MIT Project Athena

MIT Project Athena

A Model for Distributed Campus Computing

1st Edition - May 15, 1991

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  • Author: Author Unknown
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483296814

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A hands-on account of the design, implementation, and performance of Project Athena.Based on thousands of pages of reports and the author's own experience, this important book lets you in on the design, implementation, and performance of Project Athena - now a production system of networked workstations that is replacing time-sharing (which MIT also pioneered) as the preferred model of computing at MIT. The book is organized in four parts, covering management, pedagogy, technology, and administration. Appendixes describe deployment of Project Athena systems at five other schools, provide guidelines for installation, and recommend end-user policies.


System Managers

Table of Contents

  • Forewords



    Creating the Vision

    Identifying the Vision

    initiating Action

    The Vision

    Project Andrew at Carnegie-Mellon University

    Obtaining Sponsors

    Commitment to the Project

    From Vision to Reality

    Major Goals and Strategies

    Strategic Decisions


    Overcoming Early Shortcomings

    Arrival of Workstations

    The Crunch

    The Gamble Pays Off

    All Students Receive Accounts



    3 Athena as an instructional System


    Enter Workstations

    The Computer's Role in Education

    Learning Problems

    Teaching with Personal Productivity Software

    Developing and Using Instructional Courseware

    Athena Writing Project

    Fluid Dynamics

    Civil Engineering



    Membrane Simulation

    Physics—Special Relativity

    Chemistry—infrared Spectroscopy

    Athena Laboratory Data System

    Courses Using Special Software

    Lessons Learned

    Remaining Concerns

    4 Athena and the Faculty

    Concept Versus Reality

    Effects of Strategic Decisions

    Developmental Issues

    The Turnaround

    Outlook for the Future


    5 Athena as a Distributed System


    Models of Distributed Systems

    Existing Distributed Operating Systems

    Athena's Unique Aspects

    Issues in Distributed Systems

    The Athena Model of Distributed Systems

    Athena System Design

    System Software Development

    6 Athena Tools and Distributed Systems

    Human Interface Development

    The Network

    Network Services

    Name Service

    Service Management System

    Notification Server

    Palladium Print System

    File Servers

    Dial-Up Service

    7 the Athena Multimedia Workstation Project

    The Beginning

    Visual Computing Modules



    Human Interface Benefits

    Current Status and Future Plans


    8 Workstations in Student Housing

    Athena's Impact on Living-Group Life

    Future Plans

    9 Finance and Organization



    Faculty Registration and Deployment

    Restrictions on Use


    System Cost

    Economic Model

    10 Assessment


    Assessment by Accreditation Committee

    Cac90 Assessment

    Technical Assessment


    Use of Athena by Others

    Relationship with the Faculty

    Benefit to Sponsors

    Pedagogical Assessment

    Comparing the Futures of Athena and Andrew

    Concluding Remarks

    11 Quo Vadis Athena

    Continuing and New initiatives

    Desired Workstation Characteristics

    Future of instructional Computing at CMU

    Instructional Computing at MIT after 1991


    I Deployment of Athena

    University of Massachusetts/Amherst


    North Carolina State University

    Iowa State University

    Nanyang Technical institute

    II Guidelines for Athena Installation


    What You Get and How to Get It




    Training Users

    Physical Security

    Athena Software

    Other Considerations

    Position Descriptions

    III Other Issues in instructional Computing

    Alternative System Design Approaches

    Alternative Ownership Models

    Role of Private Industry

    IV Athena Policies

    Principles of Responsible Use of Project Athena

    Athena Rules of Use

    V Athena Donors

    VI First Athena Press Release



Product details

  • No. of pages: 282
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Digital Press 1991
  • Published: May 15, 1991
  • Imprint: Digital Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483296814

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Author Unknown

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