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Re: [vox] NBLUG in need of help
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Re: [vox] NBLUG in need of help

Quoting nbs (nbs@sonic.net):

> I spoke with a friend yesterday who recently moved from Davis to
> Santa Rosa.  He said NBLUG's in trouble; their president has resigned
> since he's wore out and has other stuff to worry about (or... something).

Bill, it's not all that enticing for people to get involved with NBLUG 
when its Web site is unmaintained (showing obsolete meeting data being
the biggest problem) and its mailing list has no Web archive (being an 
unaugmented Majordomo 1.x setup).

The group has some things going for it, though:  It has an excellent 
meeting site (at O'Reilly & Assoc.'s new offices) and is pretty much the
only game around for Sonoma County Linux folk -- and for much of Marin,
for that matter.

> Anyway, can anyone think of ways we can help?

The obvious way is to (1) show up at the meetings, and (2) volunteer to
take on some of the group's essential functions:  maintaining the Web
site, lining up speakers, reserving the monthly meeting venue,
supervising the meeting (emceeing), and so on.   

It would be really nice, too, if someone would either retrofit MHonARC /
Hypermail / etc. to their Majordomo setup or convert it over to GNU
Mailman (among other things, giving them a Web archive).  The latter
isn't difficult.  Either Marc Merlin or I could help them do it (as
could you, I wouldn't doubt).

One of their long-term (but not immediately urgent -- one hopes)
problems is that the domain registration reflects a classic new-sysadmin
mistake, regrettably committed by their president:

   North Bay Linux Users Group
   P.O. Box 1374
   Santa Rosa, CA 95402-1374

   Domain Name: NBLUG.ORG

   Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
      North Bay Linux Users Group
      Dustin Mollo
      P.O. Box 1374
      Santa Rosa, CA 95402-1374

All contacts -- even the Registrant (domain owner) are the exact same 
person, Dustin.  This would be the guy who's burned out and is dropping
out of the group.  

That method of registration -- using only one guy's name, with his
address, e-mail address, and telephone number -- creates a classic
single-point-of-failure problem.  Any time he's unreachable, the domain 
can't be admined.  Groups should always vest (at a minimum) the
Technical and Administrative contacts in two different people with
distinct (and out-of-band) contact information.

On examination, there's a similar problem with the authoritative DNS 
servers list:

NS2.SONIC.NET           A

It's very likely that these machines are _both_ at the Sonic.Net NOC.
I have nothing against Sonic.net (they seem a good outfit), but a
prudent domain admin ensures backup DNS at a minimum of one physically
remote location.  Lots of people will do secondary DNS for free, e.g.,
other LUGs.  (I also have a standing offer of backup DNS to any LUG.)

Cheers,     "Learning Java has been a slow and tortuous process for me.  Every 
Rick Moen   few minutes, I start screaming 'No, you fools!' and have to go
rick@linuxmafia.com       read something from _Structure and Interpretation of
            Computer Programs_ to de-stress."   -- The Cube, www.forum3000.org
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