The Institutional File System (IFS), one of the most important steps in the Universitys move from a centralized to a distributed computing system, is available across the campus to those with Macintosh or Unix workstations and Ethernet or LocalTalk connections to the campus backbone network. IFS service for IBM-PCs and compatibles is not yet available but is currently in the pre-release pilot phase, according to Information Technology Division (ITD) officials.
IFS allows students, faculty and researchers to store files and retrieve them from any location on campus that can connect to the service. A simplified authentication process allows users to share files quickly, without losing formatting, and eliminates the need for students to carry floppy disks to and from computing sites.
Researchers at the Population Studies Center, who typically process 16 million census records at a time, say that IFS has cut their data access and extraction time from four hours to two.
To obtain access to IFS, users need a home directory, uniqname and UMICH Kerberos password. These can be acquired by accessing the MTS file ACC:IFSAPP and mailing the completed information to ITD Accounts Office, 535 W. William, Campus Zip 4943; completing a service order from ITDs publication Institutional File System User Overview, Reference R1070; or calling the ITD Accounts Office to request a form.
Users who received home directories during the pilot phase must complete the form if they plan to continue using the service in 1993. ITD began charging for the IFS service this month.