August 9th, 1994
Harvest Information Discovery Tool

08/09/94 RMIUG Meeting Minutes - Michael Schwartz, Harvest Information Discovery Tool

The seventh meeting of the Rocky Mountain Internet User's Group was August 9th, 1994. About 130 people were in attendance (for one of our largest, perhaps the largest meeting!). Alek Komarnitsky MC'ed the meeting, which was notable not only for its large audience, but even more for the fact that nearly the entire audience stayed for the full meeting.

Some general administrivia issues and announcements of interest:

  • Over half of the people in attendance were at their first meeting. Dan passed around a sign-up sheet; we currently have about 400 people signed up on RMIUG's Email list. Note that an Email to rmiug@rmiug.org generates an auto-reply with info about the RMIUG.
  • Robert Skrobe (SkrobeRo@student.msu.edu)announced the first meeting of the RMIUG Job Search Action Group meeting, a special interest subgroup of RMIUG, for Thursday, August 18th, at 7:00 p.m. in the Biblotek Book Store. The purpose of this Action Group is to enable Self-Directed Job Searching. The Group will use various tools from the networked world to generate Job Search ideas, resources, contacts, leads and opportunities for participants. Biblotek is located on the northwest corner of 17th and Walnut, in the Basement level of the Public Service Building. Anyone planning on attending the meeting should bring any available resources they know of or currently use via the Internet for job searching and career opportunities.
  • Lloyd Brodsky (lbrodsky@rocksolid.com/phone: 758-7030) announced the formation of an Internet Chamber of Commerce to involve people doing business on the Internet. The Internet Chamber had its first organizational meeting on August 2 at the Ramada Inn in Westminster and hopes to include professionals primarily in the region from South Denver to Boulder. Lloyd also announced the date for a first meeting of an Internet Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Windows on the Rockies Users' Group. This group will meet on the 4th Monday of every month at 6:30pm in Denver. Call or Email Lloyd for details.
  • Dan Murray announced that he finished the RMIUG "Nuggets" List of neat resources on the Net. Members Emailed Dan an overwhelming list of all kinds of resources. Dan waded through the submissions to pull together the file that now lives in FTPspace and Webspace at rmiug.org.
  • Caron Ellis, a reporter for the Boulder County Business Report (Caron@usa.net/phone: 440-4950) mentioned that she wants to talk to small to medium-size companies hooking up to the Net for the first time to gather information for an article she will be writing for the Business Report.
  • Pam Skaufel (Skaufel@csn.org) from Colorado SuperNet announced a job opening at CSN for an entry-level position managing incoming telephone calls.
  • Will Clurman (will@boulderpcs.com/phone: 440-0402) announced a logo contest for RMIUG. Anyone who can come up with interesting design concepts and can put them on disk or paper should _leap_ at this opportunity to contribute to the development of an image for RMIUG.org. The logo will go on press releases, business cards, T-shirts, or anything else we might want to stick it on.
Our featured speaker was Dr. Michael Schwartz, Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Colorado - Boulder. (Schwartz@cs.colorado.edu) He discussed ``Harvest: A Scalable, Customizable Discovery and Access System'' for the Internet. Rapid growth in data volume, user base, and data diversity renders it increasingly difficult to make effective use of Internet-accessible information. To address these problems, the Internet Research Task Force Research Group on Resource Discovery has developed a system called Harvest, which provides a set of customizable tools for gathering information from diverse repositories, building topic-specific content indexes, flexibly searching the indexes, widely replicating them, and caching objects as they are retrieved across the Internet. The system interoperates with Mosaic and with HTTP, FTP, and Gopher information resources, and demonstrates several significant advances for Internet resource discovery tools. The talk was an outline of Harvest's goals and architecture, the implemented system components, and example uses of Harvest highlighting the strengths of the approach and work in progress to extend the system for use with more complex data objects. For more information on Harvest, Email harvest-dvl@cs.colorado.edu or Web to http://rd.cs.colorado.edu. The Harvest team is looking for beta-test sites to try out three distinct features of the Harvest architecture. Version 1.0 will have its general release "by the end of the Summer" with "end of Summer" loosely defined as "not too far into the coming school year ;-)

In addition to Harvest, Dr. Michael Scwartz has published a number of tech reports on other topics that may be of interest to Internet fans. These can be found at ftp://ftp.cs.colorado.edu/pub/cs/techreports/schwartz/ and the file ftp://ftp.cs.colorado.edu/pub/cs/techreports/schwartz/0.README contains a brief project overview and bibliography.

Many thanks to Dr. Schwartz for his presentation and to Alek for his work in setting up this meeting for the group.

The next RMIUG meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 13th. We will have a "Crypto-Fest" panel discussion organized by RMIUG member Duane Thompson (ak351@freenet.hsc.colorado.edu), including Phil DuBois, lawyer for Phil Zimmerman, author of the encryption program Pretty Good Privacy (PGP), Mike Johnson, encryption expert, engineer, software programmer, inventor of the Diamond encryption algorith, and Phil Zimmerman himself, speaking to us about encryption technology, the benefits and uses of recent versions of PGP, and issues surrounding encryption technology.

Suggestions/comments/feedback are always welcome - pls Email these to rmiug-comm@rmiug.org or call Dan Murray at 447-3475.

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