computing centres, cont. (36)

Mon, 24 Apr 89 21:30:57 EDT

Humanist Mailing List, Vol. 2, No. 886. Monday, 24 Apr 1989.

Date: 24 Apr 89 14:04:42 EDT (Mon)
From: Jan-Gunnar Tingsell <>
Subject: Building a computer center......

The major problem in building a computer center for the
humanities is to build in enough flexibility in the organisation.
The needs from research and the rapid technological development
change quicker than it is possible to change an organisation with
its investigations and other economical realities.

I think that a computer service organisation ought to run some
powerful computer network, but no mainframes or minis. Not
because of the shortage of these machines, but for their huge
cost and inflexibility over time. The best way to support
research and higher education in the humanities is to supply know
how, computer programs, information and to give courses in basic
handling of computers and programs.

Of course the center can operate minis or mainframes, too, to do
effective backups, technical service, system implementations and
so on, but not to own them. The ownership ought to belong to a
department, a research group or a consortium of departments or
research projects. Otherwise the center is so involved in paying
off loans, it cannot meet new needs from research.