Volume 23, Number 2 - February 2007
|CACTUS Election Postmortem
The Usual Suspects
Thursday, February 15, 7:00 PM
The CACTUS Newsletter is a monthly publication, distributed to our members and other interested people. Visit the CACTUS Newsletter on the web at http://www.cactus.org/Newsletter/. There you will find archives of back issues, as well as instructions on how to subscribe to the e-mail distribution. We welcome newsletter submissions by our members. Please contact newsletter [at] cactus <dot> org for more information.
It's time to review the elections and bylaws to determine what went wrong and how to prevent a re-occurrence.
The next CACTUS meeting will be held on Thursday, February 15, 2007 at 7:00 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM for pizza and informal discussion), at Mangia Pizza at the corner of Burnet Rd./Mopac service road and Gracy Farms Ln. (See end of newsletter for directions to the facility).
New Austin resident Brad Knowles brought two copies of "Internet Postmaster Duties and Responsibilities" to hand out. Lenny Tropiano brought Ubuntu CDROMs to distribute.
Before any further announcements, Randy Zaglar suggested that we interior decorate. Though not officially recognized in our bylaws as a purpose, we re-arranged the tables.
President Ron Roberts next thanked out-going newsletter editor Gil Kloepfer for his outstanding service to the organization. Despite the complete lack of support from his brother officers, Gil continued to publish month after month--often providing the only content. Gil declined the honor of the presidency, but wound up accepting the position of member at large, pizza eating specialist.
The next important business was to order the food. When someone asked about salid, Mark Scarborough remarked, "Salad is what food eats." Mangia's pizza is really good.
Someone asked Brad why he moved to Austin. He replied that the University of Texas is ranked number two in Computer Science world wide. Austin is also ranked highly for its technical job market.
The preliminaries take care of, president Ron Roberts addressed the issue of elections, by moving that we suspend the bylaws. Seconded and acclaimed in record time, we proceeded unimpeded by rules. In response to a call for volunteers, Mark Scarborough agreed to continue to serve as membership chair. Ron Roberts then volunteered to do the newsletter.
No one stepped forward to be president, despite being reminded that the president no longer has to order the pizza before the meeting. Lenny Tropiano suggested that we get the waiter's name as he will probably be in attendance. Someone suggested that his name was James Johnson. After much cajoling, innuendo, threats, and virtual arm twisting, Randy Zagar surrendered.
At this point, quite off topic, Lindsay Haisley pointed out that he had contacted Mike Erwin concerning a spam incident reported recently. Someone had received spam from the class C IP range that CACTUS owns. CACTUS has lent this IP space to Mike's company in return for co-locating one of our machines.
Treasurer Johnny Long reported that we are not holding our own: our funds decline. He volunteered to continue as treasurer.
Lindsay Haisley suggested that Brad Knowles and Larry Rosenman should be officers. Brad accepted the position of program chair since he had earlier offered to do a presentation himself. Larry accepted the position of at large member agreeing to continue to help with administrating the machines.
No one would volunteer for scribe. Lindsay Haisley volunteered to assist the scribe as a member at large. Gil Kloepfer accepted at large member without port folio. Later in the meeting, Don Kassebaum agreed to be listed as scribe as long as he didn't have to do the job.
Brad Knowles introduced a vistor, Travis Campbell representing the League of Professional System Administrators (LOPSA). Travis described how LOPSA devolved from the disappointment many administrators in SAGE, the USENIX special interest group for system administrators. Travis described the group's successful system administrator days that ocurred last November. He pointed out that LOPSA was trying to provide less expensive scaled down forums so more people could participate. Nowdays, companies training budgets usually preclude large events like LISA. Travis also mentioned that a group of Austin LOPSA members got together for dinner in January.
President elect, Randy Zagar asked, "Do we want to align with LOPSA?" Many thought we were already somehow aligned with SAGE, or at least USENIX.
The discussion veered of onto many disparate topics. Someone spoke about the System Network Storage Users Group (SNUG). Someone else mentioned OpenE.com that makes a bootable flash which will make a disk into a NAS (network attached storage device). Another member said that grandma is installing NAS at the house. Gil pointed out that if the equipment is Linksys, the password is probably the default. This lead to a general discussion about WAP security, sniffers, etc.
Gil and Randy explained again why we were no longer meeting at UT/ARL. Lenny Tropiano volunteered to bring a video projector and screen for presentations--provided that we give him a month's notice.
Interestingly, the group began discussing a group in Sweeden called Pirate Bay and their intent to purchase Sealand.
And for some reason, we'll do this again in February.
Years ago as editor, I created a README file explaining the process of creating and distributing the CACTUS newsletter. Over the years and subsequent editors, this as evolved into a HOWTO. I'd like to than Gil Kloepfer for keeping it in such good shape, that an idiot like myself could understand it. The current HOWTO also graciously acknowledges the contribution of Lindsay Haisley. We do we elect editors whose names are so difficult to spell?
I'd like to invite anyone with access to email and something to say to contribute articles to this newsletter. The staff here at Worldwide CACTUS Pulications LTD. are very open minded. We will consider anything even remotely on topic, and if it's informative or humorous we're willing to drop that requirement.
So if you have an axe to grind, a peeve to pet, or a rant to rave, we're here for you.
I was looking back at some of the past newsletters and realized that CACTUS turns twenty-four this year, and next year we'll turn 25! There's been plenty of ups and downs over the years, and 2006 was no exception. Probably the most significant change in 2006 was when CACTUS changed its meeting location to the Mangia Pizza on Gracy Farms Lane (think Burnet and Mopac). This will change the character of our meetings a bit, since we will no longer be able to host large events like we have in the past, but on the plus side we are now much closer to the pizza...
In all seriousness, this is probably a good opportunity to consider what role CACTUS ought to serve in the Austin and and Unix communities over the next few years. Unix technologies and Open Source has blossomed over the years, and now there are lots of Unix and Linux groups spread all around the Austin area. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like these groups talk to each other very much, but maybe there's something we can do about that...
Ultimately, change is good. Change brings new life and new opportunities, and I'm looking forward to what CACTUS can accomplish in 2007.
CACTUS would like to welcome Lillian Simmons as our newest member.
We would also like to thank Thomas Bodine, and Dee Booth for renewing their memberships.
To renew your membership, please send check or money order payable to CACTUS ($30/yr for regular membership and $100/yr for corporate sponsorship):
PO BOX 9786
Austin, TX 78766-9786
You can also pay in person at the general meetings. Please direct any inquiries or address changes to membership [at] cactus <dot> org.
CACTUS meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Mangia Pizza (Gracy Farms location):
Mangia Pizza - Gracy Farms
12,001 Burnet Road at Gracy Farms Ln.
Austin, TX 78758
This location is approximately 2 miles north of our previous meeting location at ARL. Note that the Mapquest map on Mangia's web site is slightly wrong.
Mangia pizza is on the north-east corner of the Mopac service road and Gracy Farms Ln.
Note: If you pass Mangia Pizza, there is a U-turn on the left just a little past the store cluster. Follow the directions for Mopac coming from the north.