-- Main.s0458686 - 12 Nov 2007

Things To Do

  • Stuart shall find a tutor for the robotics lab.
  • Neil shall inform the cleaners that there is now a working kitchen on level 3.
  • The student management committee shall create signs for the kitchen: please wash and dry your dishes and a sign stating that this kitchen is on a trial period.
  • Neil shall look into obtaining plants.
  • Stuart shall look into obtaining art.
  • Neil shall obtain the kitchen facilities.
  • Stuart shall talk to Tim about Condor.
  • Neil shall add a door closer to the quiet lab on the 5th floor.
  • Stuart shall talk to Computer Support about the beeps: this needs to be resolved before the exam period.
  • Neil shall look into Cat5 cable for the wired connections.
  • Stuart shall reorganise the wiki page so that it's easier to find out who is on the committee.
  • Neil shall add the wiki to the Informatics website so people can access it.
  • Neil will chase up the recycling bins.


  • The average marks for assignments has been accepted by the database team; however it needs be brought to the teaching committee before it can be authorised.
  • The chasing of non-submissions has been proposed to the database people; however, they cannot work on it until the end of November.
  • The kitchen facilities have been agreed upon.

Agenda for the Next Meeting

  • Talk about Maths for Informatics.
  • Talk to Boris about the programming competition.
  • Talk about why we need Macs: what specific software? Dual boot with Linux?
  • Colour printers for third years? Ug3 need it for SDP.
  • Raise awareness about the committee. Send out an email once the site has been restructured?

Preliminary response from Computing Officers re Systems Questions

Hi Stuart,

* The provision of an (initially small) Mac lab for Informatics students. (added by Graham)

We don't have a way of managing a lab of Macs easily at present. Do we have an idea of who and how many would be using such a facility?

>>The lab need not be initially large (as managing is difficult), maybe as little as four machines - this would provide the ability for application development in Object C and Cocoa as well as experience in a widely used OS for informatics students. (I don't know numbers sorry, maybe Stuart could comment on this?)
-- GrahamBooth - 14 Jan 2008

* The provision of additional software packages, such as Photoshop and MATLAB ( > 50 Licenses) (added by Graham).

Not sure I understand this one. In terms of Matlab there are 150 classroom licenses for teaching usage. Don't think there is much of Photoshop that the Gimp can't do (in a more difficult and annoying way of course). Is this to satisfy a specific teaching requirement for a course or project?

>>I added this as apparently we are only able to run 50 copies of Matlab at one time, which for some people causes problems as assignment deadlines approach and more users run the software (the course I was refering to was IVR). I agree to an extent that Gimp provides a decent assortment of editing tools, however it cannot really be compared to Photoshop CS3. I added this again out of interest - Photoshop is an industry standard and having a few copies to use may be useful to a variety of students.
-- GrahamBooth - 14 Jan 2008

* Extending the use of colour printers to UG3/UG4 (with limited account use) (added by Graham)

We don't currently have a mechanism for accounting/quotaing printing usage so that is likely to be the blocking issue on this. There is a lot of plain monochrome printer wastage reported by support - printouts not collected.

>>Would it be possible to create a solution to this problem? There may be some open-source Linux tools available to do this sort of monitoring and it would only have to run for one printer. As far as the printer wastage is concerned, we must assume this is uniform i.e a third year student is no more likely to waste paper & ink than a fourth year or Msc student (who already have this privilege)
-- GrahamBooth - 14 Jan 2008

* Providing use of the Condor distributed computing services to UG3/UG4 students (added by Graham)

UG4 students already can - with approval of their project supervisor. Not sure UG3 projects call for that level of resource, but if they did it would be fine (again subject to supervisor approval).

>> Creating apps which utilize Grid or Distributed computing would allow students to experiment on potential 4th year projects for example - few programmers have 80+ machines available to use. That said, I agree use should be monitored by a supervisor. Maybe we could advertise this a bit more as a lot of students are unaware of the system and its uses?
-- GrahamBooth - 14 Jan 2008

Topic revision: r4 - 14 Jan 2008 - 01:19:47 - GrahamBooth
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