HUMBUG AGM 2009

Details

Agenda Items

The current agenda is as follows:


1. Meeting Open

Meeting opened at 18:04


2. Confirmation of the 2008 AGM minutes


3. Reports

The aim of these reports is to present what has happened during the year in relation to the club.

3.1. Exec Reports


3.1.1. 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.

3.1.1.1. 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.

3.1.1.2. 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.

3.1.1.3. 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).

3.1.1.4. 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.

3.1.1.5. 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.

3.1.1.6. 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.

3.1.1.7. 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.


3.1.2. Vice Presidents Report

3.1.2.1. Background

This year has been an interesting year for HUMBUG as a number of events have happened. Some were planned, others were unplanned. Despite all this, all these events have gone smoothly and I am pleased to say HUMBUG is still going strong as a user group.

3.1.2.2. Server breach and new server/services

As mentioned in out presidents report, although we had some breaches of caliburn through a rootkit which caused downtime, thanks to Stephen Thomas and Russell Stuart we were able to get a Xen virtual machine provided by Robert Brockway up and running with a new website/wiki.

As there were plans to upgrade the website before the breach happened, this line of events turned out to have fortunate consequences. I, as vice president, have been involved in making sure all planning and implementation of our new server has gone smoothly through such activities as get-togethers between executive and sys-admins.

3.1.2.3. Assisting Treasurer with fiscal duties

Elspeth Thorne, due to personal and health reasons, has not been able to perform her full duties this year. Elspeth has been from the beginning been fully committed to her role, so this in no way implies she has not wanted to perform her duties. Due to these reasons, I have been helping her by keeping the cashbox in order, keeping an eye on HUMBUG's account and doing the banking for HUMBUG.

3.1.2.4. Running of HUMBUG in presidents absence

As our president has been working in Canberra, I have been ensuring the operation of HUMBUG has been going smoothly in his absence. This involved making sure the packing up roster has been adhered to and keeping general order.

3.1.2.5. Acquisition of A/V equipment for HUMBUG

With the help of our librarian, HUMBUG has bought a camera for use at meeting and official events for recording of talks. The reasoning is to allow members who could not attend the meetings when the talks were being held and opportunity to catch up on what they missed.

A number of talks have been recorded and distributed with the new camera and I am pleased to say it has been quite successful. If things continue to go well, we hope to purchase additional equipment such as microphones and PA amplifiers.

3.1.2.6. Summary

Although some things have not gone to plan, in summary, all has all turned out well for HUMBUG. I hope I am passing on a vibrant organisation to my successor. I also hope HUMBUG continues to support the Brisbane Unix user community well in to the future.


3.1.3. Secretary's Report

Nothing much to report. Correspondence to secretary@humbug.org.au regarding meeting dates, times, and such from prospective members was answered with a variant of "Sure thing! the meeting is on (date here) from (start time) to (end time) at (meeting venue) - if you'd like to attend, I'll be there from 3pm onwards! My mobile number is 0448 109 267." This was not entirely successful as a recruiting technique. From the many, many emails received, only 1 new financial member was gained. Nevertheless, it wasn't a wasted exercise.

3.1.3.1. Rostering

Rostering for setup/packup was trailed, and was generally successful. Personally, I am a huge supporter of this - it spreads the load around and ensures that the system is by and large fair and balanced.

3.1.3.2. And finally...

I would like to take this opportunity to encourage any members who had considered running for a exec role to put their hand up and try. Executive roles aren't particularly onerous, and are a great way to contribute new and fresh ideas for the club. If you are a current financial member, please consider a exec role - the group will benefit from your contribution.


