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University of Waterloo -- Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
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Friday, May 2, 1997

By the thousands, they come

The visitors are hitting campus today and will hardly stop until the end of summer: people attending conferences on campus, from the Canadian Conference on Computer Engineering Education (May 8-11) to the Life Underwriters Association of Canada Ontario Marketing School (August 17-20). Conference delegates are housed in the "conference centre" in Ron Eydt Village, where the housing and meal fees they pay help keep down residence costs for students at other times of the year.

[Women Alive logo] The biggest conference of the year runs today through Sunday: Women Alive, the 24th annual convention of a Canada-wide Christian women's organization that claims to be the largest national body of its kind in the world. Theme for this year's gathering, attracting an estimated 1,000 women, is "Set Free to Be All You Were Meant to Be". Star speaker will be Joanne Wallace -- former beauty queen, Christian writer and "award-winning inspirational speaker".

Rather outnumbered by the Women Alive folks over the weekend will be a couple of hundred people attending Ontario Hockey Association workshops for coaches, trainers and players, also housed in the Village.

Next week, besides the computer engineering educators, UW will see a Baptist women's convention, some 700 strong, and then it's five days of meetings for the Ontario Universities Athletic Association.

Switchboard offers fax lines

In a change of policy, the telephone wizards in the information systems and technology department have announced that some "analog" phone lines, suitable for fax machines and modems, will be available on campus after all. There had been grumbles when it was made known earlier this year that the UW telephone system was becoming all-digital and would no longer support that service.

The change is made known in an update on the telephone project, released on the Web by IST. In that report, Bruce Uttley writes thus:

It has never been the policy of Telephone Services to allow non-voice traffic to pass through its main telephone switch. In particular the installation of a fax machine or a modem in a computer had to be connected via an outside business line that communicates directly with the Bell Exchange. . . . A fax machine or a modem could generate the load of an extremely high voice extension measured by number of calls or the duration of calls. The policy was to configure the switch and its outside lines to meet the demands of voice traffic and to handle non-voice applications in another manner.

The opportunity arose to purchase some of the old telephone equipment and create a pool of analogue lines. Some are needed for HELP phones, elevator phones, public phones in hallways and labs, and some for the security modem lines. Additional analogue extensions (with an old telephone set, if you want it) are now available for faxes and modems [provided that] the line will not be used for high-volume calls during normal working hours.

There's a bit more fine print, but if you want an analog line under these conditions, you can now order one through IST/Telephone Services.

Remember, marks are due today

Other events and plans on the weekend before the spring term starts: And Monday morning -- yikes! -- classes begin. So does registration, which this term will be done in Needles Hall, not in the Physical Activities Complex. Undergraduate students head for the second-floor wickets, graduate students for the first-floor cashier's office. "Line-ups will be approximately 40 minutes in duration," the registrar's office estimates in its printed instructions. (Students can get a head start by registering today for the spring term, at the first-floor cashier's office; I noticed a modest lineup there yesterday afternoon.)

XLEBR8, the poster says

The XL represents 40 in Roman numerals, and 40 is how old UW turns this summer. So the usual June "picnic" for faculty and staff has been turned into a "40th Anniversary Birthday Party", and the word is out: the party's scheduled for Tuesday, June 3, from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at Federation Hall.

Flyers went round to departments a few days ago asking for teams to enter games that represent UW's decades: hula-hooping for the 1950s, "Expo-Loo" for the sixties, "Star Wars Challenge" for the seventies, something to do with floppies for the eighties, and "Come play in the Web" for the 1990s. "Catch the 40th fever!" is the urging from party organizer Meredith McGinnis in the office of development and alumni affairs.

But there's more to the party than the games. She's promising hot dogs, a soda bar with ice cream floats (now that's really fifties-ish), the inevitable birthday cake, a disk jockey, and the first appearance since 1982 of the '57 Chevy that became something of a symbol of UW's 25th anniversary way back then.

And -- oh yes -- the Varsity Briefcase Drill Team, which was briefly an attraction at Waterloo in the days when this place got called "the yuppie university", has been reconstituted and will be performing for the occasion, some 28 strong, with the Warriors Band to accompany them.


May 2, 1983: Maclean's magazine describes UW as "destined to become the darling of both government and industry"; U of T computer scientists are outraged.

May 3, 1995: Tony Urquhart of the fine arts department, recently named to the Order of Canada, speaks at noon in the Theatre of the Arts in the annual Friends of the Library lecture.

Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@watserv1.uwaterloo.ca -- (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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