A meeting of the University IT Users' Group was held on Tuesday 29th April 2003. The following people attended the meeting:
|Name||Department or College|
|Pete Biggs (Chairman)||Chemistry|
|Michael Stevens||Cairns Library|
|Clive Dalzell||Careers Service|
|Craig Tranfield||Computing Laboratory|
|Jonathan Burt||Continuing Education|
|Dave Popplewell||Experimental Psychology|
|Philomen Probert||Literae Humaniores|
|Chris Willis||Medical Sciences Office|
|John Ireland||IT Support Staff Group|
|Alan Gay||Oxford University Computing Services|
|Tony Brett||Oxford University Computing Services|
|Jane Brown (Secretary)||Oxford University Computing Services|
|Paul Davis||Oxford University Computing Services|
|Apologies for Absence:|
|Malcolm Harper||Computing Laboratory|
|Matthew Searle||Radcliffe Science Library|
|David Tilley||Surveyor's Office|
|David Price||Systems and Electronic Resources Services|
1097 MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING
The minutes of the meeting held on 14th January 2003 were accepted as correct.
1098 MATTERS ARISING
1098.1 Minute 1085 - Request for Representative from MIS to be Present at Future Meetings - Pete Biggs reported that he had contacted Margaret Taylor regarding having an MIS representative at future meetings to discuss ISIDORE & OSIRIS issues. The outcome of this was that Margaret agreed to send someone from MIS as a representative for the Unit. However, this representative would not necessarily be able to answer questions on all of the projects being run by MIS because the projects (and staff) were independent of each other. If there is anything specific that the Group needs to know about ISIDORE or OSIRIS then MIS will try to answer these queries as they arise.
1098.2 Minute 1086.1 - Time tabling of Commitments for Graduate Students in week 0 of Michaelmas - [Robert Taylor had sent a letter to Graduate Studies Admissions and EPSC to ask for a dedicated Colleges' induction day for graduate freshers but had not received a reply.]
1098.3 Minute 1086.3 Virus E-mails & Spam - David Rischmiller to look at the feasibility of OUCS offering a central directory for Sophos using the Enterprise Manager version.
Robin McCleery asked if there had been any progress with this. Paul Davis reported that he thought the investigations done by David Rischmiller had found problems with some types of clients but Paul would chase this up with David and report back to the Group. [ACTION Paul Davis]
[Paul Davis later reported back the following:- Further to our recent meeting I've received the following explanation of the current situation from James Partridge who is involved with the implementation.
"The situation with EM is as follows: Testing on our test network is done to all intents and purposes and I've found EM to be very good *once* it is setup and correctly configured. However, there has been a delay because of the fact that Sophos basically rely on a Windows domain model for their authentication. This doesn't cause a great problem if EM is being used within a single unit, but may cause more problems across multiple units.
We will go ahead and offer the service and see what areas in reality do cause problems. As far as implementation goes, I'm actually about to build our first EM server. I hope that'll be done in the early part of next week. Then in the first instance I'll be using it for a week or so to feed Sophos updates to the NSMS Sophos update service.
All being well, we can start to offer it for wider use immediately that initial live test period is over. Pressure of work and staff changes have meant this has unfortunately taken longer than initially expected."]
1099 CHAIRMAN'S REPORT
Pete Biggs reported on the following two items:
1099.1 Review of OUCS
A review of OUCS is taking place this summer and Pete will be meeting with the Review Group Panel on July 9th/10th. Representatives can raise their own issues with the Review Group or they can do it through the IT Users' Group and Pete will pass it on. Please make any representations to Pete before the start of July.
ISIDORE is the MIS project which will provide information on students throughout their time at the University. The system will be implemented in the same way as OSIRIS but MIS will try to get users involved at a much earlier stage. Ian McArthur from Physics will be representing the Departments in this implementation so please contact Ian (email@example.com) if you have any views on ISIDORE.
1100 COMPUTING SERVICES REPORT
Paul Davis had produced a written report that was placed online with the agenda. Paul Davis added the following points:
1100.1 HFS Upgrade
The HFS will be upgraded using HEFCE and University funds, for completion by Easter 2004.
