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Linux Computing at MIT

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Exiting the Red Line Cambridge subway station, I turned left and headed south on Massachusetts Avenue. I was on my way to meet Jonathan Reed, Athena Consulting Supervisor, at MIT. Reed supervises the team that supports the campus-wide UNIX and Linux environment.

Naturally, you'd expect widespread Linux use at MIT. Over the past few years, MIT's Information Systems & Technology (IS&T) group, including Reed's team, have streamlined the process of installing, updating, and running Linux on student's and faculty machines. One interesting goal of the team is to give incoming freshmen the option to order a laptop with Linux pre-installed.

Running a technical support group for a sophisticated user community like MIT, is no small feat. Processes must be quick and foolproof. Just like any other managed user community, standards help maintain reliability and availability. And, every fall brings a new corps of users. Considering the killer workload of the students and professors, the last thing anybody needs are computer-related distractions.

Reed's group keeps Unix, Linux, and Athena running smoothly.

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