GIAC Monthly Board Meeting - May 1, 1997 GATE Office, Greenbelt Community Center M E E T I N G M I N U T E S
MARK YOUR CALENDAR NEXT MEETING: May 19 at 7:00 p.m. at the Gate Office ANNUAL MEETING: June 10 (DETAILS TO FOLLOW) Attendees: Dan Macy, President Matt Elliott, Vice President Doug Love, acting Secretary Neil McLeod, acting Webmaster Patty Merryman, Member Greg Meyer, Member Dorian Winterfeld, acting Site Coordinator Anne Andersen, Board Member John Woodruff, US.NET SPECIFIC TASK VOLUNTEERS The initial item of business was to request volunteers for several task which have been vacant. The following members volunteered for these jobs: Doug Love: take and publish meeting minutes on the 'net, and announce meeting notices via EMail. Neil McLeod: set up accounts for new members, set policy. Patty Merryman: Produce and distribute fliers as requested via e-mail. (Need a Volunteer): Recruitment (Need a Volunteer): Membership Kit production (Need a Volunteer): Maintain Current Event Bulletin on home page. Dan stressed that the current holders of these offices are writing up procedures for the next person to hold this office. He said later, "We want to leave enough information for those taking over." As an example, Neil mentioned that all expenses must be pre-approved. (The current officers have been volunteering a great deal of materials and office supplies as well as time, and this may not be done by the next set of officers. SUGGESTED HOME PAGE REDESIGN Dan noted that the GIAC page needs redesigning, and the other pages could also be redesigned to bring more life to them. A number of pages are not filled out yet. Neil pointed out that the Community Directory pages are designed to all look the same because they should resemble one long page. He suggested that a webpage maintenance and design group should meet regularly. While listing the existing pages, he noted that the Schools page is invisible and the \EDU directory is an orphan. VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED FOR THIS TYPE OF GROUP. COMPUTER VIDEO PROJECTION SLATED FOR NEXT CLASS Just before the meeting Doug was on the phone ordering the PC-to-TV board for his Pentium that will enable use of a video projector in the classes. This will prove to be a major jump forward for our classes. NETMEDIC Dan briefly discussed NetMedic, a great piece of software he had looked at which allows the user to get very specific information about his/her web connection. The Web address for a demo version of NetMedic is http://www.vitalsigns.com/ ADDING EVENT TO GIAC CALENDAR Another issue which came up was adding events to the GIAC Calendar. Matt said that Keith Jahoda wants to add GHI events to the Calendar. It was decided that the best way to do this would be to have all updates typed out in the format of the calendar and e-mailed to Alexander Barnes (alxndr@greenbelt.com). NOMINATIONS FOR NEXT YEAR Dan returned the discussion to officers, noting that "there will be openings." The following offices need to be filled: President: Be a liaison with the provider, be a diplomat between members, encourage volunteers, and make sure people do their jobs. Vice President: A backup for the President. He has been writing articles for the News Review. It is suggested that the Vice President will coordinate the classes. Secretary: Take notes at meetings and publish minutes on the 'Net, keep corporate records, and send out meeting notices. Neil said that the new President should help recruit new members and volunteers for these jobs. Treasurer: Keep the accounts and do the taxes. In addition to the officers there will need to be a number of other slots filled including the Board of Directors. Webmaster: Set up new members, set policy, deal directly with the ISP, make changes, and provide technical support. Site Coordinator: Coordinate webpage volunteers, control structure and content of the pages. These last two positions don't need to be officers, but could be. But then we would be back to a few officers doing everything. Doug Love, Anne Andersen, and Greg Meyer made themselves available for offices. Mike Sams, Dave Stein and Dorian Winterfeld had also expressed some interest in helping out GIAC, but were not present when this was discussed. Greg Meyer expressed some interest in the Vice President job, and asked how much work an officer must do. Dan said, "About 3 hours a week", continuing with the fact that the class dates are already set for the rest of the year, so the Vice President only has to arrange the teachers. Neil interjected that the President and Vice President jobs are external relation jobs, and the Secretary and Treasurer jobs are internal