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Computing Center | University Archives
By Perri Hamilton
|Arrangement:||The material is arraged by year.|
Computing at the University of North Texas started in 1962 with the purchase of an IBM 1620 which was used to support academic users. Gene Milner was the first director of Academic computing, which was housed in the Business Administration Building (now Sage Hall). The department consisted of a computer, the director, and three employees: Rechard Harris, Charlie Ellis, and Jerry Walden. In 1963, Gene Milner left the department and Richard Harris was appointed Acting Director. Harris would be named Director of Computer Systems in 1964. In 1969 an IBM 1440 was purchased to provided computer processing for the administration.
The 1970s saw the upgrading of computers which would include: sixteen Apple microcomputers and a remote job entry station in the Business Administration Building. Computer Systems published their first newsletter in 1971, the NTST Computing Center Newsletter. NTSU stood for North Texas State University which is now known as the University of North Texas. The first issue of Benchmarks, the Computer Center newsletter, was published in 1980. Claudia Lynch was the editor, Sany Burke typed it, and Lynne Rutherford designed the logo.
Multi-User System for Interactive Computing/System Product (MUSIC/SP), which offered file access control and data compression, was installed in 1980. It would be used until 1993. The campus also saw the creation of Computer Centers in College of Business and Computer Science. By 1982, the campus saw the development of a local network. It would become operational in 1983. The General Academic Building's (GAB) fifth floor became the site of computer rooms in 1983. The development of Studen Information Management System (SIMS) initiated. The first help desk was established in the Information Science Building (now known as Sycamore Hall) in 1984. The last keypunch machine used by the public was removed from the Information Schience Building in 1989. The Microcomputer Support Group was created from the combination of the academic and administrative support groups.
The university joined two organizations in the 1980s: BITNET (a cooperative U. S. universily computer network) which UNT was part of from 1985-1994; ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) which UNT joined in 1988.
The 1990s saw changes in computer access for students and improvements in communication. In 1991 General Access Computer Labs opened in Willis Library, Information Science Building, the Business Administration Building, and the General Academic Building. 1991 also saw a task force formed to develop a university wide e-mail system. In 1994 the first World Wide Web server was installed. 1994 also marked the installation of the Financial Aid voice response system. By 1995 the Visual Arts General Access Lab had joined the General Access Lab system. With computers now a part of daily life on campus and "Appropriage Use Policy" for campus computers was drafted in 1996. In 1998 the UNT Telecommunications department merged with the Computing Center. Benchmarks was first published as a digital newslette in 1998. In 1999 UNT joined: Internet 2 (University Corportation for Advanced Internet Developmet) and Internet 2 "gigaPOP" (gigabit Point of Presence) with the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Christian University, and UT Southwestern Medical School.
The year 2000 was remarkable for the steps that were taken to improve communication with students and devlop products to ease registration and access to financial aid. The university adoped a new policy that established email as an officidl means of communication between the university and the students. A bulk email process was developed to communicate with all, or a select group, of students and automated activation of student email accounts. A slef-service web application for financial aid was introduced. EagleMail was launched.
By 2002 EagleMail username and password (Enterprise User Identifications [EUID]) were introduced for web based student registration. PeopleSoft was selected to replace the mainframe adimistrative applications. This product went into effect under the name"Enterprise Information System" (EIS). In 2003 the following services were discontinued: dialup networking service, academic mainframe service, and USENET news service. 2003 was also about new starts. A nwe acount management system to support activation and passwork changes for EUIDs was implemented. Eaglenet wireless network was launched. The Computing Center received a new name, the Computing and Information Technology Center (CITC). The 'my.unt.edu" was made available to campus in 2004 and PeopleSoft became fully operational in the fall. In 2006 the majority of the CITC staff moved to Research Park (now Discovery Park). Academic Computing and User Services wer the two units that continued to be housed in Sycamore Hall. In 2008 Discovery Park became the site of four general use computer classrooms. In 2012 the university celebrated fifty years of computing and information technology at UNT.