Download PDF by George Champine: MIT Project Athena. A Model for Distributed Campus Computing

By George Champine

ISBN-10: 1555580726

ISBN-13: 9781555580728

A hands-on account of the layout, implementation, and function of venture Athena.

in accordance with millions of pages of stories and the author's personal adventure, this crucial booklet permits you to in at the layout, implementation, and function of venture Athena - now a creation approach of networked workstations that's changing time-sharing (which MIT additionally pioneered) because the most popular version of computing at MIT. The booklet is equipped in 4 elements, masking administration, pedagogy, expertise, and management. Appendixes describe deployment of venture Athena structures at 5 different colleges, offer directions for set up, and suggest end-user policies.

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Athena was off and running, but the seeds of problems soon to emerge had already been planted. TWO From Vision to Reality As with every large project, the initial euphoria of getting funding for Athena soon gave way to the harsh realities of implementation. The vision of a single campus system that would serve all students— from Electrical Engineering to Music Appreciation—was based on the use of workstations. However, neither vendor had one that was shipping as product. Although the commitment was to a "coherent" system, in which any program could run at any workstation, the way to achieving that coherence had not been demonstrated, and the t w o vendor architectures were highly incompatible.

Therefore instructors tend to teach analysis, because it is better supported by available tools. Proper computer support, including computer-aided design tools, encourages instructors to teach realistic design techniques in addition to analysis and thereby cover the discipline more completely. T w o closely related problems in education are the difficulty that many students have in visualizing abstract concepts, in general, and the difficulty in translating formulas into intuition, in particular.

A serious problem also developed in the system file area. The plan from the beginning was to support files by means of a distributed file system, and development of such a file system was initiated early in the project. When Saltzer joined the project, he initiated a review of development status and its relation to resources available. He also reviewed the efforts underway at C M U to develop its distributed file system. After considering the magnitude of the effort required and priorities of other needs, he decided that Athena should acquire a distributed file system rather than developing one.

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MIT Project Athena. A Model for Distributed Campus Computing by George Champine


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