3.1.4. Treasurer's Report

The transaction history for the club this year is as follows:

Date

Credit/Debit

Description

Balance

Notes

01/09/09

$70.00

DEPOSIT

$6,537.38

24/07/09

$50.00

CASH DEPOSIT 4114

$6,467.38

06/07/09

-$299.00

260113 4114

$6,417.38

Cheque - Purchase of video camera

29/06/09

-$52.79

260112 4114

$6,716.38

Cheque

01/06/09

$0.65

CREDIT INTEREST

$6,769.17

01/06/09

$140.00

CASH DEPOSIT 4114

$6,768.52

Membership fees

27/03/09

$85.50

CASH DEPOSIT 4114

$6,628.52

20/03/09

-$200.00

CASHED CHEQUE 900064

$6,543.02

18/03/09

-$185.00

900065

$6,743.02

Cheque

09/03/09

$300.00

CASH DEPOSIT 4178

$6,928.02

Membership fees

01/12/08

$14.73

CREDIT INTEREST

$6,628.02

13/10/08

-$2.50

TRANSACTION LIST 7901

$6,613.29

25/09/08

$290.00

CASH DEPOSIT 4178

$6,615.79

Membership fees

Opening balance:

$6,325.79

Total Debits:

-$739.29

Total Credits:

$950.88

In summary, HUMBUG made a profit of $211.59. Most expenses were related to Caliburn and the purchase of the video camera. I believe that the current level of paid membership is sufficient to keep the club running, however any major equipment purchase, or a decision to use a non-sponsored hosting provider for humbug services would change this status.


3.1.5. Librarian's Report

Librarian: Matthew Franklin.

3.1.5.1. Getting Better Access

Over the last year I have worked hard to make sure that as much of the Library was available to members as possible. I have under my fellow Exec members direction looked into using an online library to provide easy to use and access books. Which proved to be far beyond the reach of HUMBUG's budget. I have worked towards creating a library database and have on most HUMBUG meetings brought a small collection of the library books for members to borrow.

3.1.5.2. Numbers and Figures

The HUMBUG library has 47 books, 86 magazines and also a small collection of cd's. Total value for books and magazines is $2633.12. As the librarian it is my duty to also manage the HUMBUG equipment. This includes the routers that we use as well as cables, power adapters etc. The total value of the equipment that we have is $3974.67. This includes the library books and magazines as well. The figures relate to replacement costs not the value. The total value would need to be calculated to include depreciation. Note: I have made best guess estimates where I have no solid figures to work from. With the books I have just used the RRP prices and with other stuff I have searched on the net for prices of similar equipment. See the HUMBUG wiki for further details which include a list of all the books and magazines.

3.1.5.3. Other Roles

Not only have I maintained the library I have also have worked hard to make HUMBUG work as a whole.

3.1.5.4. Membership Drive

Early this year I helped out Russell Stuart do a membership drive where we prepared a whole pile of Open CD's to be handed out. Put posters up at QUT Garden's Point campus. I know that both Russell, Mark and myself have worked hard to introduce new memebers. To encourage those members to participate in HUMBUG.

3.1.5.5. Dealing with Server Issues

I have tried to help where possible to deal with the issues that we have had with the server. Earlier on this year James Iseppi found that our server Caliburn was compromised.

Together with Mark Ellem we disconnected the server from UQ's server room. After which with the help of Stephen Thomas, Q, Daniel Devine, Russell Stuart, Robert Brockway and a few others we managed to bring the HUMBUG's email and email list services online as well as replace the old HUMBUG website with a moinmoin wiki.

Thanks must go to everyone that helped. It wasn't easy and we still have a lot to do but I think the end result so far has been excellent. By having a wiki setup as our website this means that everyone can easily add information to the website. Post talk details and slides etc all without needing to have administrator access and without the worry that they might cause irreparable damage.

3.1.5.6. The Website

I have made sure that where possible that the information on our website is updated and correct. I have added more pages than I care to remember. My main interest is to pass as much information to HUMBUG members and future Exec members as possible. This is so that they can simply look on the website to find the information required to get the job done.

That's about it.

Matthew Franklin (HUMBUG Librarian)


3.1.6. Accept Executive Reports


3.2. Non Exec Reports

Position

Name

System Admin

Stephen Thomas

Event Coordinator

Matthew Franklin

Talks Liaison

Matthew Franklin


3.2.1. Systems Report

3.2.1.1. Caliburn

  Before my major involvement with the HUMBUG systems, our server at the time had been compromised.  This increased the urgency of migrating to a new system.

