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Meeting held at the house of Carolyn Baird

  1. Meeting declared open at 2:10pm

  2. Members Present:

    • Marc Walters
    • Chris Baird
    • Ross Slade
    • Peter Freye
    • Laura Seabrook
    • Carolyn Baird

  3. Apologies
    • Peter Longworth

  4. Minutes of the previous meeting - February 10th, 2002.

    A printed copy of minutes from the previous regional meeting were circulated by Chris and examined by all present. Ross requested that the minutes be amended to show that his apology was received.

    Minutes accepted by Chris; seconded by Marc.

  5. Regional co-ordinator's report including:

    Financial statements prepared by the Treasurer were passed around with the previous meeting's minutes. No obvious equipment malfunction to report. Membership figures have remained relatively stable although a few members have changed their type of connection. No complaints have been received. No expenditure has been incurred. In the month of May there were 29 'unanswered' and 33 'busy' calls made to the hub by members - considered reasonable and no evidence of equipment malfunction at the hub end.

    Accepted by Ross; seconded by Marc.

  6. System Administrator's Report


    • Most P2P-using members (bar one) now have their software configured fairly.
    • A survey of bandwidth usage showed that most members use less than a megabyte per dialup. A proposal was given to implement a 'throttling daemon' that will limit the speed of traffic through a member's modem according to how much they've done for that dialup, as given in the following:
      0.0 - 1.0none
      1.0 - 2.53.0kB/sec
      2.5 - 5.02.0kB/sec
      5.0 - 10.01.5kB/sec
      10.0 and over1.0kB/sec
      The technical requirements are: updating the Linux kernel on Giles, and write/learn the method for using the interface rate-limiting facilities (which are considerably different from the existing "ipchains" system.)

    • DNS updates for kezza, baron, zorilla done.
    • Mail redirection for former dialup member, moley.

    System problems

    • nntpcache locking up, although with kernel upgrade on Bombadil this has become less frequent.
    • A sex-site guestbook spammer was blocked.
    • Perm-link members letting their teenagers use the link without supervision for an entire weekend.
    • Ozemail newsserver downage in mid-February--traced to their system 'forgetting' that our 203.14.156/24 is a legitimate customer. IP Masquerading used as a stop-gap until they fixed the problem.
    • Members not configuring their P2P software securely, and crackers getting into their systems and downloading everything.
    • Something involving ipchains broke during the Giles kernel upgrade, affecting routing to the Kastlore subnet. Has been hacked around.
    • the speed of the dial-out modem falling to unacceptable levels (12000bps!) and the modem refusing/unable to fall-forward to a better speed afterwards.
    • Members being infected with the Klez and Badtrans worms.

    Completed projects

    • Scripts written to block excessive use of P2P programs.
    • Security upgrades on Kildall.
    • "Webmin" installed on Kildall (as a 'technology review').
    • Web-spiders and non-members blocked from accessing the on-line CDROMs via the web (which was taking a fair amount of bandwidth every week or so).
    • The graphical system monitor MRTG reinstalled, to provide convenient summaries of network usage. (Were some problems in making the reports accurate.)
    • UCB-SNMP, Perl-5.6 installed (as part of the MRTG project).
    • Giles log-rotation madness fixed.
    • The two underutilized dialin modems (mentioned in the previous RC meeting) were cancelled.
    • Unknown hardware? problem prevented the 3 SCSI CDROM drives from being installed in Bombadil or Kildall.
    • The Linux kernels on Bombadil and Giles were upgraded to 2.4.18.
    • PPPd on Giles was upgraded (to suit the new kernel).
    • Replacement of the 'rusting' coax Ethernet with a donated 16-port 10BaseT ('twisted pair') network hub. Required two new network cards (also donated).
    • iptraf, a network connection monitor, installed on Kildall.
    • Quake2 server installed on Bombadil.
    • Several Perl modules installed on Bombadil, in aid of "dailystrips".
    • The "local_only" facility added to the web server to allow members to provide files they don't want downloaded by non-members.
    • SQUID RATE LIMITING! Two new 'virtual proxies' that have controlled download rate, allowing members trying to download files to do so without impacting on everyone else's access. Required Squid to be upgraded.
    • INN reports (and other detritus that had been filling the admin mailing list) is now sent to the newsgroup, apana.hunter.netstat. Required some munging to the mail-to-news script on Bombadil.
    • GNU/Emacs 20.7 installed on Giles.
    • Secondary DNS setup for Sydney organisational sites.

    Pending/incomplete projects

    • The Niggle/Giles merger.
    • The Throttling daemon/Quality-of-service scripts.
    • A better solution to the Kastlore subnet routing hack, likely to involve updating the /etc/ppp/ip scripts.

    Accepted by Ross; seconded by Marc.

    Discussion followed: It was proposed that gaming sessions be organised and advertised to members. It was agreed that the Niggle/Giles merger should be postponed. Peter asked if it was possible to set up LDAP so that members could automatically configure their machines. Chris responded that he was not familiar with the process but would look into it.

  7. Other Business

    • Nominations were sought to fill the vacancy on the RC caused by the resignation of Peter Longworth. Both Peter Freye and Laura Seabrook offered their nomination. Chris proposed that they both be appointed. Accepted unanimously. Peter and Laura were then confirmed as members of the RC for 2001/2002.
    • Annual General Regional Meeting set down for sometime between September and November. The date to be confirmed at the next RC meeting.

  8. Next Meeting:

    It was proposed to hold the next meeting in either August or September - date to be advised.

  9. Meeting officially finished at 3.15pm

(completed by Carolyn on 30/8/02)