technology timeline in the 1990's by alvinbowen

VIEWS: 1,062 PAGES: 6

									    Integrated Technology Services (ITS) Thematic Timeline

UNB’s ‘Engineering Library Indexing and Searching Technique’ (ENLIST), a computer
implementation of a traditional filecard indexing/cataloguing system was created by
Albert Stevens, of UNB’s Department of Civil Engineering.i

Jean-Paul Tremblay, a young Faculty member in Computing Science, wrote UNB’s first
payroll program. Using a computer language called PL/I, the program was put into
production and computed gross pay, deductions and produced the appropriate accounting
reports and cheques. This program would work be used for UNB’s payroll for 30 years.ii

FABLE, a high speed batch service on a self service card reader/printer was initiated at


The Baylor Executive System for Teleprocessing (BEST) was selected for use at the
UNB Computing Centre as a vehicle to satisfy existing interactive teleprocessing

A Programming Language (APL) language and time sharing system made service
available via Typewriter Terminals at UNB.v

A considerable commitment from the mainframe was devoted to the new system of
student evaluation implemented at UNB – the change was from percentages to letter
grades and the GPA

Single Virtual System (SVS) operating system was implemented at UNB. Released by
IBM in 1972, OS/VS2 replaced the Multitasking with a Fixed number of Tasks (MFT),
permitting systems to function with additional virtual allocations of space beyond the
computer’s physical memory.vii
Remote Job Entry (RJE) was developed at UNB for use with APL and involved
modifications to the HASP system to support.viii

Based on a system designed by Blackwell North America (Canada), an experiment in
computerized library cataloguing is undertaken by the Association of Atlantic
Universities at UNB. The database provided Machine Readable Cataloguing Cards
(MARC) and was updated weekly on tapes. The system was designed to support
simultaneously the cataloguing and book processing activities of libraries, either
individually or in groups, and services were offered, from UNB as the hub, to any library
within the Maritime provinces, or to any library in Canada.ix


VSPC – Time Sharing introduced to UNB, providing interactive service with APL, Basic
FORTRAN and Remote Job Entry (RJE) access to Batch services.x UNB was one of the
first institutions in the world to acquire it. Considered at the time to be IBM’s flagship
product, VSPC was a time-sharing system, i.e. instead of using the usual punched cards
and running down to the one card reader, you could sign on at a terminal and do your
programming from there - even from your own office – quite a novel concept at the

UNB migrates from SVS to a Multiple Virtual Storage (MVS) operating system.xii


UNB implements MVS/SE.xiii

Harriet Irving Library’s PHOENIX system is implemented. The first online library
catalogue in the country, PHOENIX was developed by UNB’s Brian Lesser, a
programmer/analyst in the Computer Centre.xiv

Online access to student records first occurred, initially through Time Sharing Operating
System (TSO), and subsequently through Customer Information Computer System
(CICS); CICS was an expensive program, costing at the time circa $20,000/month.xv

The Computing Centre, with the support of the School of Computer Science and research
contract funds, installed a ‘state of the art’ Data Base Management system. This would
be used in research and teaching as well as to meet internal administrative needs.xvi


The VECTOR facility, a processor, was added to the mainframe in August of ’86. It was
the first installed at a Canadian University and the world’s first on a 3090-180. The
Vector was an extension of the central processor’s instruction and execution elements
that allows the CPU to execute vector arithmetic and logical operations on up to 128 sets
of operands with a single instruction. xvii Also added was an IBM 7171 protocol

Multi-User System for Interactive Computing (MUSICxix), an interactive terminal
system, replaced the VSPC as the primary interactive service on UNB’s mainframes.
MUSIC ran on an IBM 9370, and was accessible from most mainframe terminals on
campus, from the campus Local Area Network (LAN); it also had dialup accessxx. xxi

Unix (an industry standard operating system initially for small to moderate sized
computers, widely used in scientific and engineering workstations) was introduced in
1988, and became widely available at UNB and included 6 public networked machines
by 1990.xxii

UNB’s administrative applications and on-line users began its upward hike. In 1988,
UNB had about 170 clients in 10 application areas, including libraries. By the end of
1996, CSD was supporting 845 users in approximately 25 systems.xxiii


PHOENIX, the library database, moved to the Customer Information Control System
(CICS) system of transaction, increasing efficiency in computer communications, and
became accessible through MUSIC.xxiv

The indexing and abstracting service of the Educational Resources Information Centre
(ERIC) was added to the PHOENIX system. This database gave more than 600,000
citations to journal articles and research reports.xxv

CSD, in a joint venture with the Geology department, purchased a site license for the
Ingres database system on the SUN Unix platforms. This was upgraded during the 1993-
94, and again during the 1994-95 years, adding among other things development tools for

PHOENIX and other related circulation, serials and order processing applications are
retired, and a new system, called QUEST is introduced at UNB’s Libraries. QUEST uses
a commercial product called Unicorn, from SIRSI. QUEST is a client/server application.
It uses open systems such as UNIX, WWW, and TCP/IP.xxvii       QUEST was placed on a
Sun Sparc 1000 machine.xxviii

Significant work was done to install and tailor the new ESA operating system to replace
the MVS/XA for production use on the MVS mainframe. The move to ESA allowed
CSD to continue to run current and supported operating systems and provided a better
online system performance with a more current version of CICS.xxix

