Minutes of SRCF committee meeting held 28th April 2005

Venue: The Castle Inn, Castle Hill

In attendance:


  1. Publicity
    1. Identification of benefits/uses
      • The SRCF is currently perceived as hard to get into for non-techies. The new site is much less intimidating than the old one was, but is a bit sparse on information currently.
      • More info on features provided by the SRCF should be displayed on the website, e.g. IRC, e-mail/web forwarding for life, etc.
      • Richard should be given access to update the website.
      • The site should have a summary of "what we do for societies" and "what we do for users" on the front page without jargon.
      • Techie stuff should be on a separate page.
    2. Increasing accessibility
      • The addition of tutorials to the website was suggested.
      • We should move some of the FAQs into a separate basic tutorials section, expanding and e.g. adding screenshots.
      • This should be advertised in the welcome e-mail sent to users when they sign up (talk to sysadmins).
    3. Events
      • Squash
      • Garden party -- see below
      • Freshers fair -- Rob to organise
      • Machine room tour
      • Talks? (to replace what CUCS previously did). Rob suggested:
        • Matthew Garrett on Dasher or another of his projects/papers
        • Martin Michlmayr on free software quality control
        • Ross Anderson on something internet/law related
    4. Other publicity activities
      • Putting slides up in compsci lectures to advertise the above.
    5. Monitoring of success
      • Don't worry too much :-)
  2. Garden party
    • Venue?
      • Clare Hall? (as they currently seem very happy to help us)
      • Collaborate with JCN to get Jesus Lane? (they have a barbeque)
    • Wherever it is, it should be booked ASAP.
    • Advertise to appropriate mailing list.
  3. Possibility of upgrading CUSU's CUDN link
    • At the moment bandwidth usage is lowish (especially now the network has been fixed).
    • However, higher burstable bandwidth would be nice.
    • The upgrade fee is £1500 (one-off).
    • This money can be raised via CUSU, the Societies Syndicate, and our own fundraising.
      • Rob to e-mail people with both SRCF and CUSU hats on.
  4. Fundraising
    1. Dr. Bilodeau's proposal
      • This was deemed slightly intrusive, and possibly a breach of the DPA.
      • Clare Hall are still willing to donate.
      • A less intrusive version has already been discussed by e-mail.
    2. Corporate sponsorship
      • No need?
      • People are likely to have moral objections.
      • There may be JANET commercial use issues -- if societies can't do this (as agreed last year) so we shouldn't.
      • Conclusion: we don't need the money badly enough to take the risks.
    3. Web design competition (suggested by Richard)
      • The idea is that we would offer a prize for the best-designed personal website (maybe including society websites), and we would find a company to donate the prizes.
      • This would be a possibility to keep in mind, but again there is no need yet.
      • Unsure what the response would be or how many people would enter.
      • We should make sure that we remain as just a "service" though.
  5. Accounts etc.
    1. Last year's accounts from Sean
      • These are currently being produced.
    2. Bank account status
      • Control of the bank account was finally transferred to new committee (from the previous-but-one committee) on Monday.
    3. Inventory of assets
      • We need to renew/redo this as the current one is out of date.
      • It should include a 'cost to replace' column.
      • It should be reviewed every couple of months.
  6. E-mails to respond to
    1. gcg22 - selling stuff on the website
      • Rob to respond; tell her about newsgroups -- ucam.forsale.computer
    2. tcmr2 - hosting non-university websites
      • Rob to respond; say he can just use a society account.
  7. Accounts for non-university members
    • Accounts for people to continue maintaining society accounts after they leave would be useful.
    • Non-society-admin accounts would probably not be such a good idea.
    • Note that new director of computing service started today; Rob to bring this up with the new director -- is the new interpretation of the rules still valid?
    • The committee will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to allow someone an account for managing a society website after they leave the university.
    • We may have to lock down network access for non-University users, to restrict access to CUDN-only material. Technical solutions are to be investigated by sysadmins (e.g. iptables uid/gid matching).
  8. Looking after kern during the summer
    • Rob and Ross will be in Cambridge throughout the holidays. Malcolm will be here for a few weeks at the beginning and end.
    • Air conditioning: Rob to talk to CUSU Services. If nothing happens we should buy it ourselves.
  9. What to do with the gradunion machine
    • Use as a web accelerator for CUDN-internal access to kern?
      • The sysadmins should look into this.
      • We would probably have to replace the machine with a better one.
    • Move everything we currently host in the JCN onto the gradunion machine -- status.srcf.ucam.org etc.
    • What to do with the tape robot?
      • This should be useable for backups soon. Once we have the necessary interface card, the tape robot will hold several hundred GB.
      • We have no backups at the moment, and we really need to emphasise this on website.
  10. Delegation of srcf.ucam.org to us
    • Rob to pursue.
    • We need to talk to the UCS about this in order to have the DNS block removed.
  11. AOB
    • Teresa suggested that we maintain a list of societies which want websites, and people willing to design websites, allowing these people to get in touch.
      • We'd need disclaimers as we can't endorse the work of these people.
      • This could be a summer project for Teresa.
      • Possibly just keep the list of societies wanting website designers and just let people e-mail the societies concerned as they find the page.
      • Or keep a private mailing list of people interested in designing websites and forward requests from societies on. This way there is no obligation.
      • Designing websites for money is not likely to violate CUDN/JANET AUPs.
    • Spam to committee e-mail aliases
      • The addresses on the website will become non-links.
      • Everyone should just turn the Hermes spam filter on.
    • Managing of open issues
      • We could use something like Request Tracker (for which we need Sarge to be released... Rob was duly prodded).
      • For now one of us (Rob) should reply manually, saying at least "we're considering it" or similar.