COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
P. O. BOX 2120
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 23218-2120

SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 181
September 24, 1999

INFORMATIONAL

TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Date Set for Virginia's PEN Upgrade


The Department of Education, as you are aware, plans to
upgrade Virginia's Public Education Network (VA.PEN) making it
fully Web-based and compatible with current hardware and
software.  Department staff members and school division personnel
are testing a beta version of the new system.  Monday, November
22, 1999, is the date established for the new system to be fully
operational.  We are scheduling conversion to the new system for
the weekend prior to November 22 to minimize disruption of
service to Virginia's education community.

Accordingly, plan on VaPEN services not being available  
Friday, November 19, through Sunday, November 21.  We expect all
systems to be functioning normally on Monday morning, November
22.  To access this new system, your hardware and software will
need to be capable of Internet access and running a "browser"
(e.g. Netscape, Internet Explorer, etc.).  Your "log in ID" name
and password will remain unchanged.  Information on recommended
minimum hardware configurations is attached.  Additional
information may be found on the VA.PEN website
(www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Technology/MIS/PEN/pen.html) and we will
provide additional information about this upgrade in a future
communication.

Should you have any questions, please contact Jerry Mathews,
at 804-225-2950, or via E-mail (jmathews@pen.k12.va.us)

PDS/mm

Enclosure:      A hard copy of this memo and its attachment
                will be sent to the superintendent's office.


   VA.PEN Recommended Minimum Hardware Configurations


Recommended PC Minimum Hardware/Software Requirements for New
VA.PEN System, effective November 22, 1999:  

     -    Intel 80486/33 processor
     -    SVGA video adapter capable of displaying graphics in
          800 x 600 resolution
     -    SVGA color monitor
     -    16 MB RAM
     -    500 MB hard disk drive
     -    Windows 95 Operating System
     -    28.8 bps modem
     -    Netscape 4.0x



Recommended Macintosh Minimum Hardware/Software Requirements for
New VA.PEN System, effective November 22, 1999: 

     -    68040 processor
          -    Quadra
          -    Centris
          -    LC 575
          -    LC 580
          -    Performa (except 200, 250, 250, 400, 405, 410,
               430, 450, 460, 466, 467, 520, 550, 600, 600CD)
     -    Video adapter capable of displaying graphics in 832 x
          624 resolution
     -    SVGA color monitor
     -    16 MB RAM
     -    500 MB hard disk drive
     -    7.1x * Operating System
          -    Open Transport ver. 1.1.1
          -    Open Transport/PPP ver. 1.0 ** 
     -    28.8 bps modem
     -    Netscape 3.0

* See Apple technical information article on which versions of
Open Transport are compatible with which operating systems at:
http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/n30526

** See Apple technical information article on system requirements
for Open Transport/PPP at:
http://til.info.apple.com/techinfo.nsf/artnum/n20628 

While this article discusses Apple Remote Access (ARA), VA.PEN
connections via ARA are not supported.