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Organizational.BoardNotesAutumn2007r1.11 - 29 Apr 2008 - 12:31 - BenScotttopic end

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Minutes/notes from Autumn 2007 Board Meeting, Saturday, 3 November, 2007, at the Hopkinton, NH Town Library.


Board Members


Formal Votes

  1. The organization will not require or request bank checks requiring two account-holder signatures. Unanimously agreed.
  2. The pre-published agenda was completed satisfactorily. Unanimously agreed.

Informal Notes

Preliminary notes, in rough chronological order. Any objections or dissenting opinions should be included, but unless otherwise stated, no formal votes were taken.

  • Notes/minutes from board meetings
    • The board should be able to function despite the absence of any given member, provided a Quorum exists
    • Preliminary/informal/unofficial notes need to be made available ASAP
      • Transparency - So the people who weren't there know what happened
      • Reference - So the people who were there know what happened
      • Involvement - The more we spread the word, the more people are likely to get involved
    • Official Minutes need to be made available sooner
    • Reallocation of duties?
      • Briefly mentioned. Perhaps Ben Scott's schedule (busy when banks are open, free time when they're closed) would lend itself more to him being Secretary, while Bill Sconce's schedule (allegedly more flexible) would lend itself more to him being Treasurer.
      • All agreed that further discussion should wait until Bill is actually present to discuss.
  • We're Greater NH LUG, not Southern NH LUG; we should take care not to accidentally exclude our friends from north of Concord
  • Non-profit registration
    • We need to find someone to guide us through the process of becoming a 501(c)3
    • The concept of being "taken under the wing" of an existing 501(c)3 was brought up, but nobody knows the details (see previous)
    • Ed Lawson has been extremely generous in helping us with this kind of thing, but he's got paying customers
    • There is an independent organization in NH which exists to assist NH profits to get started; maybe they can help
    • Pierce Law Center
      • Rob Lembree's wife is a lawyer
      • She is doing stuff with a group at Pierce
      • That group exists to help non-profits get started
      • maddog will see about contacting Rob / Rob's wife for info
  • By-laws vs rules
    • We have a very minimal set of by-laws By design. By-laws are part of our state paperwork. Changes mean more state paperwork. Minimal by-laws mean fewer changes.
    • An additional set of "administrative rules" can be established, subservient to the by-laws, which provide more structure but don't need to be part of the state paperwork.
    • Minimal rules keeps bureaucracy down and flexibility up
    • More detailed rules helps avoid getting bogged down in discussion over procedures for every decision
  • Bank account
    • Ben Scott says:
      • I apparently do not have good luck with banks, so useful progress is slow (but I haven't been as proactive as I could have been, either)
      • I read the Ocean Bank website incorrectly, and the branch I went to was closed on Saturdays (it was the other Concord Branch open)
      • I feel Saint Mary's Bank does not appear to be a good choice for our needs
      • This coming week (Mon 4 - Sat 10 Nov):
        • I will be visiting Citizen's and Ocean branches and finding out what they have to say
        • I may check with some additional branches
      • One point of concern has been presence (in terms of branches), especially near existing LUGs, and also in norther parts of the state
        • Ocean has good presence up through Concord
        • The only bank I found with a good branch presence north of Concord is Citizen's
        • Even TD BankNorth doesn't have much of anything in the northern-most third of the state
    • Two-signature checks
      • It was formally voted and unanimously agreed that we dispense with the two-signature-check idea for now. We're not going to have enough money for embezzling to be a significant risk. We all trust each other. It may cause difficulty, both in getting an account and in using it later. We can always change things later.
  • Hamfest/Hosstraders/NEAR-Fest
    • Ben Scott noted this has been beat to death, at board meetings and OrgList
    • maddog said he approached the NEAR-Fest people and they didn't seem keen on the idea of computers at a hamfest
    • NEAR-Fest is rather more expensive than Hosstraders was (and money doesn't go to injured children)
  • Outreach/publicity/etc
    • Info/training/install-fest
      • Installing Linux is not about getting X's video driver working anymore
      • Today's new Linux user is more interested in "How do I do what I want, now that I've got it installed?"
      • Using a pre-configured VM and VMWare Player may be a good way to get people's feet wet with minimal risk to them
      • It's okay to say "Obsolete hardware need not apply" for events targeting people with new PCs
      • A separate "Dinosaur Day" where we try to get old stuff running well might complement that well
    • "Target markets" we haven't really tried reaching out to:
      • K-12 schools
        • Many are already using Linux, small or larger
        • There are people in GNHLUG doing some of this
        • NSTE - NH education techie group - Not
        • Some of these groups are not able to understand the concept of a non-profit and want to charge us big bucks for a vendor booth (Clarification from Ted: many of these groups are non-profits as well, but running a conference is a money-maker; in addition, most of these non-profits are annual-dues-driven and not-for-profit whereas GNHLUG is closer to not-for-money as in free)
      • College/universities
        • CS students
        • Non-CS students who just want to get stuff done but can't afford expensive payware
      • Public libraries
        • Ben Scott is going to see if the Dover Public Library would be interested
        • Bill Sconce was very well received at the Pepperell MA library
      • Chamber-of-commerce sorts of organizations
      • Computer shows (like NC Shows)
        • Let's team up with a local computer vendor
        • They buy the space and table and such
        • They provide some nice computers for sale
        • We put a Linux dual-boot install on them
        • At the show, we demo all the cool things Linux can do (thus helping him sell boxes)
        • We also sell/give-away CDs (both Linux and FOSS-for-Windows), evangelize, assist, etc.
        • Ben Scott will recon the upcoming NC Show at Rochester on Sat 17 Nov
        • Shawn O'Shea will contact a local vendor about the idea
      • The idea of a big Linux event (starting at 350-400 people) was brought up again
      • Ted Roche once did a course on LAMP; can we find his courseware?
  • Organizational issues
    • When we're "done" with a big effort, we often don't document what we did
      • Possibly because we're sick of it by that point
      • Possibly because geeks don't like doing documentation
    • "High Rate of Idea Production" (HRIP); much lower rate of implementation
  • "Ted actually made it all the way through the agenda"; meeting done (voted and unanimously approved)


Not really discussed at the meeting, but observed when listening to audio recording.

  • We have trouble sticking to our agenda
  • Please tell Ben Scott to shut up -- BenScott
  • The lack of any kind of vote does mean it is extremely difficult to tell (after the fact) whether people really agreed with a statement, or if dissenters were simply keeping quiet. While I (BenScott) maintain that we don't need to move, second, and vote on everything, I do think it would be good policy to pause and ask, "Any objections?" after statements of intent. Should there be dissent, we can discuss further, and/or call a vote if needed.
  • We often have multiple people talking at once (Ben is the worst by far, but others do this, too). Having some mechanism for flow control (i.e., gaining/yielding "the floor") may be a good idea. [Simple raising of hands, and being selected to speak, often solves this takes a couple of slaps to "train people", but they can be trained. - (MaddogHall) ]
  • We have trouble staying on-topic [See Bullet One - (MaddogHall) ]


For convenience, an audio recording of the meeting was made. You can listen using the files linked below. They were originally made with a Sony PDA voice recoder, and were then transcoded to the FOSS Speex speech CODEC.

The speexdec program (part of the speex package on many a distro) will decode (to file or sound card). For XMMS, use the xmms-speex plugin/package. mplayer also works.
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