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 undertaking Athena.

according to hundreds of thousands of pages of stories and the author's personal event, this significant ebook allows you to in at the layout, implementation, and function of venture Athena - now a construction process of networked workstations that's exchanging time-sharing (which MIT additionally pioneered) because the most well-liked version of computing at MIT. The publication is prepared in 4 components, overlaying administration, pedagogy, know-how, and management. Appendixes describe deployment of venture Athena platforms at 5 different faculties, supply directions for install, and suggest end-user policies.

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

Sample text

The project staff quickly configured an initial system, and installed the initial workstations early in 1985 for the staff's use. T h e first public workstation cluster opened in March 1985. Testing and improvement of this system continued through the summer of 1985, and the initial deployment of workstations for student use followed that fall. Deployment continued aggressively, and, as workstations became more plentiful, use of the time-sharing system dropped off. The new system software developed for the workstation environment ultimately corrected the problems encountered with the time-sharing systems.

A m o n g the i m p o r tant resources of the project were the students hired in considerable numbers during the summer. " The name, coined by Dave Grubbs, was taken from characters in Mote in God's Eye by Niven and Pournelle. The "watchmakers" in the book were tiny people w h o would fix things when no one else was looking. T h e students w h o worked in operations were called "droogs," the name selected by Alix Vasilatos from the movie Clockwork Orange. A third group, called "gremlins," was assigned to "cluster patrol" to make sure that all of the workstations and printers are operational.

Entry cost was both low and modular, and minimal bureaucracy was involved. 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.

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