[H-ANNOUNCE] Draft Minutes for the 2002 AGM

Raymond Smith zzrasmit at uqconnect.net
Sun Oct 6 01:33:59 EDT 2002


Please find attached the draft minutes for last weeks AGM. If you see
anything in error please email secretary at humbug.org.au


Raymond Smith
Secretary of HUMBUG 2001/2002              mailto:secretary at humbug.org.au
Home Unix Machine - Brisbane User Group    http://www.humbug.org.au/
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The President, Mark Suter, opened the meeting with quorum
at 6:05pm and took up the chair. Twenty-four members were
present and three proxies were received by the executive.


Mark Suter moved that the minutes from the last AGM be
acepted; Sandra Milne seconded the motion. The motion was
passed unanimously by show of hands.



The President reported that the club had coasted during the
past year. In January the club hosted the linux.conf.au,
the run-up to which had allowed all executive members
to emulate Ray's standard state of 'stress bunny'. The
conference ran at a substantial surplus and has been
hailed as a great success. Our club's size has stablised;
we are not seeing the 'unsustainable' growth of previous
years. Our mailing lists are active, especially compared
to other similiar groups. And we appear to be enjoying
what wer do.

The Vice President, Robert Brockway, reported that "he
had nothing to say".  He went on to note that he plans to
leave the country in the coming year.

   Treasurer's Report

The Treasurer, Mathew Sellers, was absent at this point
in the meeting.  Mark Suter reported in his place. The
formal paperwork for the year had not been completed at
the time of the AGM. We have $3700 in the Bank with no
liabilities. Adding in the expected value of the cashbox at
the end of the night would take us to around $4000.00. The
formal accounts have not been finalised because Mark
left it late to get all the necessary statements from
the Commonwealth Bank; in the past these could be printed
at a Branch, now they must be posted from somewhere down
south. Mark offered his apologies to the meeting.

In the short term the executive expects to have to meet
the cost of replacing caliburn.humbug.org.au which failed
on 21 September starting at 6:00am with loss of mail
and web and continuing to complete failure (no pings)
at noon. Miju Systems has loaned the club an IBM xSeries
300 free of charge until Xmas.

Robert Brockway noted that we should minute as a 'todo' the
need to write a formal letter of thanks to Miju Systems.

At Xmas we either buy Miju's machine at cost fro $2700.00
or we replace it with a new machine of our own. We expect
to be able to get a box in the $1000.00 to $1800.00
bracket. If incorporation gets of the ground...  but the
President remained silent on that point.

Formal accounts will be produced asap.


The Secretary, Raymond Smith, reported that things were
similiar to last year. Still trying for a proper membership
DB. This was interrupted by the linux conference and the
real lives of members. The P.O. Box has been taken over
but not in name.


The Librarian, David Makepeace, was not present at
the meeting at this time. Mark Suter provided a report
instead. Not much to report, the Library's inventory
remains static besides the addition of a few new books.
SAMS publishing have donated some books and a stress-ball
will be given for each initial review of these books.


As the meeting moved to elections, Clinton Roy asked if
the non-exec could report. Mark Suter then invited the
non-exec members to report.

Ben Fowler, Talks Maintainer, reported that he had finally
got some talks rolling in the latter part of the year. He
is aiming for fortnightly talks and it looks possible
to do talks with such regularity. Proposals, as always,
should be sent to talks at lists.humbug.org.au.

Clinton Roy, Web Master, reported that the website is

Mathew Taylor, Training Coordinator, was not present to
give a report.



As is customary, Mark Suter stood aside as chair of the
meeting in favour of the Vice President.

Mark Suter was nominated by Bradley Marshall; the
nomination was seconded by Ben Fowler. Mark accepted
the nomination.

As there were no other nominations for the position, Mark
Suter was elected unopposed. Mark then resumed the chair.

   Vice President

Robert Brockway announced that he was not standing for
election and that the position was vacant.

Clinton Roy self nominated; the nomination was seconded
by Robert Brockway.  Mark Suter noted the 'closed shop'
nature of the nomination and asked if Clinton accepted
the nomination; he did.

