The CUED Teaching System is a collection of about 20 Hewlett Packard machines based on HP-UX (a version of the Unix operating system). Unix was chosen because, as well as being able to support the running of the big application necessary in engineering, the system is flexible, scalable and easily maintained. These server machines provide access (from colleges as well as departmental terminals) to a large range of software. Installation of this wide a range on individual machines in colleges wouldn't be practical.
The system is developed by an annual program of enhancement and replacement of obsolescent equipement. This development is overseen by the Computer Systems Committee and based on an annual review document produced by the Computer Officers. The complete infrastructure computing budget is roughly £200,000 per annum of which over half is directly attributable to teaching, the rest covering networking and infrastructure support for research.
The main machines are as follows
All of these machines (except the graphics workstations) are located in the machine room at the west end of the Design and Project Office. The terminals (some of which are Xterminals, some PCs) are at 3 main locations -
We have adapted some freely available source code to produce a friendly user interface powerful enough for the general user, but customisable enough to be adapted for particular courses. The extensive per-user customisation available has been used to benefit wheelchair-bound users and users with impaired vision.
We aim to give users easy access to the many and varied facilities available. We will shortly add an NT server capable of serving Windows-based applications to the same X terminals.