1100.2 Spam and anti-virus filtering
The necessary equipment for spam and anti-virus filtering has been received and the system will be checked before going live. Spam Assassin is being used to check the E-mail. Spam Assassin cannot be setup for individuals but changes can be passed on to the white list. All mail will be passed on to the user with a heading that details what Spam Assassin has found out about the message.
1100.3 10Gb Backbone upgrade
The implementation, which was planned to be carried out in summer/autumn 2003 has now been deferred until the summer of 2004. This is because the equipment required has come onto the market later than the original forecasts. Alan Gay commented that there was no urgency to carry out the upgrade this year: the original timetable had been planned around the availability of funding, rather than an immediate requirement for extra capacity, and now that it had been possible to defer the funding, the University would benefit from a more established product.
1100.4 Denial of service
The problems with AOL not recognising that mail originating from Oxford was in fact genuine have now been resolved.
1100.5 Briefing Papers
Some short briefing papers and guides [covering such things as Video Conferencing, Digital Video, Accessibility and the Web, Plagiarism and RSS News Feeds] are now available on the LTG web site at: http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ltg/reports/
Lawrie Phipps, Director of TechDIS, is doing a one day workshop on Accessibility Issues on 27th June, with regard to the SENDA (Special Education Needs and Disability Act) legislation and making web sites more accessible. Pete Biggs added that this is very important to all those who own web pages and it is crucial that it is heavily advertised to all concerned. [ACTION Paul Davis]
1100.6 OUCS Intermedia Service
The OUCS Intermedia disk conversion service has now ended, alternative commercial service providers have been listed on the web pages at: http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/mediaconversion/
1100.7 Replacement for Ghost
The Altiris Deployment Solution software agreement has now been implemented and the media is available to purchase through the OUCS shop, payment details can be found at: http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/shop/prices/index.xml?ID=body.1_div.5
1100.8 EZMLM Mailing Lists
Majordomo has now been replaced by the EZMLM mailing list service and most lists have now been converted. For those that still have lists that need converting, please contact OUCS (firstname.lastname@example.org) before 16th May 2003.
1100.9 IT Literacy
The IT Literacy survey will be ready to go live very soon. [This is a year long study being run by OUCS to determine the IT Literacy levels of our students compared to other Universities.]
1100.10 Admin Staff Training
OUCS are running special training courses for Admin staff outside of term time. The courses will cover things like word processing and essential computer skills. Details can be found at: http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/courses/detail.xsp?code=ABB
1100.11 OUCS News
There is a new OUCS newsletter that will be produced once a term and will give information on all of the latest developments from OUCS.
1101 LIBRARIES REPORT
David Price had produced a written report that was placed online with the agenda. David Price was not in attendance [for which he sent his apologies after the meeting]. There were no questions on the libraries report from the Group
1102 REPORTS FROM OTHER COMMITTEES AND GROUPS
1102.1 South East Region Computer Users' Committee
Peter was not in attendance and there was nothing to report.
1102.2 Network Advisory Group
The latest minutes for the Network Advisory Group can be found on the web at http://www.ict.ox.ac.uk/oxford/network/nag/. There were no further comments.
1102.3 IT Support Staff Group
John Ireland had produced a written report that was placed online with the agenda. John added that the 8th IT Support Staff Conference is now confirmed for 26th June at Keble College. Registration will be £20 per head and it will open on 6th May, closing on 30th May. Full details will go up on the web site very soon. The main thrust of the conference this year will be ethics and the law, in particular the SENDA (Special Education Needs and Disability Act) legislation.
1103 ITEMS RAISED BY REPRESENTATIVES
There were no items raised by the representatives.
1104 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There was no other business.
1105 DATES FOR NEXT MEETINGS
The next meeting of University IT Users' Group Representatives will be a joint meeting with the College's IT Group and is provisionally set for Tuesday 21st October 2003 at 2:15pm in the Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Parks Road.