The ITSS Calendar (http://www.itssg.ox.ac.uk/calendar/) included events up to and including August 2002. This has now been superceded by an ITSS Calendar maintained by ITS3 at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/its3/calendar/. The ITS3 Calendar is linked to from all ITS3 pages. Extra features such as a week by week breakdown, listing of events from today onwards and future terms are available as well as links to historic event listings from 1996 to August 2002. In addition. the ITS3 Home page and Links page include a brief mention of events happening Today, Tomorrow/Monday and Soon. Soon currently lists the next 5 events in the Calendar.
Future developments include adding a "distance from Oxford" field to the Calendar information, which may or may not be displayed. This will allow Today, Tomorrow/Monday and Soon to only display local events which ITSS have a chance of getting to at short notice, and exclude events for which booking closed some time ago and/or travel is necessary. So far, no events have been scheduled for the weekend so having Monday replace Tomorrow on a Friday has been acceptable. This is subject to monitoring and review, as are the number of events listed under Soon.
ITS3 News items appear on the ITS3 Home Page. This is currently used to advertise forthcoming events which require advanced booking, events possibly of interest to some ITSS but not mainstream enough to go into the Calendar, advertising new facilities and requesting feedback from ITSS on topics.
A weekly bulletin is emailed to ITSS-Announce, generally on Mondays, giving very brief information about News items and upcoming events for the week and the next. This duplicates the entries in News and Calendar and points ITSS to the relevant web pages.
Several of these have been run, the last one in late June/July. All of these have been well attended. At present, there are no plans to run any more.
An ITSS Induction Workshop was run on 13th August 2002 with 6 attendees and one guest, Rachel Perkins from Warwick University, who is on the UCISA Staff Development Committee and its Distributed IT Staff sub-group. The next Induction Workshop will be end November/beginning of December.
The presentations given at the Induction Workshop are now available on the ITS3 web site, Resources page. http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/its3/resources/
ITSS Seminars for Michaelmas 2002 will start on Thursday 21 November. This is later than usual as previous years suffered from low attendance due to pressure of work, new academic year, etc. Only two seminars have been confirmed so far - an introduction to the Oxford Internet Institute and an update on eScience projects. There is an option to arrange one further ITSS seminar if wanted.
These are organised independently by the Unix team at OUCS and take place most Wednesday lunchtimes. They are advertised in the Calendar and ITSS-annouce bulletin. They are more informal, birds of a feather type sessions with input from members and sometimes outside speakers. It is hoped that if the speakers are of general interest to ITSS, a join event can be run.
ITS-FEDA are part of Reading College and offer Micrsoft and Novell training at educational prices to education and small businesses. They are interested in running their standard courses at OUCS, probably from January when the new OUCS lecture room will be available. The courses will be open to all their usual client base and they will do the promotion and advertsing. However, Oxford ITSS will benefit from having locally run courses and course topics will be chosen from those requested by Oxford ITSS.
These are generally organised in response to requests.
2.6.1 Two Ermine Shutdown ITSS Briefings were organised and presented by Beth Crutch. Both were on Thursday 31st October, one at 13:05 and the second at 16:30. Attendance was lower than expected. It has been assumed that all ITSS are happy with the arrangements and the informaton being disseminated. The text of the slides presented is available on the ITS3 web site, Resources page. http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/its3/resources/
2.6.2 A half day seminar on Microsoft .NET, given by a new local training company C7 has been arranged and will be held on Wednesday 4th December. As C7 are charging for their instructor, there will be a cost associated with this and ITSS are being charged 20 GBP each ot cover it. A request for interest at this level of fee resulted in over 30 replies all happy with the charge.
2.6.3 Requests for technical Apple Mac training are received periodically. The only Apple approved training company are Xplor-IT. Costs of their courses and course syllabuses have been advertised via News and the ITSS-Annouce weekly bulletin with little response. It would appear that the level of need is not sufficiently high to justify the cost, even of a course run at Oxford.
Training courses and seminars run by UKERNA, UCISA, Exeter ITTI, LTG Digital Projects, Oxon BCS, OxIT, SAS, Veritas/Q Associates, Macromedia and Evesham Technology/Microsoft have been promoted via the Calendar, ITSS-Announce weekly Bulletin.
As a trial, a number of Novell Self Study Kits were purchased for ITSS use. The titles purchased were chosen in consultation with ITSS. A rental scheme was devised whereby ITSS can rent thes kits for £10 per week, so helping recoup their cost and discourage ITSS from hanging on to them while others may be waiting. These kits were advertised as being available in an ITSS-Annouce weekly bulletin and in a News item early October. Reminders have also been issued in further weekly bulletins. To date, only one person has taken advantage of the scheme.
The value of providing and purchasing self teach materials for ITSS needs investigating.
The ITSS Summer Social was held on Wednesday 24th July at Halifax House. Due to the difficulties in getting people to commit to buy tickets in advance experienced in previous years, it was decided not to have tickets, not arrange any food or drink but promote the Halifax House bar and cafe instead. This "just turn up" attitude also has problems as people want to know who or how many others are going before they commit themselves.
Attendance was low at around 12 people and the cafe surroundings were not ideal for a social occasion. It may be that the increased work, administration, publicity and preparation required for a ticketed event, open to only ITSS and guests, would be worth trying again. It is suggested that a new venue is found next year.
This is usually held around Easter but was delayed this year, then was delayed further by colleges being busy with summer students, new term, full term, etc. The dinner will now be held on 6th December in the Forte Room at Pembroke College preceded by a sherry reception on the Gallery. There will be a three course meal with wine, coffee and mints. Tickets are on sale at £27.50 for individuals with a special offer price of £25 if booking a party of four or more. This is to encourage people to ask their friends, colleagues, etc. to join them. Further details can be found at http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/its3/external/christmasevents02/dinner.html
It is hoped that the close to Christmas date may encourage more people to attend this year. If so, a later November/early December date may be chosen again.
This year's Christmas Social is to be held on Tuesday 17th December at Far From the Madding Crowd, a relatively new pub on Friar's Entry, from 6pm. It promotes itself as having good food, tea & coffee, food, artwork on display and as actively encouraging groups to meet there. See http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/its3/external/christmasevents02/pubnight.html for further information. There are no tickets and no entrance fee for this event.
This is to be a two day event held on Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th December. It is being organised by EML as previously.