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Tourist Policy and Rules for Tourist Use of ITS Machines

It has been a long standing tradition at both the Laboratory for Computer Science and the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT to allow non-laboratory people to use the laboratories' computers during off hours. During the early days of the laboratories' existence a non-laboratory person (such people have come to be called tourists) could gain access to one of the computers by direct personal contact with a laboratory member, Furthermore, tourist access was controlled because access to the laboratories' computers was de facto achieved through on site terminals. A tourist sponsored by a laboratory member would generally receive some guidance and tutelage concerning acceptable behavior, proper design techniques for hardware and software, proper programming techniques, etc. The expectation on the laboratories' part was that a large percentage would become educated in the use of the advanced computing techniques developed and used in our laboratories and thereby greatly facilitate tile technology transfer process. A second expectation was that some percentage would become interested and expert enough to contribute significantly to our research efforts. Tourists in this latter group would at some point in time graduate out of the tourist class and become laboratory members. In actual fact a number of former and present staff members and faculty earned their computational wings in just this fashion.

The proliferation of home computer terminals and computer networks has changed materially the number of possible tourists, and their means of access. Furthermore the impersonality of telecommunication access has resulted in a perceived (if not an actual) diminution of the benefits tourists provide. The laboratories would like to take advantage of both the benefits of computer communication and the benefits afforded by personal contact between laboratory members and tourists. Realizing that we cannot turn back the clock and that the interpersonal relationship between sponsor an(] tourist will not likely be as close as it was in an earlier time, we nevertheless wish to make them closer than they are today. Therefore the laboratories are at this time setting up a more formal tourist policy which is as follows:

1. A "tourist" is a person who is so designated and allowed to log in to an ITS machine on a restricted basis. Tourists are expected to contribute to MIT's sponsored research objectives. An "account" on an ITS Computer means a username (login name) and associated password, which will allow a person to log in to the computer.

Unfortunately, we must reserve the right to terminate tourist accounts for any reason, although we hope this will not be necessary. The most likely reason would be if a tourist or tourists were to interfere with the laboratories' research objectives, i.e. do not interfere with other people who are using the system.

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