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Meeting held at the home of Carolyn Baird.

  1. Meeting declared opened at 2.27pm.

  2. Members Present:

    • Carolyn Baird
    • Andrew Glazebrook
    • Marc Walters
    • Peter Longworth
    • Gavin Condon

  3. Apologies:

    • Kellie Bottrell
    • Craig Pickering
    • Jemina Pickering
    • Nigel Bell
    • Colin Brady

  4. Minutes of March 7th, 1999 Regional Meeting: A printed copy of the previous minutes was circulated and read by all present. Peter approved the minutes. Seconded by Marc. Accepted unanimously.

  5. Regional Report: Carolyn gave a verbal report on Hunter's current status with regard to:

    • Finances - A printed copy of the Financial Statement for the year to May 31st was circulated, along with a copy of the Treasurer's report for May. "Despite the addition of new members; the reduction in Ozemail's charges and delaying submitting any reimbursements of expenditure, we have slipped further into the red. This is partly due to the fact that few of our number have had fees due in recent months and those that have have chosen not to pay for a full-year - requesting either a half-yearly or quarterly payment due to financial hardship. In addition some of the new members we have signed on for a trial period have taken full advantage of the trial period and even though they indicated that they wished to remain with us have still not paid for their access. Two of those accounts have now been frozen and will only be reactivated when advice is received from the database that their access fees have been paid. Ample warning was given to both of these members before this action was taken."

    • Equipment - "The region has suffered a number of downtimes during the past month. The first occasion occurred when the main phone cable for the area was severed by a neighbour using a ride-on mower. This resulted in a downtime of around 20 hours.

      The second series of disruptions occurred when to conserve the region's bandwidth it was suggested that Boronia allow Giles to host all its mail. On three occasions shortly after the large digests for my list PAN-L were distributed, Giles (which also serves the modems) crashed causing everyone to be disconnected. It was spotted almost immediately except for one occasion when it occurred at 3am and Giles wasn't rebooted until 8.15am. Boronia is now set up to allow Giles to handle only small messages while large messages are directed to Ozemail's mailserver. The success of this workaround had led to mail from all the system being hosted by Ozemail instead of being distributed by direct connection. This has significantly reduced the number of mail-errors; 'connection reset by peer' which were previously commonplace and appears to have reduced some of our bandwidth problems.

      Since the onset of colder weather, the Hunter Region's hub has been plagued by electricity supply problems. There have been evidence of daily fluctuations in power that on at least 3 separate occasions have crashed the system. At other times, they have caused members to be disconnected or required one of the servers to be rebooted. The most recent occasion was this morning at 11am. I was unable to re-establish the network so Gavin was called in - he discovered errors on both drives of bombadil and a loose ethernet cable. The system was up and running again to Gavin's satisfaction by 1.50pm.

      My 56K modem which was on loan to the region died early last month which left us with only 7 lines in use for a few days until Gavin offered to provide us with one of his own which will eventually be attached to his permlink when that has been organised but in the meantime is on loan to the region. This month we've had problems with two of our older modems which were failing to reset; disconnecting members for no apparent reason or providing too slow a response (complaints were received regarding these problems from a number of members). These two modems will be replaced by 2 x 33K6's provided by Andrew Glazebrook (rejects from Dragon due to faulty power supplies) which are able to be utilized by us since we now have an over-abundance of power supplies thanks to the repairs made to the faulty Roadster power supplies by Allan Beeton. Andrew has indicated that if these modems prove reliable he is willing to donate them to the region.

      In addition we have been offered the donation of a 386 already configured as a mailserver by Chris Baird (I hope to be going to Armidale during the school holidays to pick it up) and Marc Walters has offered the donation of a 486 motherboard if we have a use for it. Charlie Brady (the son of a Hunter member) has also offered to donate any 'bits and pieces' we need if he has them onhand. A updated equipment list will be circulated to RC members ASAP."

    • Members - "There are currently 34 members in the Hunter Region. Of these 7 have payments still due in June and there are 4 due in the month of July. I have not been advised that any of these members will not be renewing their membership."

    • Complaints - "Two members complained about the number of disconnections; one member about the slowness of the 14.4K modem; one member about being able to login but not being able to access bombadil and two members about their failure to receive mail from hotmail accounts. Every endeavour is being made to rectify these problems."

    • Expenditure - "As you will see from the Treasurer's report he has asked that all outstanding claims for reimbursement of expenditure be submitted before the end of the financial year. It is therefore with reluctance that I request approval of the following expenditure."

      	Trading Post advertisement x 2           $25.40
      	The Star advertisement x 2                  32.50
      	Phone charges relating to
              participation at MC Meetings               24.00
      
              Amount to be approved for 
              reimbursement to Carolyn Baird          $81.90
      
              Approved: Peter  Seconded: Andrew
      

  6. Advertising

    "We had a limited response to the ads we ran in the Trading Post and The Star although there have been 76 hits on our 'joining' webpage from March 23rd to date. I've personally had contact with 4 people who indicated that they will sign up with us when their contract with their ISP runs out. Other members of the region have indicated to me that they have had contact with others who may be interested in joining."

    Peter requested copies of flyer to be placed on noticeboards at Boolaroo Neighbourhood Centre.

    Discussion occurred on the possibility of holding an Open/Fix-it Day to coincide with the ARM. It was decided to place it as a priority item on the agenda for the next meeting.

  7. Discussion

    1. Ozemail link problems and proposed changes.

      Gavin reported that Pik had indicated his intention of contacting Ozemail to determine why our connects to them have never been greater than 28.8K when the original contract with them specified a 33.6K connection. The RC resolved to leave this matter in the hands of the Admin Team to pursue this matter with Ozemail as Ozemail had already advised its intention to upgrade ALL modems to 56K by the end of the year.

    2. Mail and other system delays.

      Gavin detailed the workarounds (cf. 6. Equipment) that had been implemented to help overcome these problems and offered to lend the region his UPS to help overcome the electricity supply problem.

      Gavin elaborated on the ongoing problems with NNTP and port 119 collapsing on a regular basis. Andrew recalled that the HNA had a license for DNews - the Admin Team to investigate and implement if possible.

    3. Problems with Hotmail addresses.

      Gavin reported that the Admin Team could only suggest that this was due to a bandwidth problem.

    4. Upgrading two modems.

      Andrew advised that he had brought with him two 33.6K Chilli modems which would be connected to the system and indicated that if they proved satisfactory was willing to donate them to the region.

    5. APANA's situation regarding the GST.

      Carolyn advised that at the moment this situation was unclear, but that John Williamson of the Australian Taxation Office would be attending the AGM in Perth to speak about this matter.

    6. APANA and the Melbourne Region.

      Carolyn suggested that all members of the RC read the apana.general newsgroup and stay informed of the situation in Melbourne.

  8. Other Business

    • Trial Accounts for New Members.

      Carolyn proposed that the 30 day trial account for new APANA members be discontinued and in its stead to allow an initial payment of $50 for 3 month's access to new members.

      Seconded: Andrew. Passed unanimously.

  9. The next meeting was set for 2.00pm Sunday September 5th, 1999 at Carolyn's.

  10. Meeting declared closed at 4.15pm.

(prepared by Carolyn on 18/6/99)