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GROUP EFFORT:
Network Computing Advisory Board (NCAB)

Each time you connect with NCAR/UCAR e-mail, you're benefiting from the work of a quiet, behind-the-scenes committee, the Network Computing Advisory Board. "NCAB's focus is to serve as an adviser to the SCD Networking Group," says Mark Bradford, who recently took over as NCAB chair from Liz Coolbaugh. While the SCD group looks at all aspects of networking, "The NCAB charter is limited to the physical network, the routers and bridges and wires that make up the network across all of our sites."

NCAB acts as a go-between for the various divisions and programs, getting them information on network development and passing on their input to the SCD Networking Group and upper management. The committee provides recommendations on network upgrades and how to pay for them (through the general overhead fund or through division/program funds). "There are always things to spend money on," says Mark. "NCAB helps to prioritize."

SCD is now in the process of upgrading the Mesa Lab's network architecture. Once that job is complete, Jeffco is next. "The network as it now stands was never really designed--it just kind of grew," Mark notes.

Mark gives high marks to Liz for her three years as NCAB chair. "It's widely acknowledged that she did an outstanding job keeping our meetings on track and our activities on target. All of UCAR/NCAR/UOP, whether they know it or not, owe Liz a debt of gratitude. I suspect most people don't even know we exist, but NCAB has been very instrumental in making sure that the bits keep flowing to the computers."

NCAB meets each month and reports to SCD director Bill Buzbee. Mark encourages any staff members with input or questions on the organizational computer network to contact NCAB. Mark is the UOP representative; for a list of other committee members and other NCAB details, consult the NCAB Web page, http://www.ucar.edu/ucargen/groups/ncab/ncab.html, or contact Mark, ext. 8169, mark@ucar.edu. •BH


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Prepared by Jacque Marshall, jacque@ucar.edu, 303-497-8616