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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, April 3, 2003

Computer test event resumes at UH

By John Duchemin
Advertiser Staff Writer

The University of Hawai'i computer school has revived its nationally publicized "shoot-out" program, an event that lets UH students and professors test the performance of some of the latest computing equipment.

UH students just completed tests on cutting-edge, high-speed Internet equipment developed by Mainland firms Foundry Networks and Force10 Networks.

Results of the tests on the 10-gigabit ethernet equipment will appear in computing magazine InfoWorld, which sponsored the test.

UH officials say the shoot-out could become important publicity tool for the UH Information and Computer Sciences Department, giving it high-profile exposure in a national publication.

The tests also bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of equipment donated by manufacturers eager to be associated with the tests.

The latest shoot-out, first in more than a year, used a new network tester developed by Spirent, a multinational company with Honolulu offices.

All told, the shoot-out resulted in donations of $300,000 worth of equipment, including a new power supply for UH's resident IBM supercomputer, said Brian Chee, director of the Advanced Network Computing Laboratory (ANCL) in the computer school.

"The goal of these tests is to answer all the questions that an informations systems officer in a company would ask about a new product: How easy is it to use? How well does it perform?" Chee said. "It saves them the cost of performing the tests themselves."

Chee's lab performed similar tests for several years under the sponsorship of Internet Week. But Internet Week folded in early 2002, throwing the lab, which specialized in the shoot-outs, into limbo.

Chee says the lab, which at its peak found research and testing work for more than one dozen UH undergratuate students, "hung on by our fingernails" until InfoWorld stepped in this year.

The magazine is talking with UH officials about cementing the shoot-outs as a permanent program.

Reach John Duchemin at jduchemin@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8062.