Mast Kalandar

bandar's colander of random jamun aur aam

Wed, 03 Feb 1999

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Uses for IMSc Computers


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I have written the following response to the circular that has been sent to us all regarding the use of computers in the IMSc. Please tell me whether or with what modifications it could be sent on the authorities.

e-mail and other infrastructural facilities should be used only for the academic activities of the Institute and not for any other purposes.

  1. I would like to submit that the Computer facilities at the IMSc were created by a group of volunteers for whom this activity has absolutely no connection with their academic work. Researches in theoretical physics, theoretical computer science and mathematics have less than nothing in terms of overlap with system administration or internetworking or computer selection and purchase.

  2. While I grant that this volunteer effort does not and should not result in granting these volunteers the right to do as they please with the system, it is equally absurd on the part of the administration to insist that computers should only be used for academic work (an undefined term!) when the facility only exists in its present form because of extra-curricular work.

  3. Let us thus formulate a policy of reasonable use that allows for the administration's effort to protect the dignity of the IMSc as well as give enough room for free expression and expansion on the part of the user community. I enclose such a policy for discussion.

  4. The only alternative to such a policy is that the volunteer effort on the basis of which the IMSc computer facility has thrived will shrivel. I for one would not like to volunteer any further in this alternative scenario.

A Policy of Do's & Don'ts For Reasonable use of IMSc Computers

  1. Do not use the computer facilities(CF) for commercial purposes without explicit approval of the administration (as in a consultation).

  2. Do not use the CF for general distribution of racist, sexist, communal or violent material.

  3. Do use the CF for the pursuit of any problem of interest to the scientific and research community.

  4. Do not compromise the security of the CF or use the CF to attempt to compromise the security of the CF of another organisation.

  5. Do make every effort to help in the volunteer effort to enhance the CF.

  6. Do use the CF as a means to disseminate information about science, research and more specifically the IMSc.

  7. Do make every effort to ensure the physical security of the CF. Do not handle unfamiliar equipment in the CF without consulting the system staff. Do report every breakage and break in service to help the CF make appropriate corrections.

  8. Do use the communication facilities of the CF to generate rational, informed discussion of topics. Explicitly discourage the use of CF to create "flame-wars", "hate-mail" and "whining".

  9. Do restrict personal use of the CF to such reasonable limits. Do not to contribute in any significant way (a number here?) to the running cost of the CF through this use and ensure that such use is also limited by points 1-8.


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