  Matthew Franlkin and Mark Ellem removed caliburn from the rack at UQ and brought the machine to the following HUMBUG meeting, where we were able to retrieve a more recent snapshot of the data to use for the move to our new server.

3.2.1.2. Excalibur

    I should start by thanking Robert Brockway for providing the VM in the first place - I don't know what the long-term plans for the HUMBUG server is, but getting everything running as a virtual machine gives us a lot of flexibility to move our services around if needed.

    I've been given a lot of help and ideas from Mark Ellem, Matthew Franklin, Q and Daniel Devine on what was needed, and how to set up services on excalibur.

    Russel Stuart has been our main helper for any scritps or development work that's been needed.
  • DNS
    • HUMBUG and HUMBUG-hosted zones were migrated from Caliburn to Excalibur, all of the records pointing to caliburn were moved to where they were appropriate.
  • Mail
    • Migrated the virtual mail setup from exim on caliburn to postfix on excalibur.
  • Mailing Lists
    • Mailman lists were migrated to exalibur and the archives of previous posts were imported. 'sysadmin' and 'exec' aliases were changed to lists for ease of management and tracking.
  • Web
    • Wiki
      • Russell Stuart helped with the initial installation of the wiki and got his EmailActivation plugin working with the newer version of moinmon.

      • Matthew Franklin must be thanked for the sheer number of pages he's added to the wiki.
    • planet
      • The old source install of the planetplanet blog aggregator was replaced with the debian package and the config was updated to match. (Some sources that we look for may no longer exist or be out of date though, these will have to be checked manually and either updated or removed.)

Other services are planned and/or in progress (see below)

3.2.1.3. Amazon s3
  • Backups are running thanks to Russel's scripts.

3.2.1.4. Tarball and chroot script
  • A snapshot tarball of excalibur's filesystem (minus sensitive data) and a script to let you interact with it as a chroot environment are both available to members interested in helping with HUMBUG systems or just curious as to how they are set up. This makes change requests and discussions easier too, as anyone can read how services are configured, and can submit patches against the real files. The chroot script is again thanks to Russell Stuart.

3.2.1.5. What still needs to be done
  • Proper distributed revision control for humbug configs and source, this will be done with mercurial.
  • Proper Packaging of HUMBUG-developed scripts/programs, excalibur has it's own apt-repository, and I will be building .debs of our programs.
  • Moving to use trac as a ticketing system to keep what we do, and further help collaboration.
  • Documenting procedures for all of the above so that others know what's going on :-)

Stephen Thomas


3.2.2. Talks Liaison Report

Talks Liaison: Matthew Franklin

Since taking over the role earlier this year I have attempted to encourage people to do talks and or add what they know to the wiki. My intention was to improve the knowledge base of the club. In past years I have attended some very good talks and I want there to more talks presented.

However I believe that talks are only one part of what should be done. We should use tutorials as a way of informing HUMBUG members to both new technology as well as introducing people to basic information. I also believe that we should use our web to provide information that people can follow up on and expand.

3.2.2.1. Filming The Talks

One of the main things I have done this year is to implement the filming of talks. The hope here is that it encourages more people to talk. Provides members that miss the talk the ability to view it and to show that we are an active club.

To that end I pursued purchasing a video camera so that we may film talks, edit and then post them to the web. So far I have only managed to film and post two talks. While these were okay I know that in the future either myself or the next person can do a lot better. I would say that the filming of talks is still very much in the developmental stage.

3.2.2.2. The Wiki

What can I say about the wiki. It has proved to be a very valuable tool. Not only can we use our new wiki to advertise and inform people of HUMBUG and the meetings. We can also use it to document what happens at the club. While this was always possible it was never so easily done. To this end the wiki has provided us with an excellent tool for the posting of talks. Both of attaching slides as well as making the wiki the slide show, the presentation platform.

