Volume 93, Issue 60

Tuesday, January 18, 2000


U of T cuts TAs' classes

Law school ups average in national magazine poll

Quicker than a ray of light

Fund-raising up to par, but stadium remains unnamed

Western crimes still conventional

Coke's advertisements a sign of changing times


Quicker than a ray of light

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

A ray of sunlight beamed down on 260 computers at Western last week, as the university decided to update its library system in the dawn of the new century.

In a joint initiative between Western libraries, Information Technology Services and Sun Microsystems, the library's JavaStations were replaced by the new Sun Ray system.

"Basically it's a much thinner client," said Mike Bauer, senior director of ITS. Bauer explained the Sun Ray is directly connected to the server, unlike the old JavaStations. "Most of the software it actually requires is on the server."

Such leading edge technology will mean less problems with the computer system in the future, he said.

"It's getting simpler and simpler, so what you have at each step is fewer and fewer things that can go wrong. I think the biggest issue was some of the software was really specific to the JavaStations."

Joyce Garnett, director of libraries at Western, said the Sun Rays are much more technologically advanced.

"JavaStations were fine in their time, but technology changes. They were a lot of work." For instance, Garnett said the JavaStations had to be frequently rebooted and updated. "This has sort of refined the technology."

David Blake, a sales manager of Southwest Sun Inc., a division of Sun Microsystems, said students will definitely notice a difference as a result of the new technology.

"Availability will be higher," he said of access to the university server. "The technology itself is very recent. It's only been available on the market for about six months."

Although the Sun Rays are an advanced system, Bauer said Sun Microsystems allowed Western to simply exchange them with the JavaSystems. "It was a co-operative effort with Sun [Microsystems]," he said, adding Western's relationship with the company has always been a strong one.

To Contact The News Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2000