Minutes of SRCF committee/sysadmin meeting held 17th January 2008

Venue: The Cambridge Blue, Gwydir Street

In attendance:


  1. Matters arising from previous minutes:
    1. Update on acquisition of minutes from previous year:
      • We have now caught up on missing minutes (received three sets from Luke Norman, and one set from Malcolm).
      • The minutes were ratified, apart from a typo in "Myers".
      • It was noted that since the appointment of Jen Johnson as publicity officer in 2007 did not take place at an official meeting, it was never minuted. We hereby minute this now.
    2. Inventory:
      • We need to destroy kern's disks for security. This will take place at a Disk Smashing Party. Action: Haibo to organise.
      • The rest of kern will be auctioned at the garden party (with opening bids by email beforehand). The next committee should organise this. It is worth bearing in mind that the RAM is probably still worth a reasonable amount.
      • We are unlikely to make use of the Alphaserver or tape robot. Action: Haibo and/or Kristian to determine from TCM whether or not we are allowed to sell this, possibly via Phil Cowans if he still has contacts there.
      • The Alphaserver's disks may be of use in cyclone, but probably not as the donated ones from Malcolm will be larger and more suitable.
      • Phoenix is worthless apart from perhaps the SCSI cards. They should be sold, and the rest should be disposed of. The disk should join the Disk Smashing Party as it contained backups.
      • Action: people who are currently in possession of old SRCF hardware should take responsibility for disposing of it (Malcolm has kern and assorted ex-CUSU stuff, and Kristian has phoenix, the Alphaserver and the tape robot).
      • Action: Kristian to check who owns the UPS currently residing in the Graduate Union (previously in the CUSU attic).
    3. Documentation:
      • Kristian reports that he is about half way through documenting the sysadmins' tools.
      • Malcolm points out that this documentation is the best the SRCF has had for a long time, and records thanks.
      • Committee documentation would also be useful and is gradually appearing (Internet Banking etc. documented thanks to David).
      • Action: somebody to record notes for the next committee in the wiki, for example the decision above regarding the auction at the garden party.
      • Action: Malcolm and Kristian to fix the sysadmins' To Do list, which has forked and become very out-of-date.
      • Action: Kristian and James to thoroughly revise the public FAQ, and reduce clutter on the front page of the website.
    4. Mailing list contradiction:
      • A logical error was discovered in our previous plans for the mailing lists, specifically that it is possible for a user to opt out of soc-srcf-users whilst keeping their account, despite this being deemed undesirable.
      • This has now been resolved as follows:
        • All members are on soc-srcf. By leaving soc-srcf one forfeits one's membership and account.
        • All users are on soc-srcf-users. By leaving soc-srcf-users one forfeits one's account.
    5. New hardware:
      • cyclone is still missing rails. Action: Malcolm to email Third Light (donator of cyclone) in case they have spare rails or a source of rails.
      • Action: Malcolm to install disks the disks he donated in cyclone after the LAN party, then start preparing this server for use; an update will be given at the next meeting.
      • A reminder of the current plan for cyclone: it will be used as a logging server for pip, and for a pilot remote desktop service (e.g. VNC).
    6. Old and new sysadmins:
      • Phil Cowans has been emailed as per our previous decision to determine whether he is still interested in doing sysadmin work for us. He has not yet replied to this (or to other emails sent his way on other topics); we should give him a bit longer to do so.
      • The new sysadmins are present at this meeting. Introductions happened. They do not yet have root (pending documentation, induction and backups). Action: Malcolm to manually perform a makeshift backup so that the new sysadmins can get root before the new backup system is written.
    7. Stash:
      • We should seek volunteers to design a t-shirt. Action: everyone to think about ideas.
      • Rosie Warner can embroider smallish logos (dinner-plate-sized) on clothing we supply.
      • Alternatively we can go elsewhere to screen-print, which would probably be better if we want a JCN-style large design.
      • Action: Kristian to email the social list to ask for suggestions of t-shirt designs (they should be given four weeks from the date of that email).
  2. LAN party food and drink:
    • The treasurer was asked whether the society can fund food and drink for the LAN party.
    • This will set a precedent; the LAN party has turned out to be very popular so we may end up having several of these events per year.
    • The society will fund no more than £40 of drinks and snacks. Whoever purchases these should keep the receipt.
    • Donations will be sought at the party to attempt to recover these costs.
    • There will be no more than one such funded event per term.
    • Action: Haibo to buy drinks and snacks, and drop these off with Kristian tomorrow afternoon.
  3. AGM:
    • The venue will be the Blithe Room, Clare Colony.
    • The date and time will be Wednesday 5th March 2008, from 7pm.
    • Action: Kristian to book this.
  4. Backup policy:
    • Backups should be encrypted. The private key should be held on pip and sysadmins' personal PCs.
    • Action: Malcolm to implement the backup system as specified on the wiki.
  5. Key handover:
    • Malcolm will keep keys for cyclone setup, and hand them to Kristian when that is complete.
    • Malcolm will take the keys back for Easter term.
  6. PGP key signing:
    • This should take place at some point, but possibly not in the middle of a committee meeting.
  7. Memory upgrade for pip:
    • We currently have 4x1GB and 4 empty slots. More memory would be desirable.
    • We should upgrade this by buying 2x2GB (for a cost of approximately £170).
    • The treasurer noted that we need to have about £100 spare by the start of Michaelmas Term for the freshers' fair and squash.
  8. Other business:
    • Donations:
      • We have received £50 from CUY, and £15 from John Cammidge.
      • We may be receiving money from the Clare College Boat Club.
      • Action: David to put the list of donors on the wiki.
      • Action: Kristian to ask people using lots of resources to donate. (This should be a regular occurrence.)
    • The Assassins Society has a number of special-cases in our policy and configuration. Action: Kristian to put the details on the wiki.
    • mat39 has been consuming excessive resources due to a bug in his scripts. He has been emailed several times over the course of several weeks and has not fixed it. Action: sysadmins to disable the offending scripts.