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Thursday February 15, 2001

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Backbone, heart and brains: the anatomy of the CCIT switch room

Headline Photo

UA telecommunications take place in one computer and wire-filled room

Ring, ring.

Welcome to the switch room - what some call the heart of UA's telecommunications and World Wide Web access, but a room that few people who rely on it are aware of.

This room, which contains $25 million worth of equipment, would stay up and running even if the whole lighting system on the UA campus shuts down because of a natural disaster, said Walt Moody, a staff engineer for CCIT telecommunications.

This is also where the university's voice mail messages are stored, and where the data network comes together.

The room sits in the basement of the Center for Computing and Information Technology building in the northeast part of campus. It contains 17,000 phone lines criss-crossing through shelves and cables, and connecting to the campus buildings, making telecommunications and networking possible.

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Computer room keeps UA services running

While workers in the CCIT switch room run the UA's telecommunications behind the scenes, the machinery room is where services for the campus community originate.

Also called the computer room, this is where the administrative computer systems are maintained.

An IBM 9672 is used for administrative systems, which in turn provide student systems.

Student systems include registration, bursars, financial aid, admissions, student link, telephone billing system and financial record system.

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Arizona's hit man

Durazo took long road to start at UA

Ernie Durazo doesn't take anything for granted anymore.

Arizona's baseball team is stacked with players who had numerous options for college, but Durazo is one UA player who had to struggle to have the opportunity to wear a Wildcat uniform.

Durazo, a senior first baseman and Tucson native, was highly recruited by UA out of Tucson High School but failed to obtain the minimum score on his Scholastic Aptitude Test.

The first baseman was denied admission, crushing his lifelong dream.

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The art of courting votes

USA Today brought the White House chief of staff to his knees recently. Following a meeting with the national newspaper's editorial board - just another stop in the Bush administration's "why can't we all just get along" meetings - an offhand remark turned into the next day's top headline.

It is easy to say that no one really pays attention to what is said in USA Today. It is disdained in the journalism community for its unofficial motto of, "All the news fit to print in 50 words or less," but that doesn't mean that it can't get people's attention. Especially when the top headline reads, "Bush to close offices on AIDS, race."

For some reason, a headline like that gets everyone's attention. Apparently, Chief of Staff Andy Card had told the editors of the paper that those offices would be reorganized, like the rest of the White House bureaucracy, and this was taken to mean that they would be removed.

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Looking for variety

Occasionally at the UA, dorm dwellers need to spice up their lives with a little variety - a variety show, that is.

TV3, the University of Arizona's student-run television station, believes it has developed an idea to do just that. The station's new show, "Fast Forward," is a satirical news show based on events - both past and current - that have occurred in the UA community.

Mike Camarillo, broadcast advisor of TV3, said "Fast Forward" will "provide students (with) a documentary on campus, with a show that is produced by students, for students."

He described the show as being based strongly on sarcasm with a "news-journalistic twist."

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Fast facts: Thursday February 15, 2001

An average person laughs about 15 times a day.

Blue eyes are the most sensitive to light and dark brown is the least.

If your mouth was completely dry, you wouldn't be able to taste anything.

Human bones can withstand stresses of 24,000 pounds per square inch.

Shock treatment for epilepsy was once administered by electric catfish.