The Best of Creative Computing Volume 1 (published 1976)

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only the Dartmouth and PLATO systems have extensive
software for community colleges; the Dartmouth System
was immediately available.

The crucial questions regarding remote computing
relate to timing. Today university computing centers
provide rich resources for a wide range of users; however,
they tend to charge more for the most straightforward
kinds of instructional computing than a small computer
dedicated to the purpose. Eventually the rates charged by
university computing centers will come down, especially as
the universities provide special computing systems or means
of access for just these limited kinds of computing on their
own campuses.

The capabilities of small computers are increasing while
costs continue to go down. Today one can get a "personal"

computer for under $4,000 but not very much interesting
software is available with it and storage of large files of data
and programs is inconvenient. In a few years the cost of
such a personal computer will drop to below $1,000 and
the capabilities will increase markedly at least in special
areas of use for which vendors anticipate large markets.

These individual computers and small clusters of terminals
on slightly larger machines will provide an important part
of instructional computing on college campuses.

A prediction about the mixture of networks and
mini-computers in the next ten years is further complicated
by difficulties in predicting communication costs. Service
networks designed for communications between users and
their computers, and perhaps non-profit organizations
serving educational institutions, will make reliable and
low-cost communications available just for the purpose of
access to networks. Until this happens, a college like Delta
is rather "distant" in communication dollars from the
serviceable networks.

Since the relations among cost, software, storage and
communications will shift in the next five to ten years, the
future is difficult to judge. Delta would like to develop
multiple sources of computing: a college facility for
moderate-sized problems; occasional minicomputers for
departments, special courses, or other situations in which
some cost-saving can be achieved; and telephone access to
large computers for problems requiring special software
systems or a large data base. At the same time, programs
and data should be able to migrate from one system to
another, so that the specialized data base at a university can
be moved to the local computer when execution locally will
be more economical. The software developed on the local
computer for instruction might later be programmed into
the minicomputer for more economical execution with
students in a given unit of the college.

The sharing of materials, programs, and ideas with
other authors, programmers, and users will be of
considerable value. Because both the Dartmouth and
PLATO systems serve networks of users similar to Delta
College, the opportunities for sharing with other users in
the network are much greater than for "stand-alone" and
commercial time-sharing systems.

In short, the rationale behind Team recommendations
relies on the assumption that instructional uses of
computing are evolving rapidly and Delta will benefit from
experimenting with various innovations in equipment,
software and applications.

The participants in Project CITALA were Doug
Anderson, M. Gene Arnold, Mark Baldwin, Darrell Berry,
Bruce Corliss, Robert DeVinney (Chairman), Gayle Hanna,
David Howard, John Kostoff, Craig McClain, Dennis
McNeal, and Betsy Smith.


Nay, lad! Deciding's not your ploy,
For that's a risky game.

It's making a decision
That's your surest road to fame.

Decide means to take action,
And that might rock the boat,
And you act and don't succeed,
Small chance you'll stay afloat.

But...making a decision.

Ah! Thats the way to swing.

It keeps the masses happy
And doesn't change a thing.

So get yourself a task force
Well-skilled in all the arts
And call them all together
And watch them flip their charts.

For jack says no and jim says yes
And Billy says perhaps
And Chester asks good questions
...When he isn't taking naps.

And Bertram, chomping his cigar,
Is chock full of statistics,
While Waldemar, who smokes a pipe,
Is famed for his heuristics.

"The figures prove...," "The model says..."

"The forecast bears me out."

"The Complex simplex program
Shows I'm right without a doubt."

Let's tiptoe out and close the door
And let them stew a while.

No fear that they'll do something rash,
For doing's not their style.

Reality's an untamed beast
That's difficult to master,
But models are quite docile
And give you answers faster.

So build yourself a model
To glorify your name.

Then get yourself a task force
And learn to play the game.

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