As there were no other nominations for the position,
Clinton Roy was elected unopposed.


Matthew Sellers was nominated by Mark Suter; the nomination
was seconded by Clinton Roy. Mathew, although not present,
had indicated his willingness to serve again and was taken
to accept the nomination.

As there were no other nominations for the position,
Matthew Sellers was elected unopposed.


Raymond Smith was nominated by Ben Fowler; the nomination
was seconded by Ben Carlyle. Raymond accepted the

As there were no other nominations for the position,
Raymond Smith was elected unopposed.


David Makepeace, who had arived in the interim, was
nominated by Robert Brockway; the nomination was seconded
by Raymond Smith. David accepted the nominations.

In an effort to encourage at least one contested position
the President offered custodian ship of the HUMBUG

David Seikel self nominated; the nomination was seconded
by Clinton Roy.  He accepted the nomination.

The candidates then gave brief speeches. A vote was called
and the tally was 10 for David Makepeace, 8 for David
Seikel. David Makepeace was therefore declared Librarian.

Reports Redux

David Makepeace and Mathew Sellers arrived during the
elections. They were therefore called upon to report.

David Makepeace noted that no much had happened. Few new
books including a copy of Linus Tovald's biography _Just
for Fun_. He noted that as Librarian he keeps an inventory
of HUMBUG's assets. Only change of assets besides books and
Linux Journals has been the purchase of an 80Gb HDD for
hydra. David noted that we may need to buy a replacement
for caliburn.

Mathew Sellers reported that he had nothing to add to Mark
Suter's report on his behalf.

General Business


Ben Fowler asked if there were any plans to hold an
Installfest in the coming year. Mark Suter responded that
the answer was 'not really'. Raymond Smith elaborated
saying that the initial Installfest was called 'National'
by some in the southern states and so all states joined
in. 2001 was uncoordnated and HUMBUG forfot it. We could
do it, with the help of interested non-exec members.

The basic answer is maybe, it is a good idea. Planning and
lots of work though. Also we had a good sponsor in the form
of AsiaOnline who supplied powerboards and leads to us.


Kevon Cocks commented on Mark's earlier complaints with
the CBA. If we were unhappy with them why not switch to
the UniCredit Union which offered much better service and
low fees. Mark Suter answered that it was mostly due to
momentum but noted that we received very good service from
the UQ CBA Branch and that our account was a zero-fee with
interest account of a type no longer offered by banks.

   Incorporation #1

Paul Ballard asked after the status of efforts to
incporate. Mark Suter responded it loks like a good
thing and that Brent Wesley was the member charged with
investigating it.  At this time the executive does not
perceive incorporation to have great imediate benefits for
the club. The costs involved are signficant -- especially
public liability costs. Having insurance also arguably
attracts law suits. We would still like to incorporate
in the future as we cannot be sure of always having the
shelter of larger entites (UQ, Linux Australia Inc).

A member asked if there was some corporate sponsor who
could help cover costs? Mark Suter noted that while
corporate support is great it would need to be on an
ongoing basis to cover the ongoing costs of an incorporated

Raymond Smith noted that bank-of-envelope calculations
indicated a possible membership fee of $50.00 being
required to existing and incorporation costs.

Mark Suter noted that our assets are small. Why sue
us? Raymond Smith noted that if people understood
incorporation then we were happy for them to present the
executive with a costed plan.

   Membership Fee

Robert Brockway noted that our membership fee has been at
$15.00 for some years now and is very low. He argued for
the need to increase this fee gradually to a higher level.
This would help to support incorporation.

   Wireless Access Point

Anthony Towns asked for the purchase of a wireless access
point for meetings. Mark Suter noted humourously that
the President's lack of a wireless device might have some
bearing on the matter. Being serious Mark wondered how many
members would benefit from such an arrangement. A show
of hands indicated that 4 people had wirless that day,
6 more would use it if it were available. AJ said that
a wireless card would cost a few hundred dollars while
wirleless access points should be available in the 500 -
800 dollar mark.

