A&M International Ready for Y2K

When the clock ticks past midnight on Dec. 31, Texas A&M International University Director of Computer and Telecommunications Services Lakshmana Viswanath says he plans to breathe a sigh of relief.

He hopes he'll do so because the University's 18-month Y2K readiness plan will have anticipated any possible glitches with the rollover to the Millennium and University computers will quietly go about their business.

"It's been a lengthy process that has taken us to virtually every desktop on the campus to determine any possible problems. There have been software analyses, hardware analyses and department by department inventories," Viswanath explained.

He said the University identified major problems and has already provided solutions for users.

"We identified 10 major software packages in common use across the campus that might experience problems and provided patches or suggested upgrades where appropriate. In the hardware arena, we replaced older computers, upgraded our network as part of a $150,000 Higher Education Technology Advancement (HETA) grant, and updated our Novell server," he said.

Joe Garcia, Vice President for Business and Finance for the University, said the University's Y2K compliance is expected as a State agency.

"As a State agency, we've had tremendous oversight and cooperation from a number of other State agencies and our own Texas A&M University System. We've found shared problems, identified common solutions and worked well together. We've had monthly required reporting relationships which have tracked problems and provided timelines for solutions. The State and its agencies have worked well to address this concern," Garcia said.

When the ball falls in New York City's Times Square, Viswanath said the University anticipates only minor, easily correctable problems.

"We do not anticipate any problems other than reporting dates that can be easily corrected. Our embedded systems that monitor heating, cooling, electricity, alarms, elevators have already been certified by our service vendors as in compliance or upgraded to compliance," he said.

Still, the University will take precautions, he said.

"We will have our Computer Center staff on call and on standby. College Station will shut down their services so our internet services will not be available locally on the 31st and 1st. Our on-campus email will continue," he observed.

Garcia noted that when the University returns to session in January for the start of Spring Semester, the Millennium will bring students new services, including faster Internet access and the addition of a new series of super fast Macintosh G3 computers in C building labs.

For additional information, contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326.2180. University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The University will close for the holidays Dec. 23. Offices will reopen on January 3 at 8 a.m.

Registration for the Spring Semester is Jan. 10-11. Classes begin Jan. 12.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu