Minutes of SRCF Annual General Meeting held 5th March 2008

Venue: Blythe Room, Clare College Colony

In attendance:


  1. Ratification of previous minutes:
    • The minutes were agreed to be ratified.
  2. Chairperson's report, presented by Haibo E:
    • We have managed to stay registered with the Societies Syndicate.
    • Four sysadmins have joined the team since the last AGM (Dave Eyers, Malte Schwarzkopf, Kristian Glass, James Clemence), and one has left due to finishing his PhD (Phil Cowans).
    • We have successfully moved our server to the new CUSU machine room, complete with air conditioning and an equipment rack.
    • Two servers (cyclone and earthquake) were donated by Michael Wells of Third Light Ltd., for which we are immensely grateful.
    • We now have space on the CUSU backup server (woozle) for our own backups.
    • We have successfully run several social events, making this an unusually sociable year for the SRCF:
      • a LAN party with around 20 people, which made a profit in donations: we will likely continue to hold such events as it was a success;
      • the annual UCS machine room tour, for around 25 people;
      • a pub meet.
      We have a new social mailing list to facilitate the easier organisation of such events in the future.
    • An off-site wiki has been set up for committee and sysadmin documentation, to aid continuity and to allow important procedures to be documented away from our servers in case of disaster.
    • We have gained permission to pass on the Alpha Server donated to us a few years ago as we see fit, as we no longer have a use for this.
    • We suffered two security incidents in the past year:
      • a user went looking for as many MySQL passwords as he could find (his membership has been suspended until Michaelmas 2008 at the earliest);
      • on 29th October an intruder gained root access, necessitating a complete reinstallation of the server which was completed quickly (16 hours from discovery of the problem to being fully up and running again); procedures are now in place to allow us to reboot to fix security vulnerabilities more quickly.
    • It was noted that the SRCF was chaired by a model.
    • Overall, this has been a very good year for the SRCF.
  3. Treasurer's report, presented by David Simner:
    • We have received approximately £1700 from CUCS due to their dissolution (after 3 years of waiting).
    • A new additional bank account has been set up with HSBC, which pays a significantly higher rate of interest. This account acts as our insurance, and will contain enough money to replace any one server should this be necessary at short notice.
    • We have had several donations of both money and equipment.
    • Our only major hardware expense this year has been an additional 8GB of RAM for pip (giving a total of 12GB installed). We are likely to need to buy memory upgrades for the donated servers in the next year.
    • The PayPal-based online donation system continues to work well.
  4. No publicity report was given as Jennifer Johnson was not present.
  5. Sysadmins' report, presented by Malcolm Scott:
    • Much of the interesting sysadmin-related occurrences of the past year have already been covered by the chair and treasurer.
    • We have 2140 active user accounts (and once again failed to celebrate a power of two).
    • Our software has been updated to Ubuntu Linux 7.10 (Gutsy), which involved the provision of PHP 5 and subsequent removal of PHP 4.
    • The default user disk quota has been increased to 250MB. Any user with less than this has had their quota increased to 250MB.
    • Syslog is now being additionally sent to a separate machine for ease of forensics in the event of an incident.
    • New pilot service announcement: SRCF Desktop. This uses the NX protocol to provide a graphical Linux environment, available from any computer running Windows, Linux, Mac OS X or Solaris. Desktop sessions can be suspended and resumed from anywhere on the Internet, even over a very slow connection. This is running on cyclone, one of the servers donated by Third Light. (A live demonstration of the service running over a slow wireless link followed. The attendees were duly impressed.) It was agreed that this service should be publicised heavily as it is likely to be of wide-ranging interest.
  6. Elections of new committee:
    • Dave Eyers was nominated as an unbiased teller.
    • One nomination received for chairperson: David Simner. Unanimously elected.
    • One nomination received for secretary: Malcolm Scott. Unanimously elected.
    • One nomination received for treasurer: Malte Schwarzkopf. Unanimously elected.
    • One nomination received for publicity officer: Kristian Glass. Unanimously elected.
  7. Other business:
    • Rob Bricheno raised the question of whether we would be interested in running a site to advertise web development jobs to students, as there is demand for such a site from the computer officers of the University. It was decided that this should not be an "official" SRCF project, but interested parties present will discuss possibilities with Rob after the meeting.