Athena history (1983 – present) from A to Z
This folio provides an breezy attending into the history of Project Athena and the bookish accretion ambiance at MIT. If you’d like to accommodate a chat or add to a definition, please let us know.
AFS stands for Andrew Book System. It is a broadcast filesystem like NFS. In the summer of 1992, all user accounts on Athena were moved from NFS to AFS. Abounding NFS commands additionally appointment on AFS; however, there are abounding important differences amid AFS and NFS. You may also apprehension new subdirectories in your home directory: OldFiles, Public, Private, and www.
In NFS and UFS, you can set permissions on a file-by-file basis. In AFS, book permissions are defined for anniversary directory, and apply to the agenda and to all the files that agenda contains. They do not administrate to the subdirectories of a directory, aback the subdirectories accept their own permissions; however, any anew created subdirectory will accede the permissions of its ancestor directory. SIPB’s AFS Doc
Athena (OLH definition)
In May 1983, MIT appear the enactment of a five-year program to analyze new, avant-garde uses of accretion in the MIT curriculum. The MIT adroitness was anxious that too little was being done to accommodate the new computational technology into the undergraduate educational experience. Activity Athena, as the program was called, arose from this concern.
Project Athena’s authorization was to analyze assorted uses of com-puting and to body the abject of ability bare for a best appellation strategic decision about how computers fit into the MIT curriculum. In January of 1988, Activity Athena was accepted a three-year addendum to the original five-year program, and on June 30, 1991, Activity Athena came to an end. But the bake-apple of Activity Athena — the Athena system itself — was adopted as MIT’s bookish accretion infrastructure, with affairs to extend it above the educational sphere, into the research and authoritative activities of the Institute.
What, then, is Athena? It is a campus-wide networked computer systemserving the needs of MIT’s bookish community. Rather than having a distinct accretion center, Athena has over 600 end-user workstations broadcast about campus in both general-use and departmental “clusters” area acceptance and adroitness can go 24 hours a day, 365 canicule a year to do classwork, address papers, do claimed work, and acquaint with added computer users worldwide.
The Athena arrangement is absolutely composed of a ample cardinal of machines (workstations, printers, and servers) that are net-worked together, and is far added able than added accretion facilities you accept apparently used.
Athena provides a arch amid the two accustomed extremes ofstand-alone claimed computers and timesharing machines. Anniversary user of an Athena workstation has a dedicated, able multi-tasking computer at his or her disposal. And anniversary Athena workstation is connected to MITnet, the campus-wide computer network, so you can access a cardinal of aggregate casework that would commonly be available only on a axial facility. OLH
Academic Accretion manages four cyberbanking classrooms which are available for use by MIT courses. Anniversary classroom has a cardinal of individual workstations, one of which is affiliated to a projection facility.In accession to these rooms, there are a cardinal of lecture halls that are able with an Athena workstation for the instructor connected to a bump system. There are no workstations at the students’ seats.
As of 1999, there are 17 general-use Athena clusters on campus, as well as a cardinal of clandestine authoritative clusters. The clusters are unstaffed and are accessible 24 hours a day, 365 canicule a year.
Digital Equipment Corporation
places a hierarchical card bar at the top of the screen; some entries are informational; added barrage Athena applications. Under normal affairs birr is already active aback you log in, and you should not accept to alpha it yourself.
Discuss is a networked, cyberbanking conferencing system, agnate to the account lath programs begin on abounding computer systems.
Discuss uses the allegory of a appointment with abounding on-going meetings. As you ability expect, a “meeting” in Discuss is a discussion group with a specific focus (such as a accurate course, interesting quotes, harassment, area to acquisition chargeless food, Athena development, or any added affair of absorption to a accurate set of people). In Discuss, the anatomy the altercation takes is not exact conversations but accounting messages, accepted as “transactions”. Transactions are similar to email messages; in fact, in some cases you absolutely send transactions to the affair via email, although usually you enter transactions appliance options of a Discuss interface.
EDICS, or Engineering Architecture Advisory Computer System, is an interactive multimedia affairs started in 1981by mechanical engineering Professors Woodie Flowers and Ernesto Blanco, and Seichi Tsutsumi, a blur maker and above Industrial Liaison Affairs officer. The aboriginal program, which consisted of three capacity on bearings, rotors and cylinders, lets acceptance with little accomplishments in engineering apprentice about procedures on a computer with text, graphics, animation, complete and diagrams. Acceptance can calmly move from one section to another, depending on how abundant time they crave to master the information. Professor David Wilson is the arch investigator on the project.
EZ is a multi-media editor, and offers the following:
-very about WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface
-multiple fonts and appropriate syms (e.g., italic, d, bulletted lists, etc.)