to Greenbelt.COM. US.NET PRESENTATION Dorian brought John "Woody" Woodruff of US.NET to the GIAC meeting to proposes changing ISPs. He said that he is a network engineer, not a pitchman. There are 6 owners and 18 employees. They have been in business for 3 years. Woody's partner is the businessman, and they have a salesperson. US.NET is a local Unix-based operation. They have 200 - 300 modems on Cherry Hill in Laurel. The offices are in Calverton. They use Digital Terminal Servers and ISDN. Their accounts provide 5 mb per user, but there are high usage charges for more than 100 meg/month. He said that most users use less than 1% of that. As all mail accounts are on the same server, they can't distinguish by Domain, so some names would have to be changed. They will consider setting up multiple mailboxes for a $10 setup fee. US.NET Tech Support is available 9-9 weekdays, 9- 5 Saturday, and 1-5 Sunday. US.NET supports 4000 newsgroups, and more can be added by users. Woody suggested that each account would cost $12-$14/month on his system. They match Erol's at $9.95/month, but hate to. Woody's main proposal is that we rent modem space from US.NET. This plan would charge us $100/modem/month based on a high water mark per month. If 40 members were logged on at a time for 1 second in the month, the bill would then be $4000 for that month. To answer Dorian's question about access speed, Woody said that the old analog modems can't get above 26.4 on POTS lines. They can reach 28.8 only on a completely clean line. 33.6 modems are asymmetric. They are only 33.6 to you, and much less back to the provider. And 1 end must be completely digital. There are 2 standards: US Robotics, and Lucent's 56K Flex Technology. With 56K, ISDN will redial in a second. There is no cost differential yet, but ISDN access will cost more eventually. ISDN transmits 1 way at a time, 56K transmits at 56 K both ways. Woody said there are a couple of ways to handle the conversion, but his virtual modem plan is the only one he has a price for. Personal accounts are $10/month, with a promise that no personal servers will be run on them all day long. Advantages to using US.NET include phone line quality, local service in Baltimore, DC and Richmond, and Dialin and FTP driven off the same server. The current DSI setup could be duplicated using Group Security. They haven't done that before. They use Stronghold SSL Servers, which allow no super users. Woody also suggested that we set up our own server at their site for $795/month. This would give us 8 modems, our own phone line, and an ethernet link to the rest of their modems. This would allow those of us with Linux at home to RemoteX to the server to maintain it. Cost per modem used is a separate issue. To start changeover procedures, Woody suggested that we send him a file of usernames to check for collisions with their current base of Email users. Neil said that we paid $410 on May 1 for 39 active accounts, 1 Domain, and 10 mb of webspace. Woody said they could support us as long as there is no unattended use. Dan asked, "Can you work within our parameters?" "Very close," Woody replied. "I'll have to talk to my partner. We'll try to do this at close to $10/account if Greenbelt.COM will do their own tech support". Doug asked if Telnet and Mud Sites are supported, as some users had asked for them. Woody said that they don't do personal shells, but the Menu has Telnet, FTP, etc. There is 1 standard Mud client. Neil explained our current tech support: "I collect calls and handle what I can. When we get a number of calls, I make 1 call to DSI." Woody said that they are 28.8 now, will be 36.6 at the next upgrade, and 56K is around the corner. There was some discussion of PPP versus other systems. Woody said that Modern Terminal Servers run PPP right out of the box. Doug inquired if we could run simultaneously on 2 ISPs. Woody said that it would be difficult, and would require a great deal of cooperation between the ISPs. After Woody left, Dorian said that DSI sounds pretty cheap. Everyone agreed. PHOTO CLUB PICTURES ON NET Matt then brought up the idea of putting Greenbelt Photo Club pictures on the Web. After some discussion it was agreed that Matt should attend the Photo Club meeting and solicit digitized photos. They don't have dues, and can't buy an account. Patty suggested that we cycle them through a few at a time so that not a lot of space is used up. CONCLUSION Another meeting was set for May 19 at 7:00 p.m. at the Gate office to handle nominations. Elections and other big decisions will be handled at the Annual Meeting on June 10. Doug Love, Acting Secretary May 3, 1997 [CLOSE WINDOW TO GO BACK]