A Common Computer Environment
The University standardized the desktop computer environment for administrative computing through the Princeton Desktop Initiative (PDI). This project was launched by the Provost in November 1996. A common computing infrastructure was considered essential for the success of the new administrative computing applications under development. Many of these new systems are sponsored by Partnership 2000.
Once PDI ended, the Provost formed the Desktop Systems Council to ensure that the standard administrative computing environment be maintained and regularly enhanced for the delivery of the new administrative systems and productivity tools promised through PDI.
Since the end of PDI, each "administrative standard computer" purchased through the Microcomputer Distribution Center has been configured like the original PDI machines and made a part of DeSC.
Other groups have been encouraged to join DeSC, that is to purchase a DeSC "administrative standard machine" and be configured for the Princeton NT domain. The Provost and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty have supported the acquisition of DeSC computers through the Faculty Computer Program and the DeSC Computers for Teaching, Research, or Other Academic Needs Program.
The DeSC computer is a particular computer model, running a particular set of central software. The University's decision to establish a standard hardware and software desktop environment stems from the goal of streamlining costs associated with application development, software installation, system administration, software licensing and support. By choosing one hardware model and standard software, the University is positioned to negotiate better pricing and maintenance fees. Support staff are better able to specialize and provide the best possible assistance.