-direct abetment of non-text media types (table, eq, and raster)
-built-in previewer (for examination the printed blueprint of each page)
EZ forms the abject of the accepted adaptation of NEOS
Funding, faculty, fuzzballs
Courseware alleged GROWLTIGER gave acceptance in Civil Engineering the accoutrement to construe architecture and actual attributes into computer-simulated bridges and added structures, and again to see how the apish structures reacted to assorted endless and stresses. Before continued this software was acclimated in a few added departments as well .
This database is maintained by Athena Operations agents and contains advice about user and filesystem names and ids, groups and assorted bounded casework as able-bodied as assets associated with specific machines.
IBM, ILGs, I.S.,
The Insider (formerly accepted as The Athena Insider) is a quarterly publication of Bookish Computingat MIT. Its purpose is to active and inform adroitness as to how Athena can be activated in their classroom teaching. The Insider is accessible online and in adamantine copy.
Joe Wyatt awards
Kerberos is a arrangement affidavit arrangement for use on physically insecure networks, based on the key administration archetypal presented by Needham and Schroeder. It allows entities communicating over networks to prove their character to anniversary added while preventing eavsdropping or epitomize attacks. It additionally provides for abstracts stream integrity (detection of modification) and clandestineness (preventing unauthorized reading) appliance cryptography systems such as DES.
Kerberos works by accouterment principals (users or services) with tickets that they can use to analyze themselves to added principals and abstruse cryptographic keys for defended advice with other principals. A admission is a arrangement of a few hundred bytes. These admission can again be anchored in around any added network protocol, thereby acceptance the processes implementing that protocol to be abiding about the character of the principals involved.
We authorization a cardinal of bartering bales for use on Athena, as wellas several applications that were developed actuality at MIT. Most of our softwareruns on all Athena UNIX platforms, but this is not always the case.
Some of our above third affair software applications are:
AutoCAD (Computer Aided Design)
FrameMaker (Document Preparation)
Waterloo Maple (Symic Math)
Matlab (Math Analysis)
In the Athena Accent Acquirements Project, founded by Dr. Murray and foreign-language adroitness associates Claire Kramsch and Douglas Morgenstern, the motive was to analyze how multimedia technology could be acclimated to accomplish acquirements a adopted accent added accurate to life.
By creating documentaries or anecdotal belief that are filmed on location, appliance built-in speakers, the accent apprentice is accustomed a context that is afterpiece to what would be accomplished in the country itself. On a computer, these narratives can be affiliated to a array of supporting assets and anniversary apprentice can apply a abundant accord of control over the acquirements process. Structuring the adventure so that the student can admission the aftereffect or chase aberrant paths adds even more action to become involved.
Out of the Accent Acquirements Activity came alternate videos for French and Spanish. A la challenge de Philippe is the adventure of a young announcer badly gluttonous an accommodation in Paris, while Dans le quartier St. Gervais explores the history and ability of one of the oldest Parisian neighborhoods; Gilberte Furstenberg, senior lecturer in French, was activity administrator for both. A abstruseness story propels No recuerdo, an alternate anecdotal and documentary for learning Spanish. Created by Douglas Morgenstern, chief academician in Spanish, it is set in Bogota, Columbia.
Over time, the accent acquirements projects accept been ported to or developed absolutely on microcomputers.
These accommodate The Star Festival (Japanese); Berliner sehen German); and Paradoja (Spanish).
The AthenaMuse Software Bunch has been an industry-sponsored research and development bunch in operation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for over bristles years. The ambition of the consortium has been to aftermath a powerful, flexible, and open authoring ambiance for creating distributed, multimedia computing applications. The AthenaMuse multimedia assembly software has been the capital artefact of the consortium’s efforts.
The bunch has been operated beneath the advocacy of the MIT Center for Accretion Initiatives (CECI). It congenital anon on the extensive assay in multimedia accretion done by Activity Athena’s Visual Accretion Accumulation (VCG). The agents of the Bunch has consisted of above associates of the VCG, participants from the sponsoring companies and new MIT CECI agents members.
The bunch articular and acclimated currently accessible products and pre-competitive assay technologies to bear multimedia software. By appliance absolute standards aback accessible and establishing new, de facto standards aback necessary, the Bunch developed fully-functional advertence implementations abundantly able-bodied to be widely acclimated and evaluated by MIT and bunch members. Organizations that aing the bunch accustomed commercial, royalty-free rights to the software and accept been encouraged to productize the advertence implementations.
interactive “matrix lab” for abstracts assay tasks involving matrices, cartoon and after computation. Includes specialized-subject “toolbox” extensions for abounding topics, including Control, Able-bodied Control, Signal Processing and others
NEOS is a turnin, pickup, and allocation appliance that was developed as allotment of Activity Athena. The graphical interface version is acclimated abundantly by the Writing Program, while the command line version is acclimated by EECS courses for acquiescence of programming assignments.
online arrangement acceptance users to be affiliated to Athena Consultants. A user enters a catechism that may be answered in real-time or queued if no consultants are currently available. olc_answers is a browsing arrangement for olc “frequently asked questions”
On-Line TA (OLTA) is a arrangement by which acceptance in a advance may consult electronically with their TAs while logged in and alive on an assignment.
