MIT Project Athena. A Model for Distributed Campus Computing by George Champine

By George Champine

A hands-on account of the layout, implementation, and function of venture Athena.

in keeping with millions of pages of news and the author's personal adventure, this significant e-book allows you to in at the layout, implementation, and function of undertaking Athena - now a construction procedure of networked workstations that's changing time-sharing (which MIT additionally pioneered) because the most well liked version of computing at MIT. The publication is geared up in 4 elements, overlaying administration, pedagogy, expertise, and management. Appendixes describe deployment of undertaking Athena structures at 5 different colleges, supply guidance for install, and suggest end-user policies.

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Extra info for MIT Project Athena. A Model for Distributed Campus Computing

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Those intending to use the system for pedagogical purposes 24 FROM VISION TO REALITY opposed research and experimentation because it would lead to instability. The advocates of instructional use won; their views were adopted as policy, and the C o m p u t e r Science people left the project. Early management of the project was by committee. The c o m position of the committee was very fluid, however, so consistent progress was difficult. In October 1983, Dertouzos released a m e m o identifying the project's management problems, including lack of visible structure, inadequate communication with C o m p u t e r Science, lack of a technical plan, lack of credible leadership, and tension over the technical approach.

Indeed, a department could set up a microcomputer lab with no outside help (or interference). In some cases, the cost burden was shifted largely to the students by encouraging or requiring them to purchase microcomputer systems. The required use of microcomputer systems on a widespread basis in higher education seems to have been implemented first at Clarkson College in 1983. That year, IBM-compatible personal computers built by Zenith Data Systems were issued to every incoming freshman as part of tuition.

However, response time remained acceptable and the system required no changes. Once all the graduate students were added to the system, faculty interest in the system increased substantially. M a n y more requests for workstations were received from departments, with the intent of making computing much more of an integral part of teaching and student interaction. By the summer of 1990 the Athena system was fully functional, stable, reasonably reliable, and performed adequately. Maintenance continues, and the industry experience that it takes as many people to maintain a system as it does to develop it initially has proven to be the case with Athena.

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