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The Technology Newsletter for the University of Hawaii Community


January-February 1995 Volume 2, Number 1

In This Issue:


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Information Technology Services Unveiled

For a number of years information technology support at the University of Hawai`i has been provided through separate organizations responsible for academic computing (Computing Center), administrative computing (Management Systems Office), voice telecommunications (Telecom Office) and video communications (Office of Information Technology). Responsibility for data communications rested mostly with the Computing Center, with cooperation and support from all the other units. In general, each unit had its own reporting lines that met only at the President of the University of Hawai`i system. Only recently was responsibility for overall information technology planning and coordination clearly assigned, to the Office of Information Technology.

External reviewers, accreditation agencies, and internal committees have discussed and debated the optimum organization for information technology since the 1970s. One of the major contributions of the UH Strategic Plan for Information Technology was the development of broad-based consensus on the need for a major reorganization of this area. With the formal adoption of this plan in 1992 the vision of a new integrated information technology service unit was shared among faculty, directors of the existing information technology service units, university executives, and the Board of Regents.

In October 1993 President and Chancellor Mortimer began a reorganization of the University of Hawai`i administration at the executive level. As part of that process responsibility for information technology was assigned to the new Office of the Senior Vice President of Administration. The March 1994 organization of that Office included the creation of a single information technology organization consisting of the Office of Information Technology, Computing Center, and Management Systems Office. In October 1994 the Telecom Office was integrated into the newly reorganized unit, now called Information Technology Services.

The new structure of Information Technology Services (ITS) is depicted below. Some of the ITS groups are quite similar to groups that existed previously, and others are quite new and are made up of staff from multiple offices. Most striking is the flatness of the organization, in keeping with modern thinking in management. We expect that this will help us operate more efficiently and respond to the changing environment in which we work more easily and rapidly than in a highly hierarchical setting. Cross-functional teams are beginning to work in several areas, such as electronic mail and desktop network access software.

This is the first major reorganization of information technology support at the University in over 20 years. The realignment of the four current offices into nine functional groups will allow each group to focus more closely on its functions and provide better service to users. Many significant areas of duplication and fragmentation will be eliminated, thereby improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of planning and operations. The challenge to us in this organization is for our nine groups to work together to ensure that there is effective coordination, even at the operational level, and that no necessary tasks or functions fall through the cracks.

No organizational structure is perfect, and it is certain that our next reorganization will follow sooner than the last one as we continue to strive to find ways to meet the explosive and evolving needs for information technology support throughout the University system.

David Lassner, 956-5023
david@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu


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The Director's Corner

Networking Infrastructure for Education Grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $718,308 to the University of Hawai`i for the first year of a research project designed to explore the implementation and use of high speed networking to reform educational practice at multiple levels in Hawai`i. During a three-year period NSF expects to provide over $2.1 million for the HERN: Hawai`i Education and Research Network project. Hawai`i is one of the first major testbeds funded under NSF's new Networking Infrastructure for Education program.

The HERN project is an early outcome of the Hawai`i Education Networking Consortium, a collaborative relationship established in December 1993 among the University of Hawai`i, Department of Education (DOE) and East-West Center to facilitate cooperative activities in the development and support of educational telecommunications.

HERN will build on the State's ongoing activities to link schools within the DOE and all campuses in the UH system to each other and with the Internet. The new NSF funds will not build the physical network, but will help address many of the other infrastructure and application issues that become more critical given the availability of a more sophisticated and ubiquitous work. HERN will consider appropriate management strategies, institutional structures, training systems, support systems and end-user interface requirements needed to provide equitable access to a statewide educational community. HERN will also experiment with the use of network technology to facilitate and support educational reform. In particular, the project will develop models for collaborative curriculum development and delivery across multiple levels of education, from K-12 through community college.

Funds will be available to provide a limited number of Internet servers within the DOE and University, to provide a core project staff which will train and assist existing UH and DOE employees in learning to manage and support these systems, and to develop and conduct workshops for teachers and faculty on the use of networking technologies for educational transformation. A goal of the HERN project is to work itself out of existence; at the end of the three-year grant period it is expected that the HERN training and support functions will have been institutionalized by the University and DOE, both cooperatively and individually as is found to be appropriate.

