CURRENT STUDENTS | FUTURE STUDENTS | FACULTY/STAFF | A-Z
|III. CURRENT COMPUTING ENVIRONMENT|
COMPUTING SYSTEMS AND SOFTWARE
Western New Mexico University is served by a wide array of computing systems, including DEC VAX 4300, DEC Alpha 2100 and DEC Alpha 1000 and DEC Alpha 400 minicomputers. During FY 1998-99, a DELL Poweredge was acquired. The DELL houses the SCT Banner/ORACLE MIS System purchased in the Fall of 1998. This machine was purchased from funds derived from a Title III grant for purposes of constructing a data warehouse. In the interim, the machine houses the new MIS until a new server is installed. Once a server has been purchased, the SCT modules will be migrated to that server.
Over 550 computers are located in general access laboratories (labs), department and discipline specific labs, and in faculty and staff offices. Specific details describing these systems is presented in tabular form below. Many of the computers are connected to virtual local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs).
The VAX 4300 supports student instruction in a number of disciplines, most recently Mathematics and Computer Science; Management, Marketing, Natural Sciences, Psychology, and Sociology. The campus-wide electronic mail system, VAX Mail, runs on this processor as well as the DEC Alpha 1000 and Alpha 2100. It is also used to support the Galaxy Library Systems for Miller Library and faculty research projects. The majority of our faculty accounts are housed on this server, a.k.a. ‘SILVER’. The DEC Alpha 1000 (‘PYRITE’) is planned to be our central email/webmail server running Linux.
The DEC Alphas are used for network control, Student/Staff/Faculty email/system accounts, Domain Name Service and house the university’s administrative application systems. The small Alpha 400 is used as a Linux server located in CATTS-Chino. This unit may be reviewed for future intranet utilization.
Two high-end servers act as both principle and backup servers for the University web site. (www.wnmu.edu). They include hosting software based on the dominant Apache “open-software” web server. This state-of-the-are technology allows for multiple domain serving and sub-domain services (e.g. millerlibrary.wnmu.edu) which are anticipated for other hosting as included in grant proposals currently outstanding. A large number of individuals contribute content, with effective secure access only to their content areas.
In addition to on campus systems, dedicated and dial-up access is provided. A T1 FRS line goes from Silver City to NMSU/CHECS-NET; WNMU’s major Internet and in-state access is via this line. Limited dial-up access is available for users in buildings currently not connected to the campus network, (Those areas not having connectivity include Sechler and Glaser Halls, Brancheau PE (Serial only), Flemming Hall, Campus Police and the Mecha Building, Maintenance, Ritch, Centennial, Regents Row and Muir Heights.)
During FY 1998-99, a Staff/Faculty computing lab was constructed in CATTS-Chino. The lab’s primary function is supporting the implementation of the SCT Banner Modules Training. There are a total of 24 Gateway PCs that access both the SCT Banner Systems and the network. The facility will allow for staff and faculty training during non-banner use. The training will address novice and intermediate end user skills by utilizing and demonstrating popular MS Office suite products, Word, Excel and email programs.
Currently effort is being expended to secure time and opportunity to conduct training for the faculty and staff of Western. An individual has been named as trainer, and time slots have been identified and coordinated with the SCT Banner training schedule.
The main student lab facility on the first floor of the Martinez Building contains computers connected to WNMU’s various computer systems, as well as the Internet. This lab is open to all WNMU students and is staffed by student assistants. Other student labs are available at various times and for different purposes. The main general student lab facility, CATTS-Martinez and CATTS-Chino address repairs (both areas housing repair facilities), upgrades, student/faculty/staff support, maintenance issues, software installations and general assistance.
