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Meeting held at the home of Carolyn Baird.

  1. Meeting declared opened at 2.25pm.

  2. Members Present:

    • Carolyn Baird
    • Gavin Condon
    • Marc Walters
    • Ross Slade
    • Darren Porter
    • Laura Seabrook

  3. Apologies:

    • Andrew Glazebrook
    • Peter Longworth

  4. Minutes of January 30th, 2000 Regional Meeting: A printed copy of the previous minutes was circulated and read by all present. Gavin approved the minutes. Seconded by Carolyn. Accepted unanimously.

  5. Regional Report: The monthly reports for February, March and April were circulated and read by all. A printed copy of the Treasurer's report for end of April was circulated (These can be read accessed on the webpage). Carolyn then gave an oral presentation of the May Co-ordinator's report.


    • Finances:

      The estimated annual income for the region now stands at $10,380. Subtracting the monthly average Telstra and Ozemail charges per month should leave us with $372 per month to devote to regional expenses including upgrading our equipment and links. However as can be seen by our 'bottom line' which doesn't include $1,770 still owed to Ozemail, the failure of a number of members to pay their fees promptly is having a serious impact on our financial situation at the present time. There is currently $550 (minimum) in access fees overdue with another $600 due by the end of this month. If all members with payments due renew by the end of the month and the Ozemail account is paid then we will still be in debt to the national body in the amount of around $525. This will mean that it will still be at least 3 months (more likely 6) before there are sufficient funds in our regional account to even purchase the most needed piece of equipment - a UPS to protect all our servers and modems. With the onset of winter, the power spikes and surges can only be expected to increase in frequency so the smooth operation of the region throughout the winter months does depend very heavily on each and every member's prompt payment of their fees when due. Without a bigger UPS it is unlikely we will be able to survive the winter months without any equipment losses.

    • Equipment:

      The power spike problem appeared to have eased in the past two weeks but last night it returned with a vengeance.

      The express dialin line supplied by Andrew Glazebrook should now be working properly after a few hiccoughs at the start.

      Frequently in the last few months the network has become unstable or gone down due to the poor condition of our ethernet cabling and connections. However, checking connections or replacing a cable has been all that's required to restore services. Unfortunately this can only occur after I am become aware of the problem, therefore the onus is on the members to notify me if they think there might be a problem with the network.

      Additional items are dealt with in the following System Administrator's report.

    • Members:

      There are currently 53 active members of the region.

    • Complaints:

      No complaints have been received since the April report. I have been contacted by a few members regarding difficulties they were having but as far as I know those members have been able to resolve their problem either by themselves or with assistance from other members via the hunter-support list.

    • Expenditure:

      No additional expenditure has been incurred since the last meeting.

    • Conclusion:

      The future of the Hunter Region and the quality of access it can provide is very much dependent on each and every member maintaining their support by paying their fees promptly, notifying any suspected problems immediately and continuing to seek new members for the region amongst their friends, relatives and acquaintances. Over the past month the number of members leaving the region has been balanced by the addition of new members. So while our numbers are relatively stable at the moment it cannot continue that way unless there is a steady influx of new members to replace those that are leaving in the coming months.

  7. System Administrator's Report

    In Pik's absence Gavin gave an oral presentation of the report.

    • While diskspace problems on Cray have been resolved with a temporary fix, it will continue to create problems for the mailling lists unless it can be rectified during the admin session following this meeting.

    • Thanks to the donation of a 6GB hard-drive for Bombadil to replace the faulty 4GB, there have been no further problems with our main server since it was installed on April 15th.

    • Ross Slade's permlink line was installed by Telstra on schedule on April 26th.

  8. Policies
    • Carolyn advised that currently the region does not have a policy about providing limited access in lieu of equipment or services provided. These equipment and services are those that are essential to the operation of the region and which members are willing to donate but which the Regional Committee considers is too generous a donation to accept without some recompense. Carolyn explained that this should not be considered a trade but rather a reward for a generous act by a member.

      Marc and Gavin agreed to accept such a proposal in principle but Marc asked that the wording of such a proposal be sorted out amongst the Regional Committee before the next meeting. Gavin and Carolyn agreed.

  9. Proposals
    • Carolyn proposed that Ross Slade be granted 9 months regional access as a reward for his generous donation of the new 6GB drive for bombadil, 2 modems and Pentium case for Cray. Approved Gavin. Seconded Marc.

    • Carolyn advised that due to unavoidable circumstances Alan Gillanders who had donated a lot of spare parts to the region (many of which are currently in use) had been unable to access the hub for about 2 of his 3 months paid access. Carolyn proposed that Alan be granted 3 months regional access. Approved Marc. Seconded Gavin.

  10. Ozemail

    The Treasurer has advised that Ozemail have still not rendered an account for the Hunter Region's access and until such time as they do he is unable to authorise such a payment. The Treasurer has made numerous attempts to have the matter rectified but as yet it still hasn't been resolved. All payments are still owing since November last year.

  11. Discussion

    The following topics were discussed.

    • Future direction of Hunter APANA.

      The general consensus was that we keep going as we are.

    • Sponsorship of webpages as source of additional regional funds - Does it contradict APANA's non-commercial stance?

      It was unanimously agreed that this is against the principle of APANA and should not be permitted. In the case of non-profit organisations or hobby groups this would not apply. It would be unnecessary for them to take out sponsorship as they could be encompassed by the existing rules of organisational membership which allows fees for them to be set on a case by case basis by the Regional Committee.

    • Future direction of APANA as a national organisation.

      It was suggested that APANA:

      • Actively promote the formation of new regions. To the extent of advertising for people to form new regions in rural areas if necessary, removing the 5 member per region limit for initial setup and helping to finance the formation of a new regions.

      • Foster greater contact between members of different regions by providing a mailing list and/or newsgroup for general computer support and education (all the regions have their own, but there isn't an all-encompassing national one). It was considered that this would bring greater unity to the organisation on a national level.

  12. Other Business

    No other business was tabled.

  13. The next meeting will be held on Sunday, July 23rd at 2pm at the hub.

  14. Meeting declared closed at 3.50pm.

(prepared by Carolyn on 21/5/00)