   Incorporation #2

Anthony Thyseen asked why we would need to increase
membership fees if we incorporated? He believed that the
Queensland Kite Flyers' incorporation added a mere $32.80
per year. Sarah Hollings suggested that made Anthony our
incorporation expert -- a title he was quick to deny.
Anthony continued to say there were 80 - 90 families in
the club; membership fees are $40.00 per person and $45.00
per family.

Raymond pointed out [on the topic of minimising fee
increases that there are many cool things for HUMBUG to
do. It would be great if we had other ways to raise funds.

Mark Suter asked if members would be happy to eliminate
the stepped fee structure. Ben Carlyle capture the general
feeling of members by saying this would be acceptable only
if memberships ran for twelve months from date of payment.

Mark Suter then called for a show of hands to indicate 
support for different fee levels. All members were asked
to raise their hands and then lower them when their 'pain'
threashold was reached. At $20.00 we lost two members, at
$25.00 three to four members, at $30.00 we lost half the 
members present, and at $50.00 we had lost all but four.

There was some brief discussion about concession rates.
General consensus seemed to be for a $15.00 concession
rate along side a $20/$25 full membership rate.

Shane Ravenn and Ben Carlyle suggested looking for a way 
for people to donate money. Shane was willing to identify
any figure above $15.00 as 'too expensive' for him. Mark
noted that 'donations' had a way of becoming compulsory,
a notion that seemed to be shared by many members.

   Supporting Linux

Shane Raven raised the issue of support for Linux. His
dealings with a cable network provider was uninspiring with
first level support being particularly clueless and answer
all questions with a 'not supported' mantra. ("Dynamic or
Static IP Allocations?", "Not supported". "PAP or CHAP?",
"Not supported".) Is there a way for HUMBUG to provide
suggestions or support to the company.

Ben Fowler asked if the essential issue was whether or
not HUMBUG should be involved in advocacy. Shane said
this was not the case -- he was just interested getting
support. David Seikel told of his expirencing with Telstra
Bigpond Cable: he had written a HOWTO and offered to assit
with a support but was still told 'no'. His suggestion is
that community must help itself.

Robert Brockway presented his oppinion that official
support must come from the top down, not the bottom up. His
experience was that the real techs in these companies
know about Linux. Marketdroids and beuracracy are the
problem. We cannot change this ourselves.

Anthony Towns provided two points. First, that it was
easier to change to a Linux friendly ISP than it is to make
an ISP Linux friendly. Second that organisations like AUUG
are already involved in this sort of advocacy. Raymond
Smith noted that Linux Australia had a role to play here
too.  Another member noted that they sometimes found the
best solution was to email requests rather than call.

Anthony Thyssen pointed out that this was a cost issue
to the companies concerned. Ben Carlyle noted that Linux
is often non-standard and requires self-support (although
this is difficult if you do not already have net access).

Mark Suter pointed out that the uniformity of Windows is an
assitance here. But some versions of windows, eg WindowsME,
suffer from similiar treatment. It is just like the Dilbert
Cartoon: "Yes I am typing in my details again... guess
what, it doesn't work". It is an economic problem.

Raymond Smith pointed out that while this was a valuable
discussion it could not be resolved tonight. Robert
suggested using H-CHAT to continue discussions (noting
that discussion of ISPs is offtopic for H-GENERAL).


Mark Suter provided details of the death of the DEC Multia
Box that had been caliburn.humbug.org.au. It was a DEC
Multia Pentium-100 with a full 32Mb of RAM. The Alpha
versions were much cooler, but this one had SCSI, built in
video, etc. Its goal was to be DEC's network computer Slow,
but a good size and has worked well.

The Box had mysteriously crashed a few times and became
completely unresponsive. When it was retrieved and rebooted
it segfaulted with a memory page error when trying to exec
shell in single user mode. Didn't investigate thouroughly
as Miju had already kindly loaned a temporary replacement.

caliburn restarted as a thouroughly upgraded IBM e-Server
300 with software RAID and 256Mb of memory. Robert, one
of our sysadmins, was surprised when he saw a RAID sync
on a box that he thought was a small, old Multia.

The old Caliburn was bought in 1999 when it was already
old. It has served us well.

Close of Meeting

As there was no futher general business the chair closed the meeting at 7:20pm.

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