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)
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.
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 (email@example.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.
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
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
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.
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
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