Minutes of AGM Sunday 17rd September 2006

Mad Hatter Hotel, Waterloo 2:00pm


Joanna (Dfuse)
Stuart (Jahingo)


Michael (Dfuse)


Andy G

Minutes from Previous Meeting and Matters Arising

From the year-before last's AGM:

Firewall on Alice: It was agreed we should have the same firewall rules for Alice as we do for Edith.

Action: JBB to post a list of all the ports being used on Alice, with a view to members' claiming these. We can then consider shutting off the rest.

This issue was carried over into the main agenda for this year - see below.

From last year's AGM:

Action: JBB to change the createmail.sh script to put the necessary gubbins for this in, and post instructions for migrating existing accounts to the new config.

With the role of Edith having changed this this issue arose, this is no longer applicable (never let it be said that our meeting minutes are not thorough!)

Action: Carried over to this yea - see below.

Agenda Items

Members' Subscription for 2007

It was agreed that membership for 2007 would be £145+VAT (£170.38 incl) to enable us to cover costs and add about £500 to the Development Fund (taking it to £1,540.00). See also the resolution regarding possible new members.


It was felt that some basic backup of config files on each machine would be desirable. While this has been attempted before, the machine re-configurations of last year caused the system to break. However, members are reminded that they should do their own backups and not rely on the club's resources for this.

Action: JBB to get something up and running.

Firewall on Alice

It was agreed that the current spreadsheet of ports in use should be reviewed by all members, and updated if necessary. We should then create a firewall such that only those ports are allowed access to the machine, and also create egress rules accordingly.

Action: JBB to lead this noble project, and consult with other members (like Stuart) who know more about firewalls than he does.

REHL: How do we feel about it so far?

JBB noted that our current version of RHEL 3 only supports version XX of PHP, and that versions of other software such as Postfix are also lower than the current stable versions of things. Red Hat state that they will not upgrade to versions higher than this. While this does not matter from a security point of view (since updates will be back-ported by Red Hat for us), we may encounter problems if we want to have features that are not in the latest versions.

It was agreed that while we do not need or want to be on the 'bleeding edge', we will in any case be facing RHEL end of life in about two to three years - by which time we will have enough in the Development Fund to buy new hardware and thereby upgrade our OS (either of Red Hat or another). Assuming we can live with older versions of things until then, it was felt that for now we need not address the issue.

New Members

It is understood that at least one person has expressed an interest (via Joanna) in joining the club. It was agreed that while the subscription price is sufficiently low not to need any new members for that reason, we would not shut the door on newcomers. Rather, if anyone wishes to join, they should be allowed introduced by an existing member to state their case for joining on the mailing list. Members can then vote accordingly.

It was further agreed that fees paid by new members would go toward the Development Fund, and that there was no need for The Formula to calculate membership fee pro rata or otherwise.

Progress Rationalising Hatters Scripts

Stuart has been doing some work to streamline and improve the various Hatters Scripts. He is only half way through this, however, but we encourage him to continue his efforts.

Action: Stuart to continue this noble task.

Assessing the Use of Edith

JBB wanted to know whether people were using Edith and/or if they had any problems with it. Nobody present indicated any issues with the server, so it is assumed that its role can remain unchanged.

Use of Resources on Alice

Michael wanted to know if Alice was being over-used. It was agreed that while there are brief peaks of high CPU usage that do cause mail services to cease (approx 5 mins each time perhaps once every couple of weeks), and the load average often looks scary (from 2 to 6 on average), this is not currently enough of any issue to take any action.

Disposal of Old Edith

Despite various attempts to get rid of Old Edith according to the Rules, JBB still has not been able to do so successfully. Joanna suggested that he attempts to sell it on Edith, with 100% of the proceeds going to a suitable charity. Peter said we can make use of his courier firm for delivery, in which case we should add a fee of £15 to cover this.
Michael subsequently noted that we agreed we should only make "reasonable efforts" to dispose of equipment according to the rules!

Action: JBB to get Old Edith on eBay as noted above.

The meeting was then brought to a close.