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4. Connectivity to Network

IP numbers and a standard connection (10BaseT?) should be available for those who request them. LANs should have a range of IP numbers assigned to them. When a new user initially connects, the system manager should be informed.

We recommend a supported Appletalk network with a router to the Ethernet LAN, and support for parallel port connector for PCs in the science building.

5. 10BaseT, thinnet?

It is important to retain a capability to support thinnet connections. Research groups should be able to setup their own subnets which, in many cases, is easiest using thinnet.

III. Computing

There are two basic categories of science users - those at the Pole for a few weeks, and those present for a year or more. The needs of both must be considered. The short-term users have limited time and resources with which to adapt to differences between facilities available at South Pole and those at their home institution. The long term users have sufficient time to more fully take advantage specialized resources at South Pole. In addition, each of these categories may have both expert and novice users, having rather different support requirements. The largest numbers of users, have been the short-term summer scientists. However, there has always been resident research groups such as (currently) CARA and AMANDA, NOAA, and (previously) NOAA, USGS, and Bartol.

Investigators will continue to bring their increasingly more powerful computers to the station. This permits the investigator to have much better control over the software and hardware configuration for that computer. In addition, little time is available for software development in the short summer season, making centralized computing at the station somewhat impractical.

Station computers do provide valuable services to the research environment. These include mail and name services, bulk data spooling and archiving, print services, remote access, access for personnel not having personal computers, and parts sparing.

Mail services have not evolved to the state where they are particularly convenient for portable computers. The route tables, addressing paradigms, and naming conventions are not sufficiently dynamic to deal conveniently with computers that change physical location frequently. Among the better alternatives is to telnet to the investigators' home computer and providing mail addresses on a station computer at south pole station. It is often difficult to remotely access mail on personal computer-based mail systems.


1. Familiar computing environments and support

In the last paper generated by this working group, we listed as a guideline for upgrading the computing environment that there should be support for the four major computer platforms: SUN (UNIX), VAX (VMS), Macintosh, and PC. Some progress has been made and the situation is certainly better than it was several years ago. But there are still deficiencies. The predominant additions to the science building have been PCs, which

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