Minutes of SRCF committee & sysadmin meeting held 15th January 2009

Venue: The Castle Inn

In attendance:


  1. Note of ongoing actions which need completing soon:
    • Organise machine room tour
    • Possible Michaelmas term LAN party
    • Distribute stash to those who have ordered it
    • Deal with PayPal account
    • Default quota increase (agreed that the new default would be 500MB)
    • Sell AlphaServer
    • Implement new backup system
    • Implement sysadmins' shared mailbox
    • Rewrite FAQ
    • Any outstanding actions from previous minutes
  2. UPS purchase:
    • Clive Jones (contact via Malcolm) has offered us a second-hand rackmountable APC UPS for £75.
    • It was agreed to make this purchase.
    • The UPS is not available immediately; the purchase will take place once it is.
  3. AGM:
    • The AGM will be held around the end of February.
    • Venue options to be explored and discussed after this meeting.
    • We need to solicit potential new committee members.
    • The AGM will, as usual, be followed by a curry.
  4. 10th Anniversary Dinner:
    • The 10th anniversary of the society is June 2009. A celebratory dinner will be held around May Week.
    • Action: all present to investigate possible venues.
  5. Retrosnub Internet Services collaboration:
    • Malcolm, in his triple capacities as SRCF sysadmin, SRCF secretary and Retrosnub Internet Services, has suggested a collaboration between the two organisations.
    • The exact details are open to negotiation, but the broad outline is as follows:
      • Retrosnub offers services similar to those offered by the SRCF to ex-users of the SRCF, for a fee lower than that Retrosnub's standard pricing for such services
      • Retrosnub donates a percentage of fees received from users back to the SRCF
      • The SRCF advertises relevant Retrosnub services to SRCF users losing their accounts
      • Retrosnub may also offer services complementing those offered by the SRCF to current SRCF users, such as domain registration and accounts for commercial ventures which may not use the CUDN
      • Retrosnub will not offer services in competition with the SRCF; where a SRCF account would suffice, no Retrosnub account will be sold
    • Malcolm did not participate in the ensuing discussion, due to a conflict of interest.
    • A vote was held, and the committee agreed unanimously (3 for, Malcolm abstaining) to such a collaboration taking place.
  6. CGI handler license/copyright issues:
    • Interest has been expressed in the use of the SRCF CGI handler by other parties (e.g. JCN).
    • The SRCF CGI handler was originally written by Seb Wills, with further contributions from Peter Clay, Matt Johnson, David and Malcolm. However the code does not specify a license or copyright.
    • Authors were emailed by Malcolm in November, suggesting that the code is licensed under GPLv2. Seb replied saying that he was happy with this. No other response was received.
  7. Per-user/per-society subdomains:
    • As previously discussed, there are several advantages to moving users'/societies' websites onto individual subdomains.
    • Discussion of suitable subdomain formats took place. No final conclusion was reached; *.users.srcf.ucam.org / *.societies.srcf.ucam.org would be used for trial purposes.
    • Sysadmins will continue investigating potential pitfalls and migration issues.
  8. New server:
    • Third Light have donated another server (thunder). Malcolm took delivery of this from Michael Wells earlier this evening.
    • Action: Malcolm to install this.
    • Discussion of possible uses of the server took place. No final conclusion was reached. The use will depend on its specification, which is not yet known exactly.
  9. CICCU donations:
    • CICCU have previously agreed to make a regular donation. Another donation is currently due.
    • Action: treasurer to pursue this.
  10. Database access from cyclone:
    • David has asked the sysadmins whether it is possible to have the MySQL daemon on pip listen on an interface accessible to cyclone, for development purposes.
    • There are technical barriers to this — in particular, all user privileges currently only apply to access from localhost.
    • Sysadmins may implement this in the long term but currently have more important things to do.
  11. Complaints regarding access to #srcf:
    • There is currently no policy on who should have access to #srcf, and who can be kicked/banned.
    • The channel is currently publically-accessible but bans happen on an ad-hoc basis and are implemented by anyone with operator privileges, usually without much discussion, the rationale being that a ban may be required to resolve an immediate problem and a discussion could take too long.
    • One particular person (a SRCF user, banned for offensive comments) has complained about being banned and wishes to have the ban revoked.
    • It was decided that the committee wished to have the power to overturn bans made by the sysadmins, which they would execute in this case to overturn this particular ban.