Dr. Philip J. Bossert, former President of Hawai`i Loa College and former DOE Assistant Superintendent of Education for the Office of Information and Telecommunications Services, is the HERN Project Director. The Principal Investigator is David Lassner, UH Director of Information Technology Services, and co-Investigators are Sharen Arakaki of the DOE Office of Information and Telecommunications Services and Jodi-Ann Chu of UH Information Technology Services. John Morton, Provost of Kapi`olani Community College, will provide leadership for HERN activities within the UH Community College System, and the project will continue to be guided by the Hawai`i Educational Networking Consortium.

David Lassner


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Satellite Conferencing

"Perspectives on International Business"; "Using Multi-Media for Business and Education"; "What Works! Literacy Training for the Workplace"; "Medicine at the Crossroads"; "Institutional Effectiveness and Constructing Effective Learning Environments"; "Multicultural Forum"; "Secretaries Day Briefing"; "Operating System Decisions"; "Distributed Learning Environments"; "Higher Ed/K-12 Connection: Using Technology to Assist Public Schools." Do any of these titles spark your interest? They are just some of the upcoming live satellite teleconferences available in Hawai`i. In fact, you may have already received flyers from the conference providers about these and other programs.

The Distance Education and Instructional Technology group, in addition to coordinating the distance education activities of the University, provides coordination for downlinking of satellite programs for both instructional and staff development uses. What is a satellite teleconference? In its most simplistic form, it is a presentation, panel discussion, or meeting which is broadcast via satellite to other geographic locations. Therefore, while sitting in a classroom here in Hawai`i, you can participate in an event originating at some other location. You will typically see and hear what is being presented, and if you have questions or comments you can use a telephone to call into the teleconference, where your question and the subsequent answer will then be heard by all the participants.

Satellite teleconferencing can be an economical way of providing staff development. Last year, librarians from across the state participated in a live satellite teleconference sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), "Achieving Breakthrough Services in Libraries." After the conference, Paula Mochida, Coordinator of Public Services for UHM library and the Hawai`i coordinator for this conference, commented that the librarians were pleased with the opportunity to participate in an international conference since they could not have flown to Boston, the conference site. In addition, they found this to be an excellent staff development experience and that they hoped to participate in future programs offered by ALA.

If you receive a brochure for a satellite teleconference and would like to participate locally, there are three steps you must follow:

  1. Call Joy Shirokane, our scheduling coordinator, at 956-2408 or send email to joy@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu.
  2. Give Joy the technical information found on the satellite conference brochure (date, time, satellite information). If the program is on a satellite that we can receive AND facilities are available,
  3. Then you must register for the teleconference. In addition to the satellite teleconference registration, there may be a satellite downlink fee. Depending on the satellite chosen by the teleconference organizers and scheduling considerations, we may use the satellite downlink facilities of Language Telecommunications Resource and Learning Center, Hawai`i Public Broadcasting Authority, Honolulu Community College, and/or Maui Community College for any particular teleconference.

Participation in satellite teleconference is not limited to O`ahu. Depending on scheduling, we are able to send teleconferences via the Hawai`i Interactive Television System (HITS) to most University of Hawai`i campuses. If you would like more information about satellite teleconferences, please feel free to contact Hae Okimoto.

Hae Okimoto, 956-3504
hae@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu


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Help Desk is Here!

The Information Technology Services (ITS) Help Desk is now open for business! The Help Desk is located in the first floor lobby of Keller Hall in Room 105. Hours of operation are from 8:00 a.m. - 9:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Friday, and closed on Holidays.

The Help Desk is here to provide information to you to enable you to use your computer resources more effectively and efficiently. Documents can be obtained from the self-service document files and manuals are available for loan.

Student consultants will answer general questions on UNIX, PCs, Macs and the IBM mainframe. In depth or difficult questions will be referred to the appropriate ITS staff member. Assistance is also available over the phone or via electronic mail.

Help Desk

Telephone number: 956-8883
Email address: help@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu

When sending mail to the Help Desk, please include the following information:
  1. Your name
  2. Telephone number (should more information be needed)
  3. A complete description of the problem


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Spring into ITS Workshops

Now is a great time to brush up on your computer skills or learn something new by attending Information Technology Services (ITS) workshops that will be offered during the Spring 1995 semester. There will be a variety of workshops that range in topics from using Internet tools to using desktop application software packages.

Sessions denoted on the ITS Spring 1995 Workshop Schedule as ITV (Interactive Television) will be broadcasted over the HITS (Hawai`i Interactive Television System) network, check with your local ITV coordinator for classroom locations. There will also be some hands-on workshops which will be held in the ITS microcomputer labs. The Help Desk will be handling registration for all hands-on sessions and those workshops that require pre-registration.

