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Max Salvas, CS's long-time (since '83!) Hardware Technician, has just won an award in President Simmons' new Staff Bonus Program for Extraordinary Achievement in 2001-02. He was recognized for his energy and initiative in almost single-handedly building all CS's machines for our most recent equipment upgrade.

In the past we've done our usually triennial equipment upgrades by lengthy and laborious negotiations with vendors. Last year, though, we decided that, to be competitive, we had to upgrade not every three but every two years. The prospect was a daunting one until it became clear that, with Max's talents, we could buy computer parts and build our own very cost-effectively.

After Max identified the appropriate components and a few systems were built and successfully deployed, we chose 'Maxbuilt' desktops as our next upgrade path. Since early this year, the more than 225 Maxbuilts that have rolled off Max's assembly line have been providing almost four times the compute power and twice the memory as the systems they replaced, and have better graphics to boot. And they're costing about half the price we expected to pay.

Max's initiative and skills have given us an innovative and cost-effective solution to a very difficult problem. We're delighted that Brown has recognized his merit in this way!