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The Dice Project

Operational Meeting

Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 27th September 2006
Room 2511, JCMB

Lindsey Brown, Neil Brown, Tim Colles, Ken Dawson (convener and minutes), Archie Howitt, Iain Rae, George Ross, Alastair Scobie, Rosemary Soutar, Craig Strachan
  1. Apologies for absence

    Alison, Morna and Roger had sent their apologies.

  2. minutes of the last meeting.

    These were accepted.

  3. Report from Computing Executive Group.

    Alastair reminded the meeting that the minutes of CEG meetings are published on the web.

    Julieta has resigned and will be moving to a post in MIS in mid-November. We have had permission to reappoint to this post and Ken will be managing the reappointment process.

    The process to reappoint to Sarah and Charlie's posts has been progressing (see the details in the User Support Unit report below).

    There will be a brain-storming meeting in late October, attended by Alastair, Craig, George and Ken, on planning for the move to the Informatics Forum. There is still some variation in procedures from site to site which will need to be replaced by a uniform set of procedures for the Forum and Appleton Tower. We should be deciding how things should be once the major moves have been completed (around Christmas 2007 perhaps) and then work back from there to plan the transition. After the initial the brain-storming session it will be important to open up the discussions to elicit input from the wider circle of computing staff (possibly via a wiki web).

    Craig, George, Ken and Tim will be attending a management training course (one day per month) between October and February. Alison, Craig, George and Tim are also on the waiting list to attend training in appraisals. We will then restart the staff appraisal process for all computing staff. This should allow us to provide advice to staff on more focused development study/training. This will possibly be integrated with a relaunched series of technical talks by staff to other computing staff.

    It has been agreed in principle that there should be a computing staff travel budget for attending conferences and visiting other computing sites of interest. The new budget should have some funds in the next financial year.

    The Kenway report (the report of the panel for the review of computing and IT-based services 2006) will be published by the end of this week. Available members of the Computing Strategy Group will meet on Monday to discuss our response, which needs to be ready by the end of next week, so that it can be taken to a special meeting of CCITC (College Computing and IT Committee).

    There was some discussion of why some parts of the CEG minutes were marked as Restricted. It was agreed that if a restricted agenda item later became unrestricted then it would be marked as such.

  4. Reports from units.

  5. Machine rooms

    There was some discussion about the different regimes that applied to the various machine rooms. It was clear that there was a need to harmonise procedures across the different sites. The Infrastructure Unit would need to look into this.

  6. Support for Institute/research group websites

    There was some discussion of the circumstances under which it was appropriate to give help with creating web pages on Institute/research group websites.

    It was appropriate to give advice about publishing tools and technology.

    Alastair reminded the meeting that it was not computing staff's responsibility to produce web page content on behalf of others (just as it is not our responsibility to debug other people's java code say).

    If an Institute/research group was willing to pay for computing staff to produce the content of web pages then the request should be directed to the Research and Teaching Unit.

  7. AOCB

    It was agreed that we should have a general multi-user machine that was running FC3 but that it would have a very limited life after services were all transferred to FC5. It was agreed that bu.inf could be used as the machine for this temporary service, and that it should have the alias fc3.login.inf. The User Support Unit would be responsible for it.

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