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Meeting Agendas

25 October 2006

Budget status
601, 632 AV installations

The class rooms all hav projectors installed

Air Conditioning

The new BME building is taxing the central cooling system more than expected, so machine cooling will still be something we have to consider for the forseeeable future. We may relocate a portion of the cluster for the sake of future flexibility.

Mail Server

The new mail server has been running well. There was a brief problem with a black-listing, which was quickly resolved.

New File Server

A new file server has been ordered so we can extend the departments storage capacity further. The new system will be fully redundant (except for the RAID controller) and will be on the backup plan. We will likely need to replace some of the other file servers in the next year as well.

New Intel Multiprocessors

The new multiprocessor nodes have been installed.

Old business
Policy on Machines that are not staff-maintained

Some clarification to the what should and should not be done when working with a machine that is not maintained by the department.

Lab Benches

The fate of the lab benches left over from summer robotics works is determined.

New business
Parts for RAID boxes

One of the RAID controllers has failed. The redundant system picked up, and pricing for a replacement is being explored.

Workstation Rollover

Determining which of the office and lab workstations should be replaced.

VR and Robot lab space
Donating Cycles

There has been a proposal to donate cycles to rosetta@home or folding@home. There are a number of concerns about the software, and there is always a demand for more cycles in house.


The nightly backups have been taking longer to run recently (The number of staging disks is down due to recent power-outage related drive failure) and the new file servers will exacerbate the problem.

28 March 2006

Budget status
Updates/old business
AV installations

The installation in 703 is nearing completion, and 601 will be done over the summer. We hope to have 632 done next year.

Mail Server

The new mail server is running in a test environment, and the lab staff are using it day to day. Total roll-out is pending a fix for a problem between a particular email client and the new IMAP server. The new system includes much improved spam filtering (including end user feedback).


public scanner has been installed in the software lab


A new Sun T1000 machine has arrived in the department, and is now up and running. The new machine (niagara1) is 8 cores, with 4 threads each, running at 1GHz.

New business

Lab Cleanup

There are a couple items left over from the recent reorganization in room 727 (lab benches) that we found a home for.

Cycle Servers

We're looking to upgrade the cycle servers, and likely restrict external ssh access to those machines. This will make administration (particularly for security) much simpler.

World Captiols

There are funds in the budget to upgrade a large portion of the workstations (the 50-60 machines named after world capitols). We're looking for feedback about which machines (or which aspects of them -- e.g., monitors) should be addressed.


The shared space in /usr/grads has fallen into disuse/disarray, and so we need update the policies and storage space.

VR Lab

The use of VR lab space after the summer has not been finalized, and will depend in part on a new faculty hire. Of particular note is the hydraulic motion platform, which is both massive and complex.

10 Aug 2005


A general discussion of where our money is and where it goes.

Staff Responsibilities

During the summer recess Liudvikas Bukys left the department, leaving large shoes to be filled. The committee discussed the projects that Liudy had on his plate immediately before leaving to determine what should be passed on to Jim and Dave each.

Status Report

The recent desktop upgrade of the Fedora Linux OS is nearly complete. The only exceptions are a handful of machines on which the CD-Rom died at some point.

The web server will be upgraded during the fall semester including a new installation of Apache. The storage space allocated to websites will be significantly increased.

The new mail server is currently running in a test environment and hardware will be in place in the next month, along with the accompanying software update. Although spamassasin is available on the mail server, running it on all incoming mail is not computationally feasible. On the new sever all mail will be filtered by default. Training of spamassasin's Baysian filter is currently done by scanning the unwanted file in users' home directory. Making a simlink to your recent mbox or maildir formatted junk mail will help reduce everyone's spam.


Dr. Scott suggested that a student member of the committee could provide information to the department about what transpires at a LabComm meeting (e.g. this WikiPage).

Server Issues

Space and cooling: We are out of both. Discussions of options are underway with the Dean's office.

Alphas: given the maintenance/licensing cost of the Alpha machines, their space and cooling requirements, and the limited use they receive, the decision was made to take them offline. Current users will be asked whether we need to procure a desk-side machine that can be used when specific architecture or compiler requirements dictate.

Once the Alphas are removed, some more space will be opened for the next set of Linux systems to be added to the cluster. Additionally, a few of the Sun machines may need to be moved between server rooms.


Although most of the department is wired for Gigabit Ethernet, a couple spare jacks here and there are not. Upgrading these in on the near-term todo.

The the moment undergrads cannot reliably access a wireless network within the computer science department. The CS wireless network is currently only available to Faculty/Staff/Grads, but the university wireless network has not been installed above the 5th floor of CSB. The reasoning for not installing URNet wireless on 6 and 7 is unclear, but calls are being made.


A new set of machines for the undergrad lab will be arriving at the end of the month. There was some discussion about how heavily utilized the lab tends to be, and whether there is enough demand to justify the number of seats currently in the majors lab and the Hylan lab.

-- KirkKelsey - 16 Aug 2005

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Topic revision: r6 - 2006-10-26 - KirkKelsey
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