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December

During the past few months there have been some issues with some modems, and testing and user feedback has assisted in determining the problem units - and their possibly faulty power-supplies.

A warning was issued to a member who was using his account for commercial purposes. The member has since acted appropriately and no further incidents have been noted.

Our general meeting took place last Sunday 15th December, attended by eight members.

The results of the meeting included:

  1. Laura Seabrook was elected Committee Member, unopposed.

  2. Due to the summer-induced problem of intermittant electrical supply to the regional network (brownouts, spikes and other fluctuations - the Committee set Chris Baird (Admin) the task to locate and purchase a suitable UPS or line conditioner for improving the power quality for the modems and other essential machines. Chris was authorised to spend up to $350 for the unit.

  3. It was decided that the regional fees to remain unchanged until next review in February.

Hunter Region currently has a membership of 45 and its finances are healthy.

Marc Walters
Regional Co-Ordinator, Hunter

November

Hello

It was a fairly quiet month.

Several outages due to Ozemail link down, and electricity supply problems in the area.

The inquiries regarding ADSL link or an alternative solution are still underway.

Favourable interest by a local non-profit organisation, inquiring about email and web hosting.

October 20th was the day of our Annual Regional meeting.

The results of the election are as follows:

Regional Co-ordinator:Marc Walters
Deputy Regional Co-ordinator:Ross Slade
Ordinary Committee Members:Chris Baird
Peter Freye
Pearl Ridgeway
Management Committee Representative:Marc Walters

Remaining positions were to be filled by appointment.

Marc Walters
Regional Co-ordinator, Hunter APANA

October

A fairly quiet month.

Hunter APANA has suffered a setback in building the new 'niggle'. The hard-drive Chris had purchased in Sydney turned out to be faulty so he'll have to return to Sydney this week to exchange it.

Initial application for ADSL was rejected by Telstra...no reason given but we were told it was either:

  1. too much line noise. Telstra technician called to check line. Found it to have a faulty socket connection - repaired.
  2. distance from exchange greater than 3km. Distance measure by tech. to be 3.5km when he traced the repaired line back to the exchange to make sure there were no excess voltage problems - found none. In his opinion no reason ADSL wouldn't work up to 5km.
  3. line may not have been reconnected at the time Telstra tested it. They were supposed to reconnect it at 9.30am on 9/9/02 and Hunter received the rejection notice from iiNet at 11am on 10/10/02. Telstra couldn't have tested the line in any case since there was no equipment plugged into it.
  4. iiNet offered to test another line at these premises. Still waiting to here the result of that.

One new member signed up and commented favourably on the friendly and helpful impression given by Hunter APANA.

Marc Walters
Deputy Regional Coordinator - Hunter APANA

September

The September 2002 Regional Committee meeting minutes were tabled by way of a regional report.

Also, the automatic browser configuration facility was reported to be now on-line.

Marc Walters
Deputy Regional Coordinator - Hunter APANA

August

The last month has been exceptionally quiet for the Hunter Region.

Notice has been sent out about the next RC Meeting to be held on Sunday, September 1st when the date for our ARGM will be set. We're still having difficulty trying to find a member to fill the position of MC rep. on a permanent basis but Marc Walters has agreed to fill that position temporarily until the ARGM. Ross Slade has accepted the position of Acting RC until the ARGM.

Equipment still functioning; no complaints, no money worries; only one problem - couldn't ask for much better than that!

Marc Walters
Deputy RC/Acting MC Representative.

July

The mail server crashed a few days ago and was repaired. A few minor adjustments made and the kick script is running well. Usage of modem lines appears to be increased. Financially, looking strong.

Carolyn Baird
Treasurer

June

It would seem the bandwidth-related problems of the previous several months have eased, with the last few weeks being free of extended congestion. In what might be thought of as an about-face, there's now a push for members to claim the network usage that they are entitled to (albeit fairly, so that it doesn't choke the access for others), and we have rate-limited 'virtual' web proxies available for the Big Downloads and 'low priority' web browsing.

Hunter has just recently (14th June) had our Annual Regional General Meeting. Peter Longworth, long-time APANA and HNA committee member, resigned 'this time for sure!'. His vacant Ordinary Member position has been filled by Laura Seabrook and Peter Freye.

Another result from the meeting was the resolve that we need to do some serious network gaming! Tests with Quake2 proved to be quite effective. (Modulo a certain munchkin (*cough* rosco) who frags everyone as soon as they regenerate. :)

Chris Baird
MC Representative.

May

Membership is stable and the commissioned Tbase10 network working well. Dialin lines have been reduced from 8 to 6 without any dire consequences or effects on the script.

Carolyn Baird
Treasurer.

April

Aside from the coming and going of several memberships, the greatest concern of the Hunter region was upgraded its 'rusting' and increasingly unreliable coax-based Ethernet to the twisted-pair style with a 16 port 10BaseT network hub donated to the region. Chris Baird can now make UTP cables as an unconscious reflexive action...

The implimentation of bandwidth-throttling is partially there, with the necessary kernel upgrades on the main Hunter systems carried out.

Chris Baird
MC Representative.

March

After a month of trying to educate some members, the file-sharing services KaZaA, Morpheus, and AudioGalaxy were near-permanently blocked. As a consequence a few members left APANA/Hunter because of the unability to download pirated music and grab 99% of the Internet link when everyone else is trying to use the network, however for the most part the bandwidth problem has been alleviated. The blocks will likely remain until a bandwidth-throttling proposal is implemented.

The throttling plan became an idea after (non-invasive) studying of network usage showed that the majority of users were only downloading a megabyte per dialin connection. The study also showed that two dial-in lines were rarely ever used, and the decision was made to cancel them. (Hunter now has 6 dialin lines.)

Enquires were made into the feasibility of exchanging our network provider from OzEmail to SPT.

Chris Baird
MC Representative.

February

The big problem for APANA/Hunter at the moment is maintaining reasonable access quality amoungst the P2P phenomenon. Although the new ("Venus chipset") modem used to tap on our net.uplink is providing us with a better-than-ever 50666 bps and longer sustained telephone connections, it's only taking a single KaZaA user with 'accelerated connections' to choke the connection from everyone else. With services like Telstra Bigpond providing much better 'generic websurfer' access for only marginally higher cost, we've had several members 'threatening' to join the Dark Side if the "2400 bps" connections they're seeing continue for much longer. It's estimated that losing 4-5 more members would force us to give up the permanent link. Yes, we have ipfilters at the ready, but no-one here subscribes to the BOFH-weenie ethic, and so the task is to educate the members of the inconvienence KaZaA/Morpheos/et.al. causes to the rest of the APANA/Hunter community.

The 'generous benefactors' finally cancelled the load-bearing Dingoblue link, on the grounds of it being both a waste of money and actually being detrimental to the network's reliabilty.

And finally, we've busted Telstra time-charging one of our members. Oh Joy.

Chris Baird
MC Representative.

January

No MC meeting held.