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HAL-PC Board of Directors

Unapproved minutes of the August 26, 2010 regular Board of Directors Meeting.
Any corrections, changes, additions to these minutes will be provided following approval of the minutes by the Board.

MINUTES OF August 26, 2010
Houston Area League of PC Users, Inc.
4543 Post Oak Place
Houston, Texas 77027


Sibley Cooley, President
Rick Archibald, First Vice President (SIGs)
Sibley Cooley, Vice President Programs
Jay Kraker, Vice President Communications
Annette Story, Recording Secretary
DJ Brown, Membership Secretary
(vacant) Treasurer

Robert Spotswood, Executive Committee
John Furby, Executive Committee
Greg Brewer, Director
Bill Budell, Director
Marco Ferrufino, Director
Meredith Foster, Director
Kojo Idrissa, Director
Jerald Linsley, Director (absent)
Claudia Ludwig, Director (absent)
Mary Ann Mitscherling, Director
John Molson, Director (absent)
Charles Olsen, Director
Kevin Peck, Director
Bernard Silverman, Director
Jim Story, Director
Jim Ward, Director
Mike Wilson, Director

3 HAL-PC members

I.The meeting was called to order at 6:35pm, Sibley Cooley presiding.

II.Motion to approve the minutes, after corrections as noted, of the regular meeting held on July 22, 2010, was made, seconded, and passed.


President, Sibley Cooley
Sibley Cooley went directly to the First Vice President's report.

First Vice President (SIGs), Rick Archibald

  1. Rick Archibald stated that the statistical report of August 10 showed the slow downward trend in all measurements.
  2. Rick said that Annette and he are continuing to manage the checkbook. It looks like our balance is slowly growing.
  3. Rick summarized the weekly meeting with The Aldridge Company (TAC) that he and Robert Spotswood attend each Wednesday. Things are progressing well. First basic hurdle has been to overcome DNS.
  4. Meredith Foster posted on the HAL-PC website a video on how to use Hoard Mail and step-by-step instructions on squirrel mail. It is a really cute little view of a squirrel occasionally checking his email.
  5. Robert Spotswood said that as of yesterday anyone using his or her member number and will not have it work. Aldridge is aware of that and is working on this problem. The estimate that Robert Spotswood had was 2 to 3 weeks. There is another alternative if there is a hardware issue.
    The old interface can stay up after the conversion is complete. You will not be able to receive new mail there and after your account is converted, no new email will come in but what was there will remain there, especially your address book.
  6. After Sibley Cooley brought up that we need to offer instruction on the new mail systems to our members. Rick said that, as VP Programs, Sibley with Rick & Robert S. should do a "special event" to introduce the new system.
  7. Annette Story reported that the team of the CPA doing HAL-PC's 990's, James McElravy, has requested information that she is addressing.
  8. Rick Archibald and Robert Spotswood gave an overview of the actual problems with the email server and approaches to move our email system and the problems that users are having. Two weeks from now we should be converted over to the new mail server that could end the slow mail complaint.

Two schools of thought concerning the slowness of the email: an old tired machine and an incredible amount of spam that is even bogging down Postini. A third school of thought is that there is some rogue process going on that we don't know about.

Aldridge has offered an alternative to the conversion--They can attempt to virtualize our existing mail server. That will give it better hardware to run on. The price is that the mail server has to be shut down for 16 to 18 hours (most likely they think about 12). No mail for anyone the entire time. Aldridge estimates there is a 20% chance it won't work. If it doesn't work we just start up the old mail server. We need to decide: do we want to risk the 16 to 18 hours of straight down time or do we want to wait about 2 or 3 weeks before the new "Sendmail" server is ready. Then we have to decide when to do the switchover. In the switchover, Aldridge has to move the accounts one by one which could take from 8 to 48 hours to complete.

The ups and downs of the email system was described such as last week on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday the system was acting beautifully until Monday then it was not good and then good again.

Robert S explained there are 3 options: to do nothing, wait 2 or 3 weeks, or attempt the virtualization. He recommended that we bite the bullet because a lot of people can't use their email right now and have an 80% chance of winning. Extensive discussion continued including what day and time and how to notify HALNet users.

Bill Budell moved to "Virtualize the email server." The motion was seconded by DJ Brown. Discussion continued. A draft notice by Jay Kraker will be reviewed and appear on the website with updates by the Webmaster. Jim Story will use the same procedure he uses to notify HALNet users when their HALNet service will expire to send the notice to all HALNet subscribers that use email addresses. Greg Brewer "called the question." All were in favor and the motion passed.

VP Programs Sibley Cooley
The President delayed addressing this report until later in the meeting when he stated that he has many programs that all we need to do is identify the date and choose from a list he has.

Vice President Communications, Jay Kraker

  1. Jay Kraker stated, "You are going to hear a lot about the M word, mainly Marketing. As soon as we get some of these transition issues behind us, my view is that it is one of the most important issues before us as a club." He pointed out that the most important thing is the value of the club.
  2. A survey will shortly be posted on the HAL-PC website for members that will do 2 things for us. It will produce comments from people that have good stories that we can follow up and use as marketing material because we have no current marketing material. The second thing it may do is to point out some things in operations that we are not aware of. There will be a drawing of all participants for one or two extended HAL-PC memberships after the survey is closed. The prize will be given at no cost to HAL-PC so donations were/are requested.
  3. Jay said that Meredith Foster has been working hard on changes to the website to make it more user friendly and not use words or phrases that only members are familiar with like SIG. Druple software will be used for the website.
  4. Anyone who is interested in working on the HAL-PC magazine or in marketing should contact Jay.

Membership Secretary, DJ Brown
1.DJ Brown is working with the University of Houston, Main Campus, to help with a computer competition. Students are competing for a scholarship. HAL-PC has been asked to help with a test of 100 questions. Also work on some ideas on building 20 machines with errors that a student in 20 minutes has to fix. More later.

No ad hoc committee reports.

A break was requested and taken.
Sibley Cooley resumed the meeting by calling the meeting to order after a 12 minute break.

IV.Old Business

President Sibley Cooley stated that we need to find a candidate for Treasurer before the tabled motion to elect a Treasurer is moved from the table.
Sibley asked if there is a motion to take that motion up from the table. Rick Archibald stated that it is being addressed in the Executive Session and a pricing committee's evaluation that has been impacted by other work and needs to delay its evaluation report until the next meeting. No motion to take it from the table.

V.President's Report

Sibley Cooley went over some information the Board might not be aware of. The kind of difficulties HAL-PC is having has been gathered by Sibley through observation and talking with various members. "It is obvious to me that we are moving in the right direction. I want to express my thanks for all the hard work.... It is also obvious that people in leadership roles that have not shared such things as passwords and information that we have to have in order to do our business." Sibley also stated that we need to once or twice a year have awards as recognition. Also there are jobs that can be listed that members of the Board can volunteer to do.

Annette Story asked if someone who knew printers would take over the job of printing the director name plates. Jay Kraker volunteered to do that.

VI.New Business

Sibley went over the Standing Committee assignments that were emailed to each member of the Board and asked as the committee was called if anyone wanted to join that committee. Some Directors who were present added their name. [The updates will be distributed later.]
The motion was made and seconded to approve the Standing Committee Assignments appointed by the President. The motion passed.

After adjourning this regular meeting an Executive Session would begin to approve the minutes of the Executive Session for May 6, 2010, and to have the Executive Committee report about the Front Desk Volunteers.

Jim Ward moved to adjourn and Greg Brewer seconded. The motion passed.

Next regular Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for September 23, 2010.

Annette Story
HAL-PC Recording Secretary