MMM Minutes 7/5/01

Minutes of Smathers
Middle Manager's Meeting
July 5, 2001

Present: Helen Jane Armstrong, Denise Bennett, Rich Bennett, Gary Cornwell, Robena Cornwell, Carol Drum, Leilani Freund, Barry Hartigan, David Hickey, John Ingram, Erich Kesse, Ann Lindell, Tom Minton, Cathy Mook, Jan Swanbeck, Carl Van Ness
W2K Conversion
  1. There has been an increase in staff interest about the W2K conversion. Questions regarding which one of the available MS operating systems we’ll be using have been asked.
  2. W2K is more like a cross between Windows NT & Windows ’98. It is more mainstream – WinME is very different and Win XP is not even available yet.
  3. W2K has only minimal differences in the user interface. Applications and files respond just like Win’98.
  4. There are some differences in system setup controls, which would require minimal work for the liaisons.
  5. The biggest single difference is that W2K requires a user ID and password to sign on and access the computer. The user id has to be in the system ahead of time.
  6. W2K should run all Library applications; so far we haven’t run into any problems.
Why W2K?
  1. W2K should provide greater security and stability. It should help to eliminate after-hour computer misuse. It will record who & when someone is on a computer.
  2. Network handling of passwords is much more secure with W2K.
  3. W2K is more likely to keep crashed programs from killing your computer.
  4. W2K will be the best-maintained Windows for some time to come. Support for Win’95 and back will be dropped this September. All fixes/patches will be released for W2K first, so it is beneficial to stay current.
  5. We will see greater speed on most machines. W2K code is optimized for the Pentium class processor. Some may need memory upgrades, but luckily RAM is cheap right now. Overall performance should be improved.
  6. W2K will make future application upgrades easier. For now we’ll stay with the 5.5 version of Exchange – holding off on the upgrade. We’ve installed hardware to make 5.5 compatible with W2K.
Why Not W2K?
  1. If we stay with Win’98, it’d be technically obsolete, which implies that Microsoft won’t keep it current with security patches and application upgrades, and neither will other vendors.
  2. We could move to Windows ME (the latest version of the Windows 9x family), but it is not a strategic product for Microsoft. It is widely reported to be less stable than Win’98 or W2K. It is likely to be abandoned quickly in favor of Windows XP.
  3. We could wait for Windows XP, but it has not been released yet. It’s due out this fall, but we probably really don’t want to be pioneers on it. It’s unclear what advantages it will offer over W2K.
Conversion – when?
  1. W2K conversion is still planned for this summer. The current target for first installation is the week of August 6. We’ll do a small area, outside of Systems – probably Music.
  2. Method of installation – preferably from the server over the network. As a fallback, we can use CD images. So far with machines in Systems and on laptops, we’ve had about a 50/50 success rate with the network installations.
Upgrade vs. Clean Installation
  1. Upgrade – should work for most computers. It maintains the desktop settings and directory structure.
  2. Clean installation – would be more reliable – far less likely to cause trouble, but it requires reloading of all applications & files. This would be inconvenient & time consuming for people, but it definitely be more reliable and improve overall performance.
Public Machines
  1. We’re currently running experiments on how to lock down the machines without WinShield or Centurion Guards.
  2. User id & password requirement – option for public sign-on: log-on routine driven by card reader. Patrons with no GatorOne card can get a card assigned to them at the desk.
  3. The expense of card readers for all of the public workstations will be formidable, but the overall UF plan is to have all Library access authenticated eventually anyways, so it’s probably a good idea to proceed before the inevitable mandate. The new Vice President of Information Technologies has an agenda to increase network security – anonymous UF access is on the way out.
  4. Public machines: W2K conversion – probably not by the fall, may phase it in during the middle of the semester or at the end – December.
  5. This whole venture will definitely have a public service impact.
  6. Room 100 – network access – Bill thinks that GatorLink access-only should currently be in place, but he will test it out for verification.


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Last updated July 6, 2001
by Debra Harris
debharr@mail.uflib.ufl.edu