DATATEL, a suite of administrative applications, was introduced at UNB to replace the
30 year old accounting/payroll system at use in UNB. The program would take a few
years to be fully

UNB was the first site in the world to successfully run WebAdvisor for student
registration. xxxi


PSyCo, UNB’s own presentation system for courses, was retired, and the widely used,
web-based course delivery and management tool – WebCT- was adopted.xxxii

The Fluency in Information Technology program (FITness) was initiated. This program,
delivered via the web, was designed to improve the information and communications
technology (ICT) skills of the entire multi-campus community.xxxiii


The site licence for Word Perfect was terminated, with support being phased out after an
additional 3 years.xxxiv
The eLUCIdator, (LUCI), an open source, Unix-based program intended to make web
sites more accessible to individuals with specific disabilities was developed for UNB’s
website. When used, LUCI strips out all the images, all the inaccessible JAVA script,
and any other elements that make it difficult to access the required information. Based on
Betsie, or BBC’s Education Text to Speech Internet Enhancer, a program created
by BBC Online in the late 1990s, LUCI enabled the secure side of UNB’s website to also
be made accessible. xxxv


A major upgrade to the learning management system for use on both campuses (i.e. WebCT
CE4 to Blackboard CE6) (UNBF and UNBSJ): Implementation of the latest version of the
online learning system has added value to the learning experience for instructors and students
by providing enhanced collaboration and delivery features.xxxvi

Investments were made to acquire and implement an enterprise backup solution to replace the
existing multiple solutions. In addition to addressing the issues for the Fredericton campus,
the enterprise backup strategy and supporting solution were developed in conjunction with
the Saint John campus. xxxvii


In conjunction with the business units, a major release of the Datatel suite (integrated
administrative and financial systems used at UNB) of products was implemented in
December. This update included a significant change to the underlying technical
architecture of the product.xxxviii

     Compilation: Vol14 no1 January 1981.
   CSD Annual Report and Planning Document, March 1998.
    Meeting with Dave Macneil, Aug 7.08.
     - proposal for revision of the Baylor Executive System for teleprocessing by Patrick Emin, dated April
1972. (filed in Bobby Jones’ office.)
   From the Historical Development of UNB’s Central Computing Equipment chart – we have :
- From v5no7 June 1972 – V6no1 Oct1972 – describes APL.
    July 22 meeting with Kirby Keyser.0
     From the Historical Development of UNB’s Central Computing Equipment chart – we have :
Virtual Memory system. What does Virtual Memory system mean? Significant?
     Email from Tony Fitzgerald, aug 14, 2008. – of note, tony says that he has a School of Computer
Science technical report with details – currently have his documentation if we wish to include any specifics
in the report.
    Educational Digest, May 1977 -- document provided by David Macneil. – added sept30/08
  Meeting with Dave Macneil, Aug.7.08.
    From the Historical Development of UNB’s Central Computing Equipment chart – we have :- VSPC
Time-sharing. -1979: - Vol 12 no5 August 1979 Compilation; - Also in a letter dated January 1989 in the
Compilation; - Email from Steve Rosenfeld, Wednesday June 25, 2008.
     From the Historical Development of UNB’s Central Computing Equipment chart – we have : - Move to
MVS – production of MVS – ahead of schedule.- Also listed in the manager’s meeting of February 9, 1979.
Bobby Jones’ files.
     From Hotnews Tuesday, September 9, 1980.
     Director’s meetings notes, September 11 and 18, 1980, discuss the training of library staff in PHOENIX.
(folder entitled 1981 in Bobby Jones’ files)
     Gleaned from the July 22 interview with Kirby Keyser
     Report to the Board of Governors – COMPUTING CENTRE – January 25, 1985.
      From the Historical Development of UNB’s Central Computing Equipment chart – we have :
The vector facility added ; Compilation: Vol19no3 October 1986.
      Doug Beairsto interview.
     From the Historical Development of UNB’s Central Computing Equipment chart – we have :
Second CPU added, MUSIC system.
     From Memo: To all VSPC users, dated January 1989, included in the Compilation binders.(Volume 22).
     Compilation: Vol21no3 November 1988 .
      Vol23no1 January 1990.
      CSD Annual report 1995-96 (Covering letter for the 1996-97 budget) – page 18
      Compilation: Vol 22 no3.
      Compilation Vol23 no1 January 1990.
      CSD Annual report 1995-96 (Covering letter for the 1996-97 budget)
       Computing Services Annual Report for 1995-96, page 22.
         Computing Services Annual Report for 1996-97.
      CSD Annual report 1995-96 (Covering letter for the 1996-97 budget)page 19.
     CSD Annual Report and Planning Document, March 1998. --- NEED TO CONFIRM YEAR.
      Annual Report & Planning Document, March 2000 page 6.
       Annual Report, Integrated Technology Services March 2001), page 4.
       Annual Report, Integrated Technology Services March 2001), page 5.
        University of NB email report to VP finance – dated June 2003, provided by Peter Ruddock.
       April 2005 ITS Newsletter
       Annual Report of the Vice President (Finance and Corporate Services) for the 2006-07 year.
        Annual Report of the Vice President (Finance and Corporate Services) for the 2006-07 year.
        Annual Report of the Vice President (Finance and Corporate Services) for the 2007-08 year.

To top