The National Capital FreeNet

Executive Committee


April 9, 2002



Prepared by: Chris Cope (bz787)

April 15, 2002


The National Capital FreeNet Executive Committee met on the 9th of April 2002 at Master's Brew Pub, 330 Queen St. Ottawa.


Committee members present:              Chris Cope (bz787)

Sandy Campbell (dt820)

Gary Eikenberry (aa353)       

Ian MacEachern (bi207)


Guests:                                                Jim Elder (aa456)

                                                            David Millman (aa342)

                                                            Andrea Holland (es170)


Chris Cope, acting as Chair (and Secretary) called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.


The following matters were discussed:


  1. Dial-up Access:  The ED reported on progress in sourcing equipment to replace the failed 3-Com equipment, noting that 2 USR Total control boxes had been located and could be purchased for $6,500. The ED presented a 3-phase program to improve our modem service, beginning with the purchase of these units.


Action Item:  The ED is to present his report and recommendations to the NCF Board of Directors at the next regular meeting.



  1. Spam: The ED reported on results from, recent changes to spam filtering, noting that according to the logs, we now reject about 50% of incoming mail. It was suggested that NCF might could not be successful in blocking all spam and that even very expensive solutions such as Brightmail, would not completely eliminate spam. It was noted that members ought to be responsible for looking after their own corrective actions, but that we might provide instructions, tools and advice.



  1. Internet Pipe: The ED reported on Carleton’s plans to eliminate congestion in their Internet pipe, noting that shortly the problem would be gone, as the school year winds down and that Carleton had plans for corrective action, to be taken before the new academic cycle starts in September 2002.



  1. Easy Registration and Credit Card donations:  The ED reported that the office is now accepting credit cards as proof of id. It was noted that having an ability to take credit card donations would be extremely beneficial because in addition to simply encouraging people to donate online,  “Clickable” credit card links could be added to the registration and renewal processes. Thus allowing immediate donations. The need to retain user accountability was discussed and the ED confirmed that that the new system as envisioned would be developed in accordance with NCF values.


Action Item:  Developing the easy registration system coupled to developing an ability to accept credit cards as payment and as identification online would be considered to be a high priority, with the proviso that such as system would adhere to NCF’s requirement for user accountability.



  1. Projects: The committee deferred discussion on funded projects, noting that the ED would present his report to the full Board.



  1. Smart Capital Server Purchase: The ED provided an analysis of costs associated with purchase of server equipment, needed for the Smart Capital project. He noted that a request for advance funding had already been made to OCRI to cover this and other expenses forecasted for the coming month but that the amount of the purchase was sizeable and that NCF would not be able to fund the purchase until Smart Capital monies had been received..


Action Item: The ED will proceed with the acquisition of the server, but will delay making a firm commitment until the money had been received from OCRI, or the vendor willing to accept a conditional purchase order.



  1. Hiring of additional Sysadmin (for project requirements): The ED reported that he was now ready to proceed with hiring an additional Sysadmin, to begin work on projects.


Action Item: The ED is to proceed with the hiring process and an interview team consisting of the ED, Sandy Campbell, Andrea Holland and Gary Eikenberry was formed to assist the ED.



  1. Technical Infrastructure redesign: The ED reported that he was working with a team to examine NCF’s technical architecture.


Action Item: Gary Eikenberry will join the discussion.



  1. Web-based Community Software: The acquisition of modern web-based community software was discussed and in particular the offering from Web Crossing was examined. It was agreed that facilitation of vibrant community interaction was really our “core mission” and it was noted that we have not upgraded our platform to modernize this ability since first acquiring Freeport nearly 10 years ago.


While agreeing that upgrading our capacity to facilitate community discussions including “one-on-many” and “many-on-many” as well as other community networking tools ought to be among our highest priorities, concern was raised about our current ability to dedicate the resources to properly frame our need and implement an appropriate scheme.


Action Item: The matter would be deferred for now, but included in future Executive Committee meetings and referred to the visioning and planning process expected to occur during the latter part of the summer.



  1. March Results & Financials: The committee deferred discussion on financial results, noting that the Treasurers report and financial statements would be available  for the Board meeting.



  1. Weekly Announcements: Jim Elder noted that for several weeks, the announcement section of the NCF portal ( had been changed a minimum of once weekly and recommended that a series of announcements be prepared.


Action Item: Following her return from vacation, Sheila Alder will be tasked with this job.



  1. Support & Encouragement for “The Communicator” Andre Ouellette’s new online e-zine “The Communicator” was described and the Committee expressed its congratulations to Mr. Ouellete for taking on this most worth task.



  1. Local vs. Global: After a brief discussion, the Committee decided that this issue is in fact a “mission –related” subject and that the full Board ought to review the NCF mission as a preliminary to this discussion..


Action Item: The Secretary will include an item to discuss NCF’s mission on the agenda for the next meeting; a bit of a “Board Orientation II”.



  1. Board Bios: The Committee discussed the importance of Board members knowing about each other. Knowing each other’s skills and contributions will add to the necessary respect and facilitate meaningful distribution of work.


Action Item: The introductions at the next meeting will be expanded to allow Directors to expand a little on their skills and contributions. Chris will email the Director with a pointer to existing online information and informing  Directors of the plan to spend time on expanded introductions.


  1. Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 10:10 PM.