There are a number of discipline-specific computer laboratories on campus. These facilities are managed and supported by academic units and CATTS-Martinez. These labs include a Learning Resource Center in the Juan Chacon Building, an IBM clone Lab in Office Technology, a science lab located in Harlan Hall, a computer assisted drafting lab in Applied Technology, a Computer Science research lab in the Martinez Building, a Humanities language and writing lab in the Library Annex, an Adult Basic Education Lab located in Watts Hall and a Nursing /OTA lab in the Watts Hall.
Upgrades have been made to the computers in the general computer lab located in CATTS-Martinez. Once where Power computers (8500’s) were present, they have since been augmented with more powerful models. The Internet will permit any microcomputer in the lab to have access to any available host system.
In addition, there are facilities for uploading and downloading files between the microcomputers and the various host systems. Software, manuals, and other documentation are available for use in the lab. Some labs contain computing systems on a LAN and high-end scanning and other peripheral devices. Much of the equipment located within the office technology laboratory consists of high-end computers, color inkjet printers and color laser-jet printers.
Six classrooms in Harlan Hall, Watts Hall, Light Hall, Phelps Dodge, and Martinez building are equipped with computers, overhead projectors and other multi-media equipment.
The library’s use of technology is expanding rapidly in conjunction with other public and proprietary resources. The library's on-line catalog, (OCLC) and library management system, are serviced by CATTS.
In addition to networked computing services, the library also subscribes to a number of computer based CD-ROM citation indexes, which duplicate print resources. Other software resources will also be acquired as appropriate hardware platforms are made available to the library. Systems expertise among library staff is sporadic and vulnerable; additional training is needed.
The University has access to the Internet, an international network of educational, research, and commercial computing sites. Interactive login sessions, file transfer, Web access and e-mail are available via the Internet. This allows an individual at WNMU to access a database at another university or to run interactive computing sessions on equipment not available at WNMU (assuming proper access authority). Universities (and other sites) maintain facilities and resources available via the Internet, including bibliographic databases, software repositories, and other computing resources.
LOCAL AREA NETWORKS (LANs)
LAN wiring on campus is either Ethernet or Appletalk. Existing Appletalk wiring will most likely be upgraded to Ethernet capabilities whenever possible. Future considerations must include optical fiber ‘to the wall’ as bandwidth overwhelms even Ethernet wiring. The following buildings are, or are in the process of being, networked via Ethernet: Castorena, Martinez, Phelps-Dodge, Hunter, Chino, Watts, SMC, Light Hall, Miller Library, Juan Chacon, Harlan and Bowden Hall. This connectivity includes many departments: the Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science, Education, Humanities, Business Administration, Social Sciences and Social Work. Buildings and units without current connectivity include Sechler and Glaser Halls, the Museum, and portions of Light Hall, F.A.C.T., Webb, Parotti, McCray, maintenance and the dormitories.
CAMPUS COMPUTING INVENTORY (as of April 1998)
Systems RAM HD Storage
DEC Alpha 2100 256MB 10GB
DEC Alpha 1000 128MB 4GB
DEC Alpha 400NT 32MB 5GB
DEC VAX 4300 32MB 5GB
DELL Poweredge 512MB 12GB
CATTS-Martinez (student access systems)
IBM Clones 142
Administrative and Faculty Computing Resources
IBM Clones 114
DEC VT terminals 40
Academic Offices/Area Resources
Systems (computers) Count
Academic Support 71
General Use Labs 84
Perkins Grant Restricted Use 59
Restricted Use (by Department) 34
Special Use (Library Databases) 31
Administrative Computing Resources
Systems (computers) Count
Administrative Support 75
Terminals (direct connect) 39
Total Equipment Distribution (computers, printers, scanners, terminals)
Equipment Count Percentage
Academic 559 66.7%
Administrative 279 33.3%
838 100 %
The inventory information was compiled into a database. Microcomputers in labs, offices, and classrooms number over 550. The database will be used to analyze micro-computing capabilities over time and to plan for future additions and changes
Western New Mexico University
PO Box 680 Silver City, NM 88062
Phone: 575-538-6149 Fax: 575-538-6243