Mark McNair, Assistant Director for CSS User Consulting & Support, is retiring from the UW after 32 years of service. Over the years Mark has had offices in the ACC (now Wallace Hall), Parrington, Mary Gates Hall, and now the UW Tower.
Mark’s first job was with the Microcomputer Support Group. One of his early accomplishments was building the first computing lab at the HUB in 1988 with approximately 30 512KB Macintosh computers donated by Apple. Mark says that “The computer labs were fun–building things, and seeing students use them.”
In those early days his group depended on a lot of donations, including space from the HUB and from Student Activities, as well as surplus equipment from campus departments. This first lab was later separated into the Purple and Gold halves–one for PCs and the other for Macintosh computers.
When Mark started, high-speed networking was 9.6KB on an asynchronous Hazeltine terminal. The UW’s backbone carried Novell, AppleTalk, and other protocols until a declaration was made that TCP/IP would become the only protocol.
Mark has known some hot times at the UW! A couple of memorable moments include the year it got hot enough in the HUB computer lab to melt joint compound on the fire sprinkler pipes above, sending hot grease dripping onto the computers below. Another heated event was the radiator pipe break upstairs on C-3 that sent steam and water throughout the Service Center, out to the east row of cubicles on the floor.
Things have changed greatly and Mark is happy to have been a part of this. Yet, at the same time things are still much the same–when he was hired (sight unseen!) he was told the phone would ring and people on the other end would desperately need computing help. There are still people in great need of computing assistance, but they more often send email or requests online.
He sends a thank you to all the people he has worked with. In turn, we will miss Mark and have benefited greatly from his decades of service at the UW!