Dan, Mark, Gordon, Klark, Eric M.


Open Lab

Report on open lab online information.

Make list of current installed. Verify from semester to semester. Make sure we have everything installed.

Focus on validation and who is going to validate Ask for special needs List all the software for those who are interested

Get faculty feedback the week after thanksgiving. Get images up the week before finals.

Customer Service and Support

Department Services

I asked the faculty to complete the survey.

Here are their written comments:

I use the cs email system, but it goes down enough that I have been tempted several times to switch to gmail. email: I chose an unlisted option “I've given up on departmental email and all my aliases go to my gmail account. When gmail fails, it makes CNN and gets fixed faster.” I honestly don't know why we bother to run our own email server.

Virtual machines: it looks like they've made a virtual svn server for me. I haven't had time to test it yet. I have used an off campus service for about 1 year. It's great. I hope that the department's version of a virtual svn server will work for me. If so we are there.

Wikis: I love the departmental wiki service. If we get backups straightened out it will be perfect. Loren's got performance worked out on those.

Wireless: it's useless in 111O TMCB and the conference room. Not reliable.

Webmasters: I use a wiki for my web server, that's working fine. I don't know why I'd need a webmaster.

Instructional lab support: Loren and co. have done beautiful things in 1110 and 1106 TMCB. I'm very satisfied.

Re Wikis: I said I haven't used them because I don't believe in Wikis, not because I don't want to try those offered by the department.

Re Email: I don't use my cs address for anything important because I don't trust it and Google provides better service.

Re VMs: The scarce resource for me is public IPs and these don't help that. I bought my own server to get good performance and an IP. I don't really know what our department can do. In the past, there were long delays for the Information Technology Support group to complete my (non-critical) job requests, sometimes up to two weeks. I understand our two system administrators and their assistants have to serve 25+ faculty and hundreds of CS students, and non-critical job requests might not receive higher priority. However, it is not fun to keep bothering them with any updates on repair jobs. Nevertheless, our support group has done a reasonably good job, thus don't fire them … I would like to have our lab server backed up by the department, but after being burned by the wiki backup failure, I'm concerned about trusting central backup. For now we are backing up the server ourselves.

In general, I think that we should do as Kelly has suggested and institute contract-like level-of-service agreements, so that we know what we are buying into, and so that CSRs can circumscribe their commitments in reasonable ways. I feel like some people in the department are very good at getting lots of special services and steering resources to their interests while other are not even aware of what the choices are. I like the committee bringing lots of cool ideas to the table, along with how it would impact us (cost us), and making it easy for us to decide how to best use computing resources. Maybe the committee should outline the different kinds of things and resources each lab has or is making use of so everyone can adopt best practices. The choices don't match my precisely, so take the selections with a grain of salt.

The email outages and loss of email has been a problem, even though this occurs rarely. I missed a critical invite/instruction for journal paper review, and it was a hardship for me and the journal editor when we finally figured out what had happened. The odds were very small that this even happened, but it was a big problem.

I don't use the CS wireless at all - I use BYU wireless since my laptop is configured to use that automatically in other areas of campus.

I like the move to cswiki support, but the crash earlier in the semester caused a loss of data and upset students wince it happened the night before an exam when they wanted access to be reliable.

I would be interested in virtual machine support and webmaster support. I probably do not want to be the first to try it out. As a caveat, I would use department virtual servers etc. if the department were more responsive to requests. Often, when something is requested to change, that change takes days (or even weeks) when it is something that only takes minutes to resolve (the department also does not know how to make the change at times, so students/faculty sometimes train on how to do things). Also, when the virtual services go down, with the department running the resources, I am not able to quickly correct and bring back up the services. Rather, I have to wait for someone in the department to bring it up, which often takes time as the individual is not here or busy elsewhere.

I'm very close to abandoning any use of department services and finding external sources for email, servers, and back-ups. I hate how often things go down, and am extremely frustrated at having lost so much data when the wikis crashed.

Back-ups of departmental virtual machines is critical. I thought this was happening, but learned that it isn't.

Hardware Acquisition and Rotation

Assessment, Priorities, and Future Needs

cc/18-nov-2009.txt · Last modified: 2014/09/23 14:24 by tmburdge
Back to top
CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International = chi`s home Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki do yourself a favour and use a real browser - get firefox!! Recent changes RSS feed Valid XHTML 1.0