Friday, 27 April 2012

Plus ça change

In a couple of weeks time we'll be moving to a new building, and like many people, I'm now panicking about the amount of rubbish I've accumulated over the past few years, and what I'm going to do with it. In the interests of clearing some of it out, I decided to open a cupboard, which hasn't been opened for so long I'd forgotten what was in there, and found some very interesting reminders of what life was like in the department when we first started, 15 or so years ago.

I found a copy of our first report - published in 1998,  a summary of what we'd achieved over the previous two years, and our plans for the future. Very interesting reading!  Our aims and objectives don't look that much different, and included:
  • Develop and manage the network infrastructure to provide reliable and highly functional connectivity
  • Support the development of innovative approaches to course delivery and the technologies needed to deliver on-line learning materials
  • Provide services to users of all platforms
  • Cultivate and develop relationships and collaborations with all departments
  • Produce detailed plans for disaster protection and recovery
  • Provide informative and prompt user support
Some of the operational things we were planning included:
Learning and Teaching
 -  the delivery of multimedia to all desktops
 -  encouraging and supporting student-led computing including student ownership of machines
 -  encouraging the use of national supercomputing facilities
Administrative Computing
 - ensure systems are year 2000 compliant (!)
 - implement a new HR and payroll system

Some things leap out at you - we thought it was a good idea to include pictures of CDRoms and servers in it:

And at the back we included a series of graphs showing fileserver failures!
The number of concurrent daily log-ins in March 2008 was 2500  - now we have almost 6000 concurrent log-ins to the wireless service!

Finally, I was taken with the closing paragraphs in my introduction, and how much of it could have been written today:

Look at those phrases:
rapidly changing IT...
networked learning strategy (now eLearning)...
network upgrade...
new desktop....
extra resources...
hard decisions....
reallocation of resources....

Some things don't change much!

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