3.2.2.3. The future

In the future I believe I hope the talks become a more regular feature at HUMBUG. That people who are to shy to stand up and do a talk provide either new material to do future talks or expand on old talks. That film of talks becomes more regular and far better quality. That both old hands and new hands learn something they don't know from these talks.

Matthew Franklin.


3.2.3. Event Coordinator Report

Event Coordinator: Matthew Franklin

I have been in charge of two main events over the AGM year. They have been the Christmas party and the Install fest.

3.2.3.1. Christmas Party

The Christmas party have been for quite some time a yearly event. Last year's Christmas party was no different. We went to Montezuma's Mexican Restaurants. There were 16 people in attendance.

I feel that it went okay and as my first main task it was something simple to setup. However I feel that Montezuma's is not the best choice. I would look into alternatives and try those out. The choice of Mexican is okay but the restaurant was far to small to handle the 16 guests that we had and was uncomfortable.

3.2.3.2. Install Fest

We held the install fest on March 21st. The only real problem that we had with it was a lack of advertising. Apart from that it went well. We had pizza and soft drinks. Even though we did not attract new members it was good to see old members get together and enjoy themselves.

In the future I would not hold an install fest but rather hold a welcoming party. Rather than say we will install Unix if you come. Have a party where we set aside time to introduce new people to HUMBUG. I think next year with better advertising and more planning this should work far better than this years install fest.

3.2.3.3. The Membership Drive

This year I helped out Russell Stuart with a membership drive. We, as a group, set about putting up notices at all the major Universities. Stuffing pamphlets into Open Source CD cases. I think this kinda worked. Not as well as we hoped but I think we did get a few new members out of this. Also it had the affect of putting back some of the old enthusiasm that I think has been missing from the club for some time now. It was a good experience and one that I feel we should repeat.

3.2.3.4. Looking to the Future

I believe the role of the Event Coordinator should be expanded to include either the planning the membership drive or being a key member. We should also back it up with the welcoming party that I mentioned earlier. If possible lets look at maybe getting stands at the Open days at the Universities. Also see if we can advertise the event more in the TAFEs and local libraries.

Matthew Franklin.


4. Business to be discussed before the elections

It has been requested by Matthew Franklin (based on a discussion with Russell Stuart) that discussions regarding his presidential platform be discussed prior to the elections.


5. Nominations and Voting

5.1. President

5.2. Vice President

5.3. Secretary

5.4. Treasurer

5.5. Librarian


6. General Business

6.1. Discussion On Russell Stuart's Presidential Nomination Platform

I, Matthew Franklin, would like to discuss a few items from Russell Stuart's Presidential Nomination platform

  1. Remove all private email lists: I would like to find out what members think of this. What are the pros and cons of having private lists for exec and sysadmin. I want to hear from both sides, those that are on these lists, and those that are not.

    Motion: that we remove all private email lists and make them public.

    Proposed: Stephen Thorne

    Seconded: Greg Black

    Result: Failed, 11 against, 9 for

  2. Change Exec Roles: In Russell's Nomination he stated that he would prefer that the following changes occur.
    • Position

      Current Role

      New Role

      Notes

      President

      Make sure people are doing their jobs

      No change

      Vice President

      Bludger

      Meeting scheduling

      They make sure the meeting is run smoothly.

      Secretary

      Correspondence

      No change

      Treasurer

      Handling the money

      Managing club assets

      Takes over some Librarian Duties

      Librarian

      Managing club assets

      Ensure computer systems work

      Sys Manager Role

    • Does anyone agree with some or all of those changes. If you agree then do you also feel strongly enough to change the constitution to reflect those role changes. If so then we need to settle on what that constitution change should be.


6.2. Exec Meeting Rules

I propose a series of rules for Exec meetings be setup. This could follow what has been laid out in this page Proposed Rules. On this page is included rules for reports and minutes. Rules for agenda items.


6.3. Other Business

No other business


7. Meeting Close

Meeting closed at 18:52