Berkeley Financial System Update

The Berkeley Financial System, a major computer project that will give the entire campus a single way to manage its books when it comes online next July 1, will consolidate ledger, budget and staffing systems currently in place.

"Berkeley Financial System is intended to eliminate redundant data all over campus and make sure everyone is working off the same numbers," said project manager Stan Korwin.

Although the project is on target for implementation, "we currently have a major question," said Korwin. "The native Mac version of the PeopleSoft software we are using may not be ready in time for our initial implementation. However, PeopleSoft has committed to work with us to provide a bridging strategy, and we are optimistic that Mac users will still see significant benefits."

For those in need of financial data now, go to the Berkeley Information System data warehouse web page at

Human Resources Management System

Access to payroll and personnel information on campus will be easier when the Human Resources Management System rolls out starting next year. Sponsored by Human Resources and Academic Personnel, the system will provide data on faculty, staff and graduate students. Central offices will have access in mid-1997, other departments in 1998 and 1999.

Java Knocks Out C++

The Java programming language is slated to replace venerable C++ in a key programming series on campus. Computer Science 61B, a required course to introduce computer science majors to programming, is planning to make the change because of advantages Java offers, said Professor Paul Hilfinger. He says Java is simpler, does a better job catching programming errors and offers opportunities for good assignments.

"It is not clear just now what we will do about C++," said Hilfinger, "perhaps move it into the last introductory course."

Show You Care, Electronically

Talk about commerce on the net: Dining Services has jumped right in with sales of its Bear CARE packages. Online customers can load up starving students with treats such as a 9-inch apple tart free of sugar and animal products. Or show their colors with blue and gold jelly beans in a Cal mug.

Taking the Bear Home

This fall students will be able to access their records from home for the first time. Using the Bear Facts electronic service previously available only from select campus computers, students will be able to view grades and personal data and find out their financial aid status, all from home. Bear Facts software will be distributed to students on the web soon. For information, send email to:

Sharing Data Pays Off

A campus computing survey confirmed last spring that a tremendous amount of effort is wasted each year when various units track the same data in different and redundant computer systems.

The survey went to system administrators, programmers and technical managers. It found respondents were dealing with financial, personnel and other data on many different systems, and systems development often was not coordinated unit to unit.

Sponsored by the Administrative and Student Services Computing Subcommittee, the survey was headed by Chris Hoffman of Letters and Science Computer Resources and Michael Stanley of International and Area Studies. They note the campus has made much progress in planning for data sharing and opening lines of communication since the survey was taken.

Upgrade for Home Page

Look for a whole new campus home page coming to your browser this fall. The chancellor has given the go ahead for Public Affairs and Information Systems and Technology to overhaul the campus's front door to the Internet. Plans are to link the redesigned page to the current page for testing and feedback in the coming semester.

Distance Learning Now

Berkeley Extension will put 175 courses online over the next three years. No lectures will be given in these new courses and students anywhere in the world will be able to sign up for the programs.

Extension plans to offer certificate programs in telecommunications engineering, computer information systems and direct mail marketing, as well as other classes, thanks to funding from the Sloan Foundation.

Wired Without Wires

Sit in the sun on Sproul Plaza„or anywhere else on campus for that matter„and access the campus network with the Ricochet wireless service coming this fall. It allows campus members with portable computers to use network services.

Ricochet was recently piloted to good reviews.

"We were pleased to have 37 volunteers„four faculty, 20 staff and 13 students„participate in this venture," said Virginia Penikis of Information Systems and Technology. "At the conclusion of the pilot period the users universally agreed that the service should be offered to the campus."

Costs for Ricochet include a one- time $45 set-up charge and a $19.95 monthly fee. Users must buy a $200 wireless modem or pay $10 a month to rent one. Contact Scholar's Workstation.


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