Year 2000 upgrades tied up phone system

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By Anne Smith 

Students could not drop courses over the phone this term because improvements made to computer and telephone systems by Ryerson’s year 2000 team took longer than expected.

The project to upgrade the systems was to be finished by the end of October.  But because of a problem with the telephone vendor company, Periphonics, Ryerson’s Communications and Computer Support (CCS) team couldn’t’ finish final system testing until the week of Nov. 3.

The delay means students couldn’t access the phone system to drop courses — the last drop date was Nov. 6.  But student information systems (SIS) manager Tony Kay said they had to continue with the upgrades because it was the only window of opportunity.

The conversion included changing about 750 computer and telephone programs to allow the computer’s dating system to register in five digits — for example, F2000 instead of F98.

“It’s unfortunate that it had to be during that time, but SIS did all we could.  We worked right up to the deadline to get it finished,” Kay said.

Continuing education, business and administration and information management (AIM) are the only schools who have a phone system to drop courses, and students were informed of all the upgrades well before they happened, Kay said.

Students could still drop courses in person at the registration office or in their faculty’s department offices.

Even though the year 2000 is about 400 days away, associate registrar Dawn Little said her office starts planning for the next academic year seven to eight months in advance.

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