As a side effect of building and running the backbone, I introduced UNIX systems into what was then a wholly VMS organization. We initially used Linux - roughly from 1994 - 1997, then over the next 20+ years, briefly migrated to Solaris x86, then to Solaris SPARC and back to Solaris x86/x64, and then back to Linux.
Our CIO at the time recognized that a pure VMS/RDB shop was not a valid long-term strategy and as a result had us host a UNIX/Oracle application on behalf of another organization as a part of building out a new capability that he recognized we'd need someday. As our VMS/RDB team didn't appreciate (or were genuinely hostile toward) non-VMS platforms, they declined to take on the building and management of UNIX/Oracle stack. So I and my team did.
Thirty-four years in IT - The System Office, Novell Directories, and Building a State Backbone (Part 3)
Unfortunately nearly all the work we put into administrative and academic technology had to be abandoned. As a part of a larger initiative across the state, the various colleges and universities were being merged together into a single system that today is know as Minnesota State. In that process our college president retired, and the new college leadership de-emphasized the use of technology In business practices. Additionally, I recognized that at merger time most of the software that I had written would not usable. So I spent some time getting us off the software I wrote and on to other software that I knew would be used post merger.
Posted on: July 02, 2019
At the college we were extremely fortunate to have a president who had a very forward looking view of technology. In the mid 1980s he was already using personal computers regularly and had written some of his own software. Sometime around 1988 or so he described what he thought would be appropriate use of technology in education. He wanted all student records and curriculum to be electronic, all student testing to be electronic, and all grading to be electronic. He envisioned that students could walk up to a computer, login and access the curriculum, access and complete tests and quizzes, look up their progress toward graduation and any fees they may owe, and generate a transcript.
As I've now ended 34+ years of public service, I'm going to burn a few posts on where I've been and what I've tried to accomplish.
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