School of Computer Science
4pm, Thursday 25th May, Lecture Room 7
Student Portable Computing - Building the Network
Infrastructure to Support Itinerant and Mobile Computing
Tony Chabot, Information Services, University of
The report of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher
Education, perhaps better known as the Dearing Report, included a
"We recommend that by 2000/01 higher education institutions
should ensure that all students have open access to a Networked
Desktop Computer, and expect that by 2005/06 all students will be
required to have access to their own portable computer."
The Joint Information Systems Committee funded Birmingham
University to investige and report on
the network infrastructure implications of students bringing
their own portable computers (Student Portable Computers -
SPCs) to University, and the final report was delivered in November
last year. This talk will present the key elements of the findings.
Current network technology was designed around a model of
computers that remained attached to a network, at a particular
location, for substantial periods of time. Over the years there have
been attempts to provide some support for itinerancy, with the
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol being one example, but such
solutions bring with them problems of network manageability.
Recent developments in networking promise greater scope for
building networks that support itinerant and truly
mobile computing, but the new technologies pose serious
challenges for those who design and manage networks.
There is no single solution to building SPC-friendly networks, but
some solutions, tailored to HEIs of various sizes, will be suggested.
The seminars are on Thursday afternoons in Lecture Room 7, Aston Webb C,
and are intended for general audience. If you wish to confirm that a
particular seminar is taking place please contact Sammie Snow
(email S.Snow@cs.bham.ac.uk, tel. 0121 414 4774).
More information about seminars in the School can be found at URL http://www.cs.bham.ac.uk/system/notice_board.html.
Tea and biscuits afterwards in the Coffee Room.
Last modified: 8th May 2000
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