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The Corporate Software Bank

Steven W. Lodin
Delco Electronics Corporation


The Corporate Software Bank is the implementation of an idea borne of many hours spent installing and maintaining public domain UNIX software tools and many hours spent trying to explain the process to other UNIX workstation administrators. The Corporate Software Bank is a company-wide computing resource which makes valuable public domain software available in working form avoiding the usual pitfalls of inexperience and lack of resources.

Delco Electronics Corporation is making the transition from mainframe based computing to workgroup computing utilizing UNIX client/server technology. This has created a need for many UNIX system administrators. Like any major corporation, these administrators can range in experience from someone with no public domain software experience to the guru class administrator.

A decentralized system administration model requires that each system administrator have all the skills necessary to meet their users' needs. Due to external factors, many system administrators are unfamiliar with Usenet/Internet related functions. Of these functions, retrieving, installing, and maintaining public domain software has become more requested from the user community. The Corporate Software Bank is an attempt to solve this problem by changing the answer from a lengthy explanation of the installation process to a simple answer of "retrieve a file and follow the instructions to get that program and many more already in working form".

This paper describes the motivation behind the Corporate Software Bank. It presents a site-dependent implementation discussing the problems encountered and solutions, when applicable. Finally, the usage history is presented and some future enhancements are suggested.

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