OWL (On-Line With Librarians) is a arrangement by which assemblage may consult electronically with advertence librarians from the assorted MIT Libraries to get answers to all sorts of questions.
The antecedent ambition of this activity is to actualize a scaleable manageable ambiance of accessible NT workstations and possibly servers that is an addendum of our absolute accretion infrastructure. There are a cardinal of appearance and accoutrement in Athena that we will appetite to provided to users in this new environment, as able-bodied as third party software that vendors may or may not currently aftermath for NT. Additionally, there are all-encompassing modifications and add-ons that will have to be fabricated to Microsoft cipher and/or procedures in the areas of security and both book and arrangement management. It is absolutely possible for the workload of this activity to be aggregate with added institutions undertaking agnate initiatives, and accomplishment should be placed on establishing these accord aboriginal in the activity to acquire the highest amount of account from collective efforts.
On June 25, 1993, Advice Systems decomissioned the VAX 9000, patriot.mit.edu. The apparatus provided an beginning “compute server” account to Athena users from Fall 1992 until its shutdown.
Patriot was run as a timesharing apparatus with Athena services layered on top of Digital’s VAX ULTRIX. An IS-developed program, submit, let users abide accumulation jobs to Patriot, and booty advantage of its ample disks and RAM, as able-bodied as basically absolute program runtime.
We surveyed a accidental sample of the about 400 users of the Patriot service to actuate how the arrangement was used, and what kinds of similar casework Athena users may charge in the future. Though abounding of those surveyed anticipation the account was useful, we begin that we weren’t able to accommodate it in a reliable, cost-effective manner.
Athena Quickstations are abounding Athena workstations which are intended to be acclimated for alone abbreviate periods of time (10 account or fewer). They are advised for quick tasks such as blockage mail, accessing specific advice or appointment book jobs.
As the 10 minute mark approaches, the workstation will send reminder messages. Aback the 10 minute mark has passed, the workstation will acerb appetite you to log out. You will not be logged out automatically. The affectation will appearance a ample alarm announcement the time logged in (up to 10 account and beyond) at all times when someone is logged into a Quickstation. If you apprehension accession logged into a Quickstation on which the alarm has anesthetized the 10 minute mark, you may ask them to log out.
SIPB (pronounced “Sip-bee”) is the Apprentice Information Processing Board, the advance apprentice accumulation anxious with computing at MIT. They administrate several machines and an AFS cell, provide Usenet admission to Athena, are accessible for telephone (253-7788) or in-person (W20-557) consulting at about any time of day or night, accept one-of-a-kind affairs Monday evenings at 7:30 pm, write affidavit of all sorts, run a advanced array of servers, including a WWW server, hack, and about accept a acceptable time. They also act as an apostle for apprentice computer users and student computer admission on campus.
One above courseware activity from Activity Athena was a collection of simulation and assay programs alleged TÓDOR. These programs acceptable Aero/Astro acceptance to simulate aggregate from flow beyond airfoils to alternate decay, appliance the computational power of Athena workstations to admittance what-if “experiments” otherwise requiring wind-tunnel time or NASA involvement.
The project’s arch investigator, Professor Earll Murman, went on to arch Activity Athena for some years, and again to become department Arch – a affecting counterexample to the allegory that only peripheral adroitness get complex with advisory computing, and only at accident to their careers. TÓDOR won a prestigious national EDUCOM Software Award. In addition, the catechism of how to use computers finer abstracts added acutely in Aero/Astro’s curriculum deliberations than it ability accept had TÓDOR not been so successful.
Video, Visitor’s Center, Visual Accretion Group
Its amazing to attending aback at some of the aboriginal goals and compare them to today. The “3M” idea–workstataions with 1 megabyte, 1 megaflop & 1 megapixel–seems decidedly bizarre today!”
Year-by-year timeline (1983 to present, including snapshots of Athena in 1983[plans and vision], 1986 [timeshare era], 1991 [workstations], 1998 [today]
Zephyr allows users to conduct one-on-one and accumulation conversations and to accept notices, e.g., notification of admission email. Zephyr makes use of an anecdotic arrangement for users to specify with whom they appetite to converse, or what kinds of notices they appetite to receive.
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