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Meeting held at the home of Carolyn Baird.

  1. Meeting declared opened at 2.22pm.

  2. Members Present:

    • Carolyn Baird
    • Ross Slade
    • Gavin Condon
    • Peter Longworth
    • Andrew Glazebrook
    • Lynette Chant

  3. Apologies:

    • None

  4. Minutes of October 29th, 2000 Regional Meeting: A printed copy of the previous minutes was circulated and read by all present. Lynette approved the minutes. Seconded by Peter. Accepted unanimously.

  5. Regional Report: Carolyn gave an oral presentation of the October Regional Co-ordinator's report; copies of Telstra's January account and the Hunter Region's financial statement for the year to date were circulated.


    • Finances:

      The financial situation in the region has improved slightly from that previously notified due to a few members paying their fees in advance and the addition of two new members this month. Unfortunately as the financial report shows the forecast for the next six months indicates that we will continue to have cashflow problems unless the advances made during this month can be replicated in coming months.

    • Equipment:

      As all members are aware the past 3 months have been chaotic with severe equipment failures occurring frequently, especially during the Christmas/New Year period. Thanks to the donation of assorted spare parts by Ross not only were bombadil and giles able to be returned to good working condition, we were also able to upgrade bombadil from 32 to 64MB of RAM. Since then the only problems experienced have been software problems and modems continually failing to reset properly.

    • Members:

      There are currently 56 members of the region - down 2 since the last meeting despite 5 new members being added during this period. The largest proportion of these were members whose regional access expired some time ago but, since they had failed to notify that they wished to resign their membership, they remained in our membership database until their APANA membership expired. Consequently their departure did not affect our financial situation any, since their access fees were not included in any of the last 3 months financial reports. Three members were downgraded to mail-and-news only due to financial hardship. Two of those members had been conservative in their online use since their due date so their overdue fees for full access were discarded. However the third continued to use the system's resources to fullest capacity until the downgrade so his overdue fees still apply and must be paid before his membership will be restored to full access.

      Three members were moved from the dialins to permanent connections during November.

      These changes have brought our member:modem ratio for the dialins down to less than 4:1 - resulting in the region having the capacity to add more dialin members without having to add any extra lines.

    • Complaints:

      No complaints have been received although a number of enquiries regarding the status of the system have been received.

    • Expenditure:

      The following expenditure was incurred during the month for which I seek reimbursement:

      10/11/00The Star Newspaper Ads$169.40
      14/11/00UART PC chips x 225.90
      DSE Kodak CDR x 57.88
      Acer 56K Modem x 3329.85

      In addition Carolyn advised that she wished to claim for phone calls and charges for the period June to December which she has incurred on behalf of APANA and the Hunter Region but had not been able to calculate the amount in time for the meeting due to illness. Andrew suggested that approval of this expenditure be postponed until the total figure was advised. Carolyn said she would notify the Regional Committee as soon as the total figure was calculated. Carolyn expressed regret that she could no longer delay requesting reimbursement of this expenditure for personal financial reasons.

    • Conclusion:

      If all members continue to support the region for the remainder of the financial year both financially and in helping us to acquire new members, the chances of us updating our equipment and being able to provide a faster and more reliable connection to all members before the end of this year will be greatly improved.

      Carolyn Baird
      Hunter Regional Co-ordinator.

  6. System Administrator's Report:

    Ross reported that:

    • Giles died and had to be rebuilt a few times before it was working properly.
    • Bombadil suffered massive file corruption and had to be taken offline to manually fix it.
    • Gavin discovered that the slowness of the web was the result of the excessive size of squid's cache and that squid using 62MB of memory on a machine with only 32MB of RAM. So the problem was resolved by reducing the squid cache size and increasing the amount of RAM in bombadil.
    • It was discovered that when our ISP links re-established themselves after disconnection the firewalls were not automatically coming back up, so even though the connections looked OK there was no traffic going over either link.
    • The most recent problem was that the nameserver on niggle fell over for no obvious reason and had to be manually restarted.

  7. Progress Reports.

    • Hunter webpages and new logo: Ross advised that he would be start updating the region's pages immediately.
    • Newserver: Ross stated that there was no progress to report.

  8. Cash-flow Problems - "What can we do about them?"

    It was unanimously agreed that we continue encouraging members to either pay their access fees in advance and/or recruit new members for the region.

    Carolyn advised that some of the members of one of her International mailing lists had offered to make donations to the region using the services of PayPal. Unfortunately even though an amount of $20US has been already lodged there Carolyn is unable to claim it since the acceptance of Mastercard details won't be available until April and at the moment only a VISA card can be used. It was unanimously agreed that Carolyn should find some way to accept this and any other donations by her listmembers.

  9. Purchase of Equipment from Andrew Glazebrook.

    Andrew advised that he will have 5 x 33.6K modems, 2 x 28.8K modems and a 32-port Cyclades card for sale in March. It was unanimously agreed that the region should look at purchasing this equipment from Andrew since it was likely that we would have a need to purchase such items if any of our current equipment failed or we received any further applications for permanent connections and that this just might be too good a deal to ignore. Carolyn advised Andrew to work out a price and then present it to the RC for further consideration. On receipt of the price Carolyn would discuss the matter with the Treasurer to determine if it was financially feasible for the region to negotiate this purchase.

  10. Broadband Options.

    Carolyn advised that Doug Young (Brisbane) was currently investigating and obtaining quotes for various broadband options on behalf of a number of APANA regions including Hunter. Discussion ensued about which type of connection would be most suitable for Hunter. It was unanimously agreed that 'Wireless' would not be suitable for this area since it doesn't have the range that we would require and that Duplex Satellite provided our subnet could be routed over it and it was cost-effective would be the optimal type of connection for this region.

  11. Access to Usenet groups.

    Peter asked if the 'Y2K bug' with the newserver could be fixed and if it would be possible to acquire additional Usenet groups. The members of the Admin Team who were present then discussed the issue with Peter and resolved to see what could be done about it.

  12. Other Business

    No other business was declared.

  13. The next meeting will be held on Sunday, March 25th at 2pm at the hub.

  14. Meeting declared closed at 4.07pm.

(prepared by Carolyn on 28/01/01)