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June 14th, 1994

Internet System Administration Panel

06/14/94 RMIUG Meeting Minutes - Measuring and Monitoring WeInternet System Administration Panel

The fifth meeting of the Rocky Mountain Internet User's Group was June 14th, 1994. About 80 people were in attendance on a nice, warm evening. Dan Murray MC'ed the meeting.

Some general administrivia issues and announcements of interest.

  • About half of the people in attendance were not on the Email list. Dan passed around a sign-up sheet, and about 25 people added their Email addresses to get signed up - we currently have about 350 people signed up on RMIUG. Note that an Email to rmiug@rmiug.org generates an auto-reply with info about the RMIUG.

  • Dan mentioned an offer to RMIUG members from Capella Rocky Mountain for discounted modems. They're having a special offer for RMIUG members through July 1st on the Telebit Qblazer+ ($155), the US Robotics Sportsters ($125/$130), and a Livingston Portmaster communications server. For more information, send electronic mail to offer@rockymtn.capella.com or call their office at 303-440-0513.

  • Will Clurman (pcs@cscns.com) gave a short discussion about the recent Mecklermedia Spring Internet World 94 Conference. They have three upcoming shows about the Internet: San Jose in May, Wash D.C. in Dec, and London in Feb/Mar. We will be "passing the hat" at our next meeting so Alek can attend the last show ... ;-) BTW, MecklerMedia is looking for speakers - see Will for more info.

    Will commented that many of the attendees were business people, who where asking "what type of solutions are there for my business" and "where is the Internet going" in response to all the press about the "Information SuperHighway" (did I really say that!)

    Will also mentioned Commerce Net, and attempt by many of the large Silicon Valley firms to setup a network to conduct business on, complete with RSA security (membership is $20,000 though!) He also mentioned that the Internic may lose their government funding, as more of this is turned over to the private sector.

    Overall, although some of the presentations were a bit salesey and the product offerings vaporware (one vendor had empty (!) boxes on display), it was an interesting and worthwhile conference.

  • Trisha Litz (tlitz@ria.com) mentioned that Martin Marietta was looking for a UNIX Sysadmin and to contact Cheryl at cdietz@ria.com for more information.

  • Bill Wilt (wilt@bear.mcc.com) from Albuquerque made a short presentation about the future of the press, media, and information in a digital age. He passed out copies of the "Wilt Letter - how to flourish in a digital world" which has a variety of interesting commentary.

Our featured speaker this evening was actually a panel. Chris Fedde from US West (chris@engineer.mrg.uswest.com) had suggested previousely to the "Executive Committee" that a Network/Sysadmin panel might be interesting. The RMIUG Executives (acting as good executives) agreed ... and said set it up! Chris did a great job, and we'd encourage future suggestions; and we *are* willing to do some legwork if you don't have the time.

Our panel was composed of Evi Nemeth of CU-Boulder (evi@cs.colorado.edu), John Matthews of US West (matthews@mis.uswest.com), Randy Holt of Intergraph (rholt@camus.edaca.ingr.com) and Trent Hein of XOR Network Engineering (trent@xor.com). All have been involved in the Network/Sysadmin business for quite some time, and they brought a wealth of knowledge.

There were many issues discussed, too numerous to list here (plus Alek's fingers are getting tired!). The discussion was quite lively at times, and sometimes got quite technical. There were even a few lawyers in the audience who were brave enough to speak out and put forth some of the legal issues of things such as reading Email, etc.

Legal aspects of reading other people's files and Emails got lots of discussion; the panel's recommendation was just "don't read it", but they agreed this can get "sticky" when the Mucky-Mucks (management) get involved. There was some discussion about Firewalls: one approach is a packet-filtering one with an "open" network behind it ... but a better approach seems to be a "policy based" one where machines are tight throughout, but this is more work.

There was a fair amount of discussion about different connectivity options (dumb terminal, UUCP, SLIP, etc. and phone, cable, fiber, etc.). An RMIUG member recently volunteered to put together a table summarizing the offerings from the various vendors; we'll let you know when that becomes available.

The panelists agreed that the Network/Sysadmin job is somewhat thankless, but they did enjoy what they did; interfacing with different parts of the company and playing with the latest toys (oops, I meant computers). But one also needs to be very self-motivated, and it's not a job for everyone.

The next RMIUG meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12th. We will have Neal McBurnett (neal@bighorn.dr.att.com) speaking to us about the Boulder Community Network, which is an effort to get the community of Boulder "online" and provide public kiosks for access to everyone.

Dr. Michael Schwartz (schwartz@latour.cs.colorado.edu) is scheduled to talk to us about about Internet Resource Discovery (how do I find something?!?) at our August 9th meeting, and a session on Privacy, Encryption, PGP, Clipper Chip, etc. is in the works.

Suggestions/comments/feedback are always welcome - pls Email these to rmiug-comm@rmiug.org or call Dan Murray at 447-3475.

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