Minutes of AGM Sunday 19th October, 2003

Mad Hatter Hotel, Waterloo 2:15pm





Andy Genovese

Peter & Dan



Richard Barton





Richard Dalaway





Andy Henson



Minutes from Previous Meeting and Matters Arising




This was decided now to be unnecessary.



We did not know if this had been done or not. Andy – did you do this?



Upgrades and the Future



It was agreed that Edith is overloaded, and that this load is probably a cumulative effect of many things. We have not been able to identify any definite cause of recent lock-ups. In addition, most members make only light, if any, use of Alice.


We discussed the various options and issues surrounding how to proceed so that we had a clear idea of the pros and cons of each. JBB then presented a vote as follows:


In order to solve the issue of Edith being overloaded and the downtime caused, do you:


a)     Vote for keep our existing resources (Edith and Alice) and look at using these resources better in the future (e.g. by moving services to Alice)


b)     Vote for buying new hardware with a greater capacity to handle existing and ongoing load.


The result was unanimously in favour of buying more hardware (option b).


Following the above result, it was further agreed that the total amount members should pay to fund any new hardware/software combination, and including any necessary hosting and miscellaneous changes for the year, would be a maximum of five hundred pounds (£500). This was a somewhat arbitrary figure and it is hoped that the final amount will be significantly less.


It was further agreed that any new hardware should be a single unit (1U) form factor running IDE, and not SCSI.


It was agreed that no further decisions should be taken until reliable estimates of the final costs of the following four options have been researched:


a)     A new server, and keeping Edith and Alice.

b)     A new server, and selling Alice only.

c)      A new server, and selling Edith only.

d)     A new server, and selling both Alice and Edith.


Finally, the issue of RedHat Enterprise Linux was discussed in the context of avoiding having to upgrade the operating system every year as we are currently committed to doing. It was noted that RedHat Enterprise Linux ES is sold on an annual subscription (currently $349 per year for the Basic version) so this should be factored in to the above options.


It was agreed that a decision on whether to buy RedHat Enterprise as part of our upgrade should be deferred until we know the likely prices for the above four options.


It was noted that since this year’s subscription will be substantially higher than previous years, one or more members might decide to leave. We agreed that if this happens, efforts will be made to recruit member(s) to replace them if possible rather than spreading the proposed costs among fewer members.




DH to research prices for machines according to the agreed general specification.


Once prices for the above four options have been calculated, JBB to conduct a vote on the mailing list to decide which option will apply.



Change the Rules for Selling Kit?


Rule I.9 was amended by a unanimous vote to read:


“Equipment judged to be unwanted by the Club will be disposed of by any means that members decide upon by a simple majority vote.”


It was then agreed that if any hardware needed to be disposed of following the result of deliberations on the four options above, it should be sold at auction on eBay.


A Sink Fund for the Future?


Following the result of the main vote to spend more money on hardware this year, it was agreed to defer this issue until next year.


SSL Certificate Renewal


It was agreed that unless any members objected, we did not need to renew Alice’s certificate since a self-generated certificate will be sufficient.


It was agreed that we should renew Edith’s certificate for three (3) years.




JBB to ask members on the mailing list whether anyone objects to letting Alice’s SSL certificate lapse.


SC to advise members of the cost of a 3-year renewal for Edith.


Migrating FTP Users to Pure-FTPd


It was agreed that members preferred to have all system accounts listed in /etc/passwd since that is the UNIX convention. No mass migration to pure-ftpd virtual users should therefore take place.


In order to overcome certain issues raised, however, it was agreed that the createftp.sh script be amended to create new FTP accounts as pure-ftpd virtual users, as well as list these in /etc/passwd. The script should also be amended to check whether the requested user name already exists.




JBB to amend the script accordingly.


Any Other Business


Guidebooks/Hatters Web Site


It was agreed that members missed the Guidebooks and that these should be resurrected.


It was also agreed that the Hatters web site is a sorry-arsed mess that should also be tidied up and updated.




JBB to tidy up the site and round up any Guidebooks prior to inviting members to update/create or rewrite these.



Members Contact Details


JBB will be reviewing members contact details (as per the rules) via the mailing list and publishing them on the members area of the Hatters web site.




The meeting was then called to an end, and a commemorative photo taken.