MMM Minutes 05/01/97

Minutes of Smathers
Middle Manager's Meeting
May 1, 1997

Present: Rich Bennett, Gary Cornwell, Robena Cornwell, Marvin Crabb, Carol Drum, David Fuller, Winston Harris, Barry Hartigan, David Hickey, Yael Herbsman, Dot Hope, Martha Hruska, John Ingram, Erich Kesse, Mary Marsh, Tom Minton, Barbara Oliver, Richard Phillips, Colleen Seale, Jan Swanbeck, Carol Turner

Off Campus Networking
  1. General Internet Outage - a single Internet service provider misconfigured a router. This pointed to his router as the fastest route to the Net. Once this propagated through the net, the result was an overload that took hours to correct. On the positive side, it didn't take long for the net to adapt to the change - on the negative side, it took only one person's mistake to bring down the entire system.
Campus Networking
  1. There was a problem with the lack of space for private IP addresses. In trying to alleviate this distress, the private to public IP's got cut off. Large sections of the campus were locked out. This lead to campus router problems. Final fix was suppose to occur this morning.
  2. FCLA - has been trying to fix private IP's - writing new code to handle it. Should improve WebLUIS response time for PC's.
  3. Vendors - have been inquiring about proxy IP's. Proxy IP's are one pool of IP's in one area. The machine translates non-unique numbers. It is usually used to provide a degree of security when backing in & out. Bill Covey doesn't trust the technology for the Library , we have no private, masquerade, or proxy IP's - ours are real. The software & service required to work with the proxy isn't compatible with what we have.
  4. IFAS has expanded their overall network. Provides IPX access to the campus network. Questions arise regarding branch access & vendor licensing.
Mail Clients
  1. Mail Client/Servers was a big topic at the last Liaison Meeting. The traditional email system has been accessed through NERDC - running a program that has been stored on the mainframe. It essentially acts as an electronic post office on the mainframe. The current paradigm in email is the client/server. In our case, we have NERDC's IBM (later to be Unix) as the server and the client is the desktop - it has to be micro (can't be a dumb terminal). The question is, what kind of mail client should we be running? There is a large variety of them, all with their individual pros & cons. All require different user interfaces, they are not universal, they are individualized & all have different support requirements. There are also problems in the expanding use of binary attachments. What should the Library Policy be? Should we choose one mail client and enforce it as the library standard, thus supplying a standard of support - knowing any client picked will inevitably be unacceptable to some?
  2. Another option in the quest for a mail client is to allow for a multiple client zone where users have an array of choices - never having to be locked into one solution. The support burden would be greatly increased.
  3. The middle of the road option - we could advertise the support a select group of mail clients. This would be more manageable and still give users a freedom of choice. Still, problems with support arise with issues of upgrades.
  4. Liaisons don't seem comfortable with any of these options. No conclusions have been made to resolve this issue. The support issues directly effect the liaisons. If there is a choice outside of 1 or 2 mail clients, a listserve could be set up for it, not official support - but advice from those who are familiar with that client. A sampling of the liaisons concluded that they need to use these clients for awhile to be able to judge what works well.
  5. Costs for the software to support these mail/server clients? It should not be greater unless the more costly clients are chosen. Some mail clients come standard with the PC. Scheduling and calendar software is picky about what client/mailer it can work with. If this decision rested in a private business, they would more than likely mandate which client/server should be used by the company.
  6. Dial-in to the mail client would still be necessary. The desktop would be inaccessible, unlike the mainframe - unless you have downloaded a copy of the mail client to the desktop.
  7. For further information on client/servers, try a web search on Yahoo. John Ashcraft will be conducting a discussion on various mail client/ servers in the MSL Conference Room next week.
Email Date Problem
  1. Preservation is experiencing a dating problem on messages it receives on some of their new Cows. The month is always listed as January, though the date and year are correct. Other areas have experienced this phenomenon as well. Bill suggests having the liaisons check the machine's configuration, making sure the timezone and dates are correct.

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    Last updated February 18, 2000
    by Debra Harris