GIAC Monthly Board Meeting - July 10, 1997
Basement, Greenbelt Community Church
M E E T I N G M I N U T E S
The board meeting was held in the basement of the Greenbelt Community Church, at
the intersection of Hillside and Crescent Roads. Nancy Revis, President,
presided over the meeting. The meeting began at 7 p.m.
Members present: Matt Elliott, Jim Heagy, Doug Love, Neil McLeod, Patty
Merryman, Greg Meyer, Sanjay Mishra (Visitor, Vice President of SigmaNet), Chris
Morris, Nancy Revis
Minutes from the previous board meeting, held June 10, 1997, were read.
The treasurers report was given by Neil McLeod. Highlights were as follows. The
share value is now $52.21/share, meaning that GIAC is in the black. There was a
discussion on what monetary action to take for the accounts of the 5 members who
have given up their service. It was agreed that these members should be
contacted to see if they would like their $50 membership fee refunded to them.
Treasurer and Webmaster reports were distributed by Neil McLeod to all board
LABOR DAY FESTIVAL
There was unanimous agreement to set up an information table at the Greenbelt
Labor Day Festival. The Festival Committee (President: Leslie Romine) needs $25
by August 4, 1997 to ensure our participation. There was discussion on the need
for a phone line to run to the table. Doug and Neil have agreed to work together
to run a line from Neil's office.
NEW YEARS FESTIVAL
Participation in the New Years Festival was discussed. Based on last year's poor
response, there was not much enthusiasm for participation again this year,
although no formal decision was made.
Matt Elliott reported that no one showed up for the Q&A session he had intended
to give on June 23. Ensuing discussion centered on GIAC's role in offering
special classes, such as these. There was general agreement that GIAC should run
these classes only in response to sufficiently large member interest, or as Neil
McLeod stated, "Let the members be the driving force."
The next GIAC class is "HTML Basics", to be held July 21, 1997, in the Greenbelt
Library at 7:00 p.m. and taught by Doug Love. As a reminder, this information is
available online in the Classes section of the GIAC page.
Several suggestions for future classes were made: shopping on the net, advanced
html (forms, tables, CGI), PC basics. After much discussion the following
topics, dates and teachers were scheduled.
Course Date Teacher
Basic Internet Browsing Aug. 19, 1997 Greg Meyer
PC Basics (software) Sept. 24, 1997 Neil McLeod
Online Shopping Oct. (TBD) Nancy Revis
Net Job Hunting Nov. (TBD) Jim Heagy
Sanjay Mishra, Vice President of SigmaNet, a local ISP, kindly gave an overview
of SigmaNet. He also generously offered to teach a CGI class to a small group of
ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE / JOB ASSIGNMENTS / VOLUNTEERS
Board members voted unanimously to accept the "Proposed Organizational
Structure" document (see http://www.greenbelt.com/giac/organize.htm#Index). This
document outlines the duties and responsibilities of board members, officers,
and other job titles.
Neil McLeod was elected Webmaster by vote. GIAC is still looking to fill the
position of Web Site Manager. Neil explained the difference between Webmaster
and Web Site Manager. The Web Site manager would ideally be someone with
experience in the design of websites.
The next meeting will be held at the same location, basement of the Greenbelt
Community Church, Aug. 7, 1997 at 7 p.m. For the long term Nancy Revis has
requested a room to hold GIAC meetings in the upcoming church addition. Nancy
has also looked into the possibility of holding meetings at the Greenbelt Police
Department Building. GIAC has a verbal agreement with the Police Department,
allowing us to use their conference room after the month of June until June of
the following year.
Late breaking news since the meeting:
The Police Department conference room has been reserved for the following dates:
January 8, 1998
All meetings are on the first Thursday of the month, except the January meeting.
Meetings start promptly at 7 p.m.
COMMUNITY RELATED WEBSITES / GHI CONTEST
Nancy has volunteered to develop a web page for the Greenbelt Police Department.
The issue of community websites and GIAC job responsibilities was raised. It was
generally agreed that if a member frequently interfaces with a particular
community organization, that person is the ideal candidate for developing a web
site for them.
GHI is having a contest. We have agreed to participate, awarding a prize of 2
months free service to the winner. Patty Merryman has generously offered to
donate $24 to GIAC to underwrite the cost of the prize.
A committee was formed to investigate alternative internet service providers
(ISPs). The committee members are: Doug Love, Neil McLeod, Matt Elliott, and Jim
Heagy. Nancy Revis stressed the need for real research, not "I like Erols."
SECURITY AND MULTI-USER CONSIDERATIONS
The need for adhering to safe computing practices was emphasized in light of the
fact that there are now several people who have write privileges in the same
directories. A file naming procedure has been put in place to avoid
inadvertently overwriting files. This procedure was reviewed by Neil McLeod, and
goes as follows. For every webpage file fname.htm there is an associated zero
length (no content) file with one of the following two names:
(Note: In some cases their may not be a fname.nobody.has file, however absence
of a fname.username.has file is equivalent to fname.nobody.has)
These files indicate who (if anyone) is working on fname.htm. Someone wishing to
work on fname.htm is free to work on it ONLY IF THE ASSOCIATED FILE NAME IS NOT
fname.username.has, otherwise they should wait until the associated filename has
been returned to fname.nobody.has or contact "username" to coordinate efforts.
It is imperative that the associated file name be changed from fname.nobody.has
to fname. username.has when working on fname.htm and back again when fname.htm
is returned to active status. This is the responsibility of the person editing
As a reminder, from a DOS prompt, a zero-length file is created as follows:
rem > neil.has
After FTP uploading a file with the 8.3-format name, it can be renamed to the
Windows NT long filename format, e.g., "index.neil.has".
When in doubt upload files to the \SHR directory (making sure that file names
are distinct from the files already present there) or create a \SHR\subdirectory
named for the intended recipient (e.g., \SHR\NEIL) and contact Neil to have
files properly installed.
STYLE UPGRADE FOR COMMUNITY AND GIAC PAGES
Nancy Revis encouraged all board members to check out the member survey
concerning the style changes in the community and GIAC webpages. The survey will
remain active until there are enough responses to form a reasonable impression.
The possibility of ordering more polo shirts was raised. There are currently 4
shirts left (at $22/shirt). Pricing issues were also discussed, specifically
higher charges for XXL shirts. It is not clear whether the higher cost was due
to the larger size or to the smaller quantity ordered. Dan Macy should be able
to clarify this point if we're going to use the same source again. No decisions
were made on ordering or pricing.
Neil McLeod reviewed the recent round of email and connection problems. Several
problems have been encountered including: mail bombs, full mail servers, and
spamming incidents. DSI claims to now have procedures in place to deal with
these problems. Nancy and Neil are planning to visit DSI soon in person.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:25 after which there were several offline
Jim Heagy, Secretary
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