Tens of thousands of remote computers power UAB — and it all started with one

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03 Basement insideIn 1968, the Medical Center’s computing capability consisted of an IBM 1401 setup and IBM 729 Magnet Tape Units, which were used with most 7000 model IBMs. The computer, operated in this photo by Larry Davis (left) and Floyd Miller, was located in the basement of University Hospital.

Today, during UAB’s limited business operations, much of UAB’s mission-critical work is happening remotely – all powered by computers much smaller than an IBM 1401. To help employees adapt to this new normal, UAB has invested heavily in information technology and distance-learning resources, and changes in instruction, research, patient care and administration mandated by the COVID-19 pandemic have put them to the test. UAB IT responded well to challenges in network and WiFi performance, and its staff assembled a remote-work technology toolkit for the apps and services UAB employees need to work from anywhere. UAB IT also offers some troubleshooting tips to help ease the transition online and in this special remote working edition of podcast, TechKnow.

Additionally, eLearning has collected its online instruction services for UAB faculty teaching remotely on its site, which also includes tips for faculty and students. With many using Zoom to teach their courses, questions received have been answered in these FAQs. And UAB employees can check out recorded online workshops and register for new sessions on a number of topics.