Minutes of SRCF committee meeting held 30th September 2008

Venue: The Castle Inn

In attendance:


  1. Form emails:
    • Traditionally, all form emails to users have been written by the sysadmins. Kristian has expressed a desire to make these emails — and in particular the initial "welcome" email new users receive — the remit of the publicity officer as for many members this will be their main contact from the society.
    • Action: The "welcome" email is to be rewritten by the publicity officer. This was rewritten recently by Kristian in his joint capacity as publicity officer and sysadmin, but needs further work.
    • Future maintenance of form emails will be the joint responsibility of the publicity officer and the sysadmins.
  2. Advertising to computer scientists:
    • It has previously been agreed that, since many computer scientists are unaware of the services we offer, it would be a good idea to give a short talk to part IA and part II students at the start of term. Malcolm has arranged suitable time slots (via Christine Northeast and Frank King).
    • Malte will give the talk to part II students (morning slot).
    • David and Malte will give the talk to part IA students (afternoon slot).
    • Action: content of talks to be discussed with Kristian after the meeting has finished.
  3. Squash / Welcome Social:
    • Prior experience at Societies' Fair suggests that very few freshers know what a "squash" is (our advertisements have been mistaken for Squash Club events). It was therefore agreed that this event would be named "welcome social" starting this year.
    • Action: Malcolm to approach Trinity Hall as a venue option.
    • If Trinity Hall cannot offer us a venue, we should approach Jesus College.
    • The Welcome Social will be held on a midweek evening after 17th October, to avoid clashes. The date, time and venue need to be finalised before Societies' Fair.
  4. Treasurer's interim report:
    • The society currently has approximately £150 in the current account (with an additional £40 due from CICCU), approximately £10 in PayPal and approximately £2020 in a savings account (withdrawals from which incur an interest penalty).
    • There is a discrepancy of £0.28 between the expected balance of the current account and the actual balance. Action: treasurer to investigate this.
    • A discussion occurred on the subject of advertising freebies to give out to attendees of Freshers' Fair. SRCF-branded pens were deemed the most affordable option, and would cost in the order of £150.
    • The squash / welcome social has previously cost between £30 and £100. We should aim to spend around £40 on it this year due to shortage of funds. We should also attempt to solicit more donations.
    • Stash is in the process of being produced. David is paying Talking Tees, and will expect to be reimbursed.
    • Action: Malcolm to chase THCS for promised donation to cover migration of accounts from Hal when it was decomissioned.
  5. Backups:
    • Development of a backup solution by Malcolm is ongoing.
  6. LAN party:
    • We have been introduced to a potential sponsor by David Miller, but Malcolm's efforts to contact the sponsor have so far been fruitless.
    • Action: Malcolm to provide the phone number of the sponsor to Kristian.
    • Action: Kristian to phone the sponsor and attempt to book a room for the party at Trinity Hall.
  7. Recruitment / publicity:
    • We have 5 sysadmins who are active on a day-to-day basis. We should be on the lookout for clueful people who could join the sysadmin team.
    • Currently, interested committee members are more scarce than interested sysadmins. We should talk to attendees of the welcome social with a view to determining who is a potential future committee member.
    • The possibility of a start-of-year newsletter sent to all users was discussed; this would announce the desktop service, provide information about the Ubuntu upgrade, encourage users to apply for committee positions, announce the upcoming deprecation of PHP register_globals and FTP, announce the welcome social and LAN party, and solicit donations.
    • Action: Kristian to customise Mailman unsubscription pages for soc-srcf-*@lists.
  8. 10th anniversary dinner:
    • As discussed in previous meetings, this year sees the 10th anniversary of the founding of the SRCF. A reunion dinner, in a similar form to last year's, will be held in Easter Term to celebrate.
    • Action: Kristian to organise the dinner this term due to a likely shortage of available rooms at the end of Easter Term.
  9. Cam-800 campaign:
    • Possible ways for the SRCF to involve itself in the University-wide anniversary campaign (and avail itself of the funding provided for such involvement) were discussed. Ideas included USB keys containing useful software given to students at Societies' Fair, and the official launch of the desktop service.
  10. Data Protection:
    • Action: Kristian to talk to Ant Bagshaw regarding the extent of coverage of CUSU's DPA entry.
    • It was noted that SRCF data is processed in the CUSU comms room. Any involvement of sysadmins in Australia is irrelevant.
  11. SMS:
    • It has previously been suggested by MX Telecom that we may be able to avail ourselves of further free SMS services for a sufficiently interesting and suitable project, beyond the monitoring systems which already take advantage of this.
    • Kristian is in the process of developing a Facebook application prototype to facilitate SRCF members who have the app installed in their Facebook profiles to send free SMSes to each other. It was noted that mutual consent and traceability are mandatory for such an application.
    • MX Telecom have not yet been approached about the Facebook app as the prototype exists in part to explore possibilities and decide exactly what we are proposing before we formally do so.
    • Action: Kristian to finalise details and contact MX Telecom, stressing the opportunities for combined advertising for the SRCF and for MX Telecom.
    • The possibility of an iPhone application was briefly discussed.
    • Action: Malcolm to attempt to reduce the number of bogus SMSes sent by the monitoring systems due to insufficient hysteresis.
  12. Website:
    1. Recent changes made by David:
      1. Spammer honeypot:
        • "eminent.php" submits details of anyone loading it to a third party; theoretically only non-human visitors will arrive there but in practice this may not be the case.
        • This has serious privacy implications.
        • Furthermore, we are not making use of the output of the honeypot system (a database of the IP addresses of known spammers).
        • Action: remove this honeypot system from our website ASAP.
      2. SSL redirection:
        • Briefly, the entire HTTP SRCF website was redirected to the HTTPS version.
        • This redirection was removed before the meeting and needs no further discussion.
      3. Colour scheme:
        • It was agreed that the new colour scheme, whilst unexpected by some, is an improvement and should stay.
      4. Action: David to add a post-commit email hook to the website's subversion repository so that committee and sysadmins are made aware of changes to the website as they happen.
    2. Bugs:
      1. Action: Malcolm to fix branding of the NX web plugin's "no Java detected" page.
  13. Flyers:
    • Action: Kristian to produce flyer design. Malcolm and David can both print these in monochrome.