Compsoc Minutes 21/04/2006

Fri 21 Apr Meeting Minutes

Present (exec members listed first)

Name (IRC Alias)

Fred Emmott (Fred)
Andrew Wheat (Candle)
Laurence Hurst (Laurence)
David Byard (db_rat)
Bruce Tinton (Bruce)
David Buckley (Bucko)
Kim Tibbetts-Harlow (Kim)

Arun Prasannan (Polar)
Tim Retout (Tim)
Chris West (Faux)
Euan Macgregor (zx64)
Sean Connolly (Morlark)
Jonathan Smith (Lucidion)


The meeting started with a discussion about what to do with the remaining money in the union accounts which has to be spent this term. The possibility of purchasing USB pen-drives for discussed again, as well as DVD burners being mentioned. There were some concerns over the cost of purchasing larger pen-drives, although zx64 pointed out that a 6GB drive is more than enough space for a DVD ISO. A number of people were concerned that, if purchased, the drives would be easy to lose.

Candle asked about the situation with Molotov’s disk space. Bruce confirmed that we were intending to purchase two hard drives, although where they are being purchased from has not yet been decided. The possibility of replacing some of the QTec PSUs was mentioned but no decision was taken. Candle also asked about the status of bong’s SATA. Fred said that it would need to be dealt with when bong was next not being used. It was decided that the next LAN would be an ideal opportunity.

Bucko suggested that anything we want to purchase with the money we still have should be ordered by the BFL. There was a general agreement that this was a sensible timetable to set.


Db_rat provided some handouts with academic proposals on it. It was suggested that early term one was the best time to run the Latex tutorial in order for it to benefit as many people as possible. Fred asked db_rat about the nature of the Linux tutorial mentioned in the handout as RAW already have a very good written tutorial. Db_rat said that he was intending to have a hands-on tutorial if possible, aimed at new DCS students focusing on the GUI and desktop environment rather than the more usual technical command-line tutorials.

It was mentioned that the LUG will need to do their usual publicising to first year CS students, probably in a professional skills lecture. Lucidion reminded the exec that we still have a large number of Knoppix CDs. Db_rat also pointed out that he needs contact information for the IBM Trip. Laurence was asked to confirm Accenture’s interest in sponsoring the programming competition next year and then forward contact details to db_rat.

Db_rat said that he would like the exec to decide on an OSP, since projects tend to work better when they have an idea before they start. Bucko suggested that db_rat should pick something himself and run with it. Db_rat also pointed out that he wanted to get interested members of the LUG involved too.

Db_rat said that he would like to package Choob and make it available on SourceForge. Faux was unsure of what Choob’s license currently is, and db_rat said that if it does not have a license he will just use the GPL or LGPL.


The exec voted in favour or having the exec oped in #compsoc.

The policy on kicking was discussed, and it was decided that we would not set a definite policy on what will get you kicked and leave it to the discretion of the individual exec members. Some suggested reasons for kicking were untagged NSFW links, deliberately spamming bot commands, linking to illegal material which could, potentially, get the society in trouble, including Mininova. Repeat offenders would be kick-banned.

Steve Matthew’s email

Who to send to a meeting with Steve was discussed. Db_rat pointed out that the topic would particularly interest members of the LUG. It was decided that we would probably send a small number of people, probably Fred, db_rat and Tim, to the meeting. Having a larger meeting with just society members before hand was discussed in order to get a broad range of what people think should be in the course and then this information presented to Steve by the smaller group. Db_rat was asked to email Steve with a reply that at least three people would be able to meet with him and to arrange a suitable time for the meeting.

Clothing order

The people present seemed to think that Sadiq was the person who knew most about how to organise the clothing order, although Tim did know of a Union form for it. The event would still be available on the website, so sign-ups for an order would not be a problem. Laurence recalled that Sadiq had mentioned that IBM might be interested in sponsoring part of the order in exchange for their logo on the clothing. Bucko said he would not have any objection to this if it made the clothing cheaper to members.

Suahu account

Candle said he intends to change the password for the Suahu account again as too many people know it. The new password will only be given to current exec members and a very small group of non-exec members (zx64 and Sadiq were two names suggested).

Any Other Business

Faux asked about the state of our backups. Fred said that he intended to use Bermuda for live backups of Molotov. Faux asked if we could fix Igor with the money we have left in the union accounts however Kim pointed out that if Bermuda is capable of doing the job we do not need to spend the money fixing Igor. Tim asked Fred if by ‘live’ he meant Bermuda would be providing hot fail-over and Fred confirm this was the case. Faux asked if twilight was supposed to provide hot fail-over for Molotov and Laurence said he thought that was only the case for core compsoc services.

Tim said that Si1entDave (Richard Wilson) had suggested setting up a VPN between compsoc servers. Fred asked why we needed it, and we decided that it was unnecessary as we can use tunnelling and rsync already.

Polar asked about the status of the Xen servers, and Fred said that we are waiting for IPs from ITS.

Faux also asked about the tech team wiki. Fred asked if there were any objections to using, there were none. Faux asked if out of date items could be set with an old date, or Fred suggested putting ‘this is out of date’ at the top.

Db_rat asked if he could have ops in #academic, Faux said he would sort it out.

Tim asked if he could set up a jabber network, Fred said yes. Bucko asked if it would be linked to google talk, and Tim said that it would do that anyway. Db_rat wanted to know about the encryption, and Tim said he would probably set the server up such that it would only accept SSL connections. Faux asked if compsoc has an ssl key and bucko said that we have a self-signed certificate. Fred was concerned that this might not work with certain clients however it was decided that setting up the server and then worrying about whether or not certain clients could connect was a good idea.

Kim pointed out that the exec meeting had only lasted 45minutes. Candle suggested moving the meeting to 7:30 but bucko was concerned that the rooms may be locked. Kim suggested moving the gaming social however Candle felt this would make it too long. We eventually decided on a 7:30 start and Laurence said he would send an email to members@ to let them know of the new start time.

Candle said that he had a contact in the British Computing Society and asked for suggestions as to how we could use them. Db_rat said that he would like to have a debate between two speakers in term 2 and maybe they could point us in the right direction.