The ITS Spring 1995 Workshop Schedule will be available in the following places:

  1. posted on UHINFO
  2. in the Keller Hall lobby racks
  3. public access microcomputer labs (IBM PC Lab, Mac Lab, and CLIC)
  4. Help Desk (Keller 105)
  5. mailed to each department

For more information, please refer to the ITS Spring 1995 Workshop Schedule or call the Help Desk at 956-8883.


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Searching the Internet

The Internet provides a wealth of information for students, researchers, teachers, and everyone else in the information age. The information is distributed over thousands of servers world-wide. How do you find documents or files on the Internet? You could casually browse the Internet by surfing your way through gopher menus, or traversing through hypertext links on the Web. But if you need to find information for a particular project, it would be more advantageous to use search tools that were developed particularly for the Internet. This article will explain the different search tools that are available so that you can transform from a Internet surfer to an Internet hunter.

Archie

When do I use it?

Archie is used to search for files that are available on public servers (a.k.a. anonymous ftp archives). These files could be programs (public domain software), data, or text files. Archie searches for filenames that contain a certain string or it will suggest files whose description contains a certain key word. A successful archie search returns filenames and the names of the servers containing those files. To get those files, you would use anonymous ftp to transfer the file from the server to your computer or your account on the UNIX system.

How do I use it?

There are several way to access archie. To use email, send email to any archie server. For example, send email to:

archie@archie.internic.net

Send the word help in a message to obtain a list of archie commands and features.

You can also use archie through a client such as anarchie on the Mac, wsarchie on MS Windows, or the archie command on UNIX.

On any of our UNIX servers type:

archie string

where 'string' is replaced with the text you are searching for. If you need more information on the archie command type:

man archie

For example, an archie query for the word 'exploration' returns the following information:

Host ftp.cc.utexas.edu (128.83.217.13)
Last updated 03:28 17 Nov 1994

Location: /pub/arch/AtlantisSchool
FILE -rw-r-r- 29066 bytes 18:52 15 Oct 1994 Zexplorations02.html.gif

Host ftp.uni-kl.de (131.246.94.94)
Last updated 07:31 18 Oct 1994

Location: /reports_uni-kl/computer_science/mobile_robots/1994/papers
FILE -rw-r-r- 99703 bytes 03:06 23 Sep 1994 Edlinger.Exploration.ps.Z
.
.
.

Archie displays a list of files that contain the word 'exploration.' If you want to fetch a particular file note the hostname and the full path name of the file. Then use anonymous ftp to get the file.

Ftp archives store files in many formats, i.e. DOS, Macintosh, and UNIX. They could also be text files, binary files of different platforms, compressed archives, binary encoded (binary files that are converted to text files so they can be transferred easily). For more information on some of the common compression utilities, get ITS document NET30, Decoding Files Retrieved via Anonymous FTP. On the University of Hawai`i's information server, UHINFO choose:

UHINFO Gopher Tracks (gopher.hawaii.edu)

Veronica

When do I use it?

Use Veronica (very easy rodent-oriented net-wide index to computerized archives) to perform a world-wide search for gopher menu items.

Veronica 'servers' contain an index of all gopher menu items in the world. By the end of 1994 approximately 10 million titles on 5500 gopher servers could be accessed through veronica. Veronica looks for words in the titles in gopher menus - it does not do a text search of the articles themselves.

How do I use it?

To access a veronica server, connect to it via a gopher menu. There are several veronica servers accessible from UHINFO, through:

UHINFO Gopher Tracks

The menu items may change depending on the servers' availability at the time; if one is busy, try one of the others. Veronica searches can be accomplished through the following: decide whether you want to match words in all of GopherSpace (i.e., directories, text files, binary files, images, etc.) or just the directories; select a site; and enter a word or two which may appear in your topic of interest. In a short time a gopher menu will appear which contains the titles of all the matches.

Composing Veronica Queries

The words you enter into the dialog box for your veronica query are not case sensitive, that is, it doesn't matter whether you type in the information in upper- or lower-case. If you enter more than one word, Veronica uses a Boolean AND function between the words, and the words need not be adjacent to each other. Other Boolean functions are available as well to create more complex ways to compose veronica queries. If there are any questions, please read the Veronica FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which is very helpful in providing ready answers for those new to veronica. The Veronica FAQ is on UHINFO:

UHINFO Gopher Tracks

WAIS

When do I use it?

The Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS) is used to search a multitude of Internet databases. You can search many databases for articles on a particular subject, and WAIS will rank articles that most match your search criteria. All articles in these databases are WAIS indexed or WAISified by their owners so that one can perform a WAIS search. Not all databases on the Internet are WAISified. This limits WAIS searching to those databases that have been WAIS indexed, unlike Archie and Veronica, which build indices of all known ftp archives and gopherspace. Also unlike archie and veronica, WAIS will search for keywords that appear in an actual document or text file. Because the text is indexed, WAIS may retrieve documents that are irrelevant to your particular search.

How do I use it?

There are several ways to access WAIS: through a WAIS client or through gopher. From UHINFO choose:

UHINFO Gopher Tracks

Or you can telnet to a WAIS server. Telnet to any of the following hosts:
sunsite.unc.edu, login as swais quake.think.com, login as wais
WWW search engines

When do I use them?

World Wide Web (WWW or Web) search engines are used to search catalogs and indices of resources on the Web. World Wide Web Robots, Wanderers, and Spiders are all names for search engines that traverse the Web automatically. These tools are the new kids on the block, if you use them be prepared for unpredictable results such as false drops (irrelevant hits/matches) or no hits at all.

How do I use them?

There are Web clients (browsers) for most graphical interfaces (MS-Windows, Macintosh, UNIX X Window System). NCSA Mosaic and Netscape are two Web browsers that can be used to access the World Wide Web. Lynx is a text based Web browser that runs on UNIX; to use it you need VT100 terminal emulation. To start lynx on any of our UNIX servers, type 'lynx'. For more information on accessing the Web see the article "UHINFO's Webbed Feat", located in ITS News, Vol. 1, No. 3, Oct-Dec 1994.

After starting your client, open the following URL:

http://home.mcom.com/home/internet-search.html

sorry, this links is not available

This page lists about a dozen search engines for you to use.

When I search the Web I open the URL http://cuiwww.unige.ch/meta-index. This page is titled "W3 Search Engines" and consists of list-based catalogs, spider-based catalogs, and other catalogs that can be searched. You can also search for software, people, publications, news/FAQs, documentation, and other interesting things.

Lee Ann Sakihara, 956-2401
leeann@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu


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Evaluating Query Tools

The Management Information Systems group of Information Technology Services is currently evaluating several end-user query tools. These tools will allow users to generate ad hoc reports, generate graphs, or download data into a spreadsheet for more analysis.

The tools that we are currently examining include:

  1. Dataprism and DataPivot from Brio Technology
  2. PowerViewer and PowerMaker from Powersoft
  3. Clear Access from ClearAccess Corporation
  4. Focus Reporter for Windows from Information Builders Inc.
  5. Esperant from Software AG

The software listed above is available for Windows, and several of them are also available for the Macintosh. The tools can query data on a local database, from a remote database on our mainframe, or from another database server (e.g. UNIX-based). For our tests, the data will consist of Human Resources Information System (HRIS), Student and Fiscal related data, and will reside in an extract reporting ADABAS database on the mainframe.

To get input from the user community, we are planning to have a Query Tool Fair in the later part of the first quarter, 1995. This will give us the opportunity to examine and experiment with the query tools.

If you desire to be part of the query tool evaluation process or if you have any questions feel free to contact Vernon Ching or Geno Baruffi.

Geno Baruffi, 956-8153
mso_baruffi@mvax.mso.hawaii.edu

Vernon Ching, 956-8931
mso_ching@mvax.mso.hawaii.edu


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Services Offered by Telecommunications Office

The Telecommunications Office (or Telecom) grew from a two-person office occupying space in a portable building to its current fourteen-member staff occupying the 5th floor of Bilger Addition. Telecom is responsible for the Manoa Campus telephone switch, currently the largest on-premise switching system in the State of Hawai`i (next to GTE-Hawaiian Telephone's systems). Its goal is to provide an efficient and economical telecommunications system that supports the University community in the pursuit of its objectives of teaching, research, and public service.

