The exec is working towards improving communication at all of these levels,
however it'll be a little while before things run as smoothly as I'd like.
For starters, the exec and the admins are now meeting formally once a month.
(Give or take, if we have no agenda items, we'll have no meeting...) The
first such meeting occurred a few weeks ago and is minuted in some detail at
http://www.progsoc.uts.edu.au/about/minutes/. It is our intention to
continue holding these meetings monthly as a focus for discussion, to
maintain clear communication between and within the exec and the admins and
to provide a means for documenting decisions and discussion for perusal by
interested members. Additionally, individuals whose accounts have been
locked for various wrong-doings are invited to attend these meetings to 'put
their case' directly to the exec, rather than having an individual admin
make an arbitrary (and often inconsistent, particularly between admins)
choice about what is to be done.
Next, in order to enable members to directly communicate with each other and
the exec, we are holding 4 general meetings a year, instead of just 1. The
intent of these meetings is to enable members to learn and contribute
through conversation with the exec, rather than attempting to rely on email,
particularly given the signal to noise ratio present in
firstname.lastname@example.org. The next one of these is shortly to be
announced, we expect it to be three weeks from today.
We are very interested in hearing constructive suggestions from members
about what else we could do to improve the situation. However, it would help
if members with a gripe were to think carefully about this: We have already
put a great deal of thought into what we can do to improve the situation and
are already doing all that we can think of. If you have a SUGGESTION for
something that we aren't already doing, great, let's hear it. If however you
merely have a general whinge about the badness of it all, don't expect
anything positive to come of it. Not because we are being bloody-minded, but
because we are already doing all that we think of (and afford the time) to do.
At 09:07 AM 7/18/96 +1000, Peter Meric wrote:
>On Wed, 17 Jul 1996, Cam Dorrington wrote:
>> >That's nowhere good enough is it?
>> Well maybe you dont think it is good enough, but for $10 i think it is
>> pretty damn good to get what progsoc offers. If you arent satisfied you
>> are getting your moneys worth then why pay it.
>I think this is totally the wrong attitude to be taking. The "What the
>hell were you expecting for $10?" attitude is just plain wrong. If there
>is a shortage of funds, then fair enough. But there isn't, is there? I think
>the approach should be more like "the disks are dying, and the admins can't
>be in at uni all the time to fix the machine, but we'll do our best". There,
>that's much better. I don't believe the membership money is there solely to
>run the machine.
I think Cam's choice of words was unfortunate. It would perhaps have been
more helpful to explain what's actually occurring, particularly given that
work has been underway for some months.
Our old hard-drives (mid-late '80s vintage I believe) are dying. We are
replacing them with newer, larger (larger capacity, smaller physical size),
faster, more reliable SCSI disks. We were undertaking this anyway as part of
the transition to being able to make more than one machine available for
members to use, without breaking half of our existing services. This is a
long slow process, but we expect the more reliable disk to be online in a
couple of weeks. This sudden failure of the old disks has both stimulated
and retarded the process (suddenly more work is being done, but because the
order of tasks has altered to deal with the broken disks, progress is a
little slower), but the move towards having more machines online (and
faster, more reliable, cooler running disks) is well underway.
>> >Speaking of hardware backup, what is a machine doing fully devoted to
>Okay, let's stop being pedantic. He said "fully" and it's OBVIOUS that
>he doesn't mean that ALL the machine is doing is hosting talkers.
>Well, I don't care if one of the machines is devoted to such activities
>(plus MUD's, MOO's and IRC)--does the Progsoc Executive wish to keep
>its members informed about decisions it makes on such topics?
There has been a move afoot for over a year to dedicate an entire machine
for the hosting of multi-particpant VRs. (MOOs, Muds, talkers, Forest,
whatever.) This is not being done at the sufferance of the members (I am
referring to Peter's "I don't care" above), but specifically to benefit
those members who are using ftoomsh (and other machines when they are
available) for other things. The aim is to improve the perceived "quality of
service" that ftoomsh delivers, by taking away from its load large processes
of this type.
This decision was not minuted when it was made, because it was not made
formally. It will probably appear in the minutes when a machine is actually
earmarked for this purpose and someone has time to set up and get it running.
Such things (general direction, rather than formal decision making) are best
understood by attending general meetings and asking questions and talking
>While on the topic of being an (un)informed member, I really feel as if
>the Executive keeps its members in the dark. Maybe there can be another
>list set up to which decisions can be posted. It seems as if the only
>way we (members) get to hear about decisions is if someone has a complaint
>to make about it.
As you are now aware, we have in fact gone one better and arranged to post
them for perpetuity on ProgSoc's web pages. I believe that this was
announced when it was done, but if not, rest assured that future minutes
will be announced when posted.