IllinoisCollege of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences


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ACES Academic Computing Facility

History of the ACES Academic Computing Facility (1982 - 1998)


  • Provide College of ACES students with access to the most up-to-date hardware and software possible in a supportive lab setting.
  • Provide faculty with a setting where they can teach a course, demonstrate software for individual classes or place problem sets for students to complete.
  • Provide space for special interest training for others within the College of ACES.

  • The College of Agriculture Microcomputer Facility was established in 199 Bevier Hall, initially composed of ten Apple IIs and five IBM PCs.

  • 1983
  • Focus moves to more IBM PCs as 15 additional PCs are added, and Apple IIs are cut to five.

  • 1985
  • IBM EXCEL grant fills backroom of 199 Bevier with 2 IBM PC-ATs and 16 PCs, all on a broadband network. The original purpose of this setup was behavioral research in a live auction simulation. After the research was completed, the machines reverted to a more general academic support role.

  • 1986
  • Ag Econ 199-E Becomes Ag Econ 161.

  • 1988
  • Moved to the old Ornamental Horticulture Building.
  • Remodeled to accommodate two IBM computer labs, rm 101 & 103.
  • 5 Macintosh SEs are added in room 101 for use in Ag Econ 100.

  • 1989
  • Checkin system started.
  • Room 103's network is connected to the growing campus network backbone and the internet.
  • A Student Computer Fee grant provided some funding for replacement PS/2 computers in Room 103, which was dubbed the "High Tech IBM Lab".
  • OS/2-based LAN servers added.

  • 1990
  • Another IBM grant, combined with College support, allowed the purchase of additional IBM PS/2 computers, this time completely upgrading the room with PS/2s.

  • 1991
  • Additional remodeling provided space for the Mac Lab.
  • The College funds purchase of IBM PS/2 computers to replace aging PCs in room 101.
  • Room 101 is networked, connecting it and MacLab to internet.

  • 1992
  • Birth of the gopher system - a gopher server is started on a 486DX-33.
  • OS/2 installed on computers in room 103, provides DOS, Windows, and OS/2 application and networking support.

  • 1993
  • Web Server functionality is added to the gopher server in April of 1993.

  • 1994
  • Computer upgrade to provide state-of-the-art computers capable of supporting multimedia applications in all three labs.
  • OS/2 in use on all PCs.
  • Room 101 gets new furniture.
  • Computers previously housed in the IBM and Mac labs were used to open a fourth, Auxiliary lab for general student use.

  • 1995
  • Ag Econ 161 becomes ACE 161 in College reorganization.

  • 1996
  • Facility receives CFAC funding for software updates.

  • 1997
  • Upgrade all computers in room 103 to Pentium Pro computers.
  • Windows NT is added as an additional operating environment on the new computers.
  • Building network enhanced with switched ethernet to mitigate exploding bandwidth demands.

  • 1998
  • Room 101 is also upgraded with new Pentium Pro computers.
  • Facility receives CFAC funding for software updates.
  • Older machines in room 204 (Overflow lab) are (being) updated to add NT 4.0 capability.
  • Room 103 gets new furniture and two scanners.
  • New Overhead projector in 101.
  • New Air Conditioners in buiding.
  • Zip Drives added to rooms 101 and 103.
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