Telecom currently provides:

  1. Voice, video, and data capability via an infrastructure of conduits with coaxial, fiber optic twisted pair cabling
  2. Campus resident long distance service
  3. Installation and maintenance of emergency call boxes
  4. Telecom Request processing and approval for all University of Hawai`i campuses
  5. A Telecommunications Management System which maintains an inventory of all equipment and directory information, trouble and repair processing, and direct billing to users
  6. Voice mail services
  7. Ongoing training and awareness for all users and department Telecom Coordinators regarding the features and services available

    The services listed above became possible in 1990 when the University installed the new Northern Telecom, Inc. (NTI) switching and voice mail system, and a NEC Astra Telecommunications Management System. Currently, the telephone system handles over 9,000 lines, with an average of 230,000 calls per day and 3,300 voice mailboxes. The new underground infrastructure, includes conduits and cabling, is designed to meet both current and future video and data requirements.

    One significant benefit of the telecommunication system is the capability of installing Emergency Call Boxes (ECBs) to ensure the safety of the University community. A phone call from an ECB automatically rings at Campus Security and allows Campus Security to immediately identify the location of the ECB caller. This feature allows Campus Security to respond quickly, especially in possible emergency situations.

    In October of 1992, Telecom was designated as the central processing point for Telecom Requests (TR) for all University of Hawai`i campuses. The purpose of the TR is to provide users with the required voice and data equipment, and voice and data services expeditiously within established guidelines and procedures. The TR and related forms were recently updated and distributed to the Department and Campus Telecom Coordinators. In order to keep accurate system information, the Telecommunications Management System (TMS) records, processes and updates information for long distance billing programs, Campus Resident Long Distance accounts and telephone equipment/software/directory records. TMS automatically generates the billing documents in various cycles throughout each month for services rendered. Therefore, it is crucial that users keep Telecom informed and updated on any department or personnel changes.

    Voice Mail is an invaluable voice messaging tool for the University. Departments with limited telephone coverage resources have come to rely on Voice Mail to insure that phone calls are answered pleasantly and that messages are recorded when they are unable to take a call. Several departments have installed Voice Menu, an automated attendant feature of Voice Mail, which routes callers to the desired station, announcement, or mailbox. Distribution lists allow users to broadcast a single Voice Mail message to a maximum of 99 voice mailboxes simultaneously, a great time- saver for the busy individual who needs to notify other Voice Mail users of meetings and announcements.

    Please do not hesitate to call Telecom at (808)956-6033 with any questions or for assistance.

    Ralph Yoshioka, 956-9213
    ryoshioka@telecom.its.hawaii.edu


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    Eye on UH Site License Programs

    Multiple Choice Program

    As of December 31, 1994, the Lotus Multiple Choice Program was discontinued by Lotus. The program will still be under maintenance for the next two years (Jan 1, 1995 to Jan 1, 1997). The termination means that we are unable to purchase new "permitted installations."

    We are working on establishing Passport, the new licensing program, with which Lotus is replacing the Multiple Choice Program. The pricing for the new program will be almost the same as the Multiple Choice program. The Passport program offers a better variety of products than the Multiple Choice Program. Products are: SmartSuite for Windows; 1-2-3 for Windows, DOS, OS/2 and Macintosh; Ami Pro for Windows and UNIX; Freelance Graphics for Windows, DOS and OS/2; Organizer for Windows and Macintosh; Approach for Windows; SmartPics for Windows; ScreenCam; and Lotus Notes.

    Some of the DOS programs were dropped from Passport. These products are Agenda and Magellan. Please note that Lotus was also phasing out these products from the Multiple Choice Program.

    The details of the Passport program have not been worked out yet.

    We will be making information available as soon as Lotus provides it to us.

    Therese Nakadomari, 956-5783
    therese@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu


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    Retirement of PLATO

    The UH PLATO system will be turned off on June 30, 1995. PLATO has served the University of Hawai`i and State of Hawai`i long and well, but the mainframe-based technology has not kept pace with advances in microcomputing or networking. Usage continues to diminish, and costs of maintaining the system are increasing.

    Our "walk-in" users who access PLATO for email and notesfiles are all now eligible for UNIX IDs under the new ITS Access for All program. UNIX offers far more robust and functional email capacity, without the limitations imposed by PLATO. There is more volume and diversity of computer conferencing now in the Internet newsgroups than in PLATO notesfiles.

    While there is no direct replacement for PLATO's rich, although aging, courseware library, we are working individually with our instructional PLATO users to help with the phase-out. If you teach using PLATO and have not heard from us, please contact Jon Nakasone (jon/pso or 956-2409) for assistance.

    David Lassner, 956-5023
    david@uhunix.uhcc.hawaii.edu


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