dispatched out to help in the dorm rooms. Two problems: we couldn’t find enough students to staff the program, and we could not justify the cost.

George Ward says that unless there is a mechanical issue, his staff checks the Perkins lab printers at least 4 times a day. The difficult time is between 10PM and 7AM because that is not a staffed time.

Tracy asks if it feels like Duke is the same, better or worse than other universities.

Eileen says for the most part everyone seems happy with the service, as long as everything is working.

VI. Shibboleth demo and plans, Michael Gettes

Michael gives a Power Point presentation. The PowerPoint file is attached.

John asks Michael to comment on how to merge the power of my collective identities and not worry about what hat I am wearing.

Michael says it is a difficult problem and the technology needs to progress before that can be tackled.

Robert Wolpert wants to know what the issues are with the PATRIOT Act. What obstacles have been put in your way?

Michael says they have not seen any obstacles. This is a case where each institution gets to decide how privacy oriented they want to be.

VII. Other Business