President's Report

These are some of the activities the club has been involved in during the past year. Also listed are some of the issues that have arisen, and how they've been dealt with.

LCA Bid

Our LCA 2010 Bid was unsuccessful as most of the people here know. This was mainly because of the incredibly good bid submitted by Wellington. I'd like to thank Russell Stuart for his effort during the bidding process.

This has not deterred us though, and we are pushing ahead with our next bid for LCA2011. This is being led by Shaun Nykvist and a team including myself, Russell Stuart, Mark Ellem, Matthew Franklin, Clinton Roy, Scott Wilson, Daniel Devine, Marco Ostini and Stephen Thomas.

Setup/Packup schedule

Based on an expression of interest of the interested people at the last AGM I created a pack up and set up roster for those who volunteered. We had 7 volunteers which meant that each person needed to pack up/set up approximately 4 times during the year. This system worked well and I think that Russell's idea of keeping similar information on the wiki is a logical extension to the roster that is already maintained.

Room Bookings

When it came time to renew our room room bookings with UQ we ran into some issues. ITS were quite happy to forward our request to room bookings as they have done in the past, but the room bookings section within UQ were not aware of our previous arrangement. This caused significant delays in organising our room bookings for 2009. After many conversations between ITS, myself and UQ room bookings we eventually came to the understanding that HUMBUG does have a relationship with UQ through ITS and that this arrangement could be used to book rooms. We have now taken to dealing directly with UQ's room bookings area to hopefully minimise the liklihood of a similar situation arising. Also our practice of booking rooms for the entire year can no longer occur as UQ can only book rooms for the current and next teaching periods (ie. about six months into the future).

Caliburn breach

On the 14 January 2009 an initial suspicious process was discovered on HUMBUG's server caliburn by Clinton Roy. Clinton killed the process performed a security update and could not find any further problems with the machine. He reported this information to the exec and some follow up emails discussed the issues of the box being compromised. The general consensus was that we would migrate away from caliburn as soon as possible to another server excalibur which was kindly provided by Robert Brockway (although i'm sure he wasn't expecting to be providing it for as long as he currently has been).

Plans were slowly progressing to move services from caliburn to this new server when caliburn was again compromised sometime around the 27 April 2009. We do not have many details about the nature of the compromise other than there being a root kit present on the box. As soon as the rootkit was noticed I consulted with others on the exec and we decided that we needed to shutdown caliburn immediately to protect other internet users from any attacks that may now originate from HUMBUG's server.

Plans were pushed forward to migrate HUMBUG services to excalibur, and Stephen Thomas took the lead, with help from several other HUMBUG members. As part of the recovery a new website was created using a MoinMoin wiki and several of the services were changed over to different software (e.g. email now using postfix instead of exim). We also implemented some changes to the main contact points for HUMBUG (exec@humbug.org.au and sysadmin@humbug.org.au) by turning them into mailing lists rather than aliases they used to be. This has provided HUMBUG with message archiving for all communications into HUMBUG via these addresses. Also the exec has been permanently subscribed to the both lists using their aliases (e.g. president@humbug.org.au) so that they are aware of all the issues that are occurring regarding the ongoing administration of HUMBUG's server.

Thanks to Robert Brockway, Stephen Thomas, and all of the other people who helped with restoring HUMBUG services:

At this point I'd like to thank Robert Brockway for providing us with excalibur to replace caliburn. I would like to suggest that we re-imburse him for the costs he has incurred in hosting the server and thank him for all the effort he has made to do the initial setup work for excalibur.

I would also like to thank Stephen Thomas for taking on the role as lead sysadmin during this restoration. It has been extremely beneficial to have one person leading the effort to restore the services provided by the old server caliburn.

I'd also like to thank all of the people who helped in any way with excalibur. Your effort was much appreciated.

Wiki

As part of the move to excalibur it was necessary to create a new website as the existing website could only be recovered from a compromised source, and without significant work we could not restore this version. The executive decided to move forward with plans for a HUMBUG wiki to replace the current website. This would provide a collaborative space for the Members and the Exec to store information about the club. Most of the existing content from the old website was imported into the wiki to provide a starting point. From there much new content has been added by many people. Additionally, thanks to the work of Russell Stuart the LCA Bid wiki that he has been maintaining has now been integrated into the main HUMBUG wiki.

Documentation about the Club

One of the main things that is now included in the HUMBUG wiki is documentation about how the club operates and the processes involved in the day to day running of the club. This has mainly been thanks to the hard work of Matthew Franklin, and the many people who have followed up his work with updates and corrections. I hope to see the information in this area improve over time as things change within the club. I'd like to thank all the people who have helped out with this documentation on the wiki, and I hope that the next executive finds it useful.

Membership DB

Now it is time for the inevitable membership DB report. The membership database has not progressed as far as I would have liked this year. This has mainly been because of other issues within the club, such as the caliburn compromise and the subsequent commissioning of excalibur. Stephen Thomas, Daniel Devine and Matthew Franklin are working on the system and I hope they will continue and complete this work over the coming year.