[ProgSoc] Progsoc: what do we provide of value?
tomchristmas at progsoc.org
Mon Sep 4 21:54:16 AEST 2017
On 04/09/17 18:07, Bryn Davies wrote:
> I'm physically distant now (Melbourne) and
> also sure I'm overdue in membership payments / have my account locked at
> the moment.
Wish I could unlock your account, although it appears that with the
recent migration, LDAP is no longer configured as expected.
Truth be told, it was a unilateral decision on my part when I was
President to re-enforce an Account Locking Policy that already
existed. I announced my intentions publicly, of course, but no-one
opposed me, so I did an audit of all the accounts and -- with my
nifty locking script -- locked the accounts of everyone that hadn't paid
I had the best of intentions. Back then, I was against corporate
sponsorships. I didn't like being beholden to the whims of some faceless
corporate conglomerate telling ProgSoc how to spend the money they had
given us. I believed that we could, and should, be self-funding and
self-reliant, without any external support. This Juche-esque attitude
was the rationale behind locking accounts. My intended effects were
two-fold: revenue raising and also to engage past and current members.
I have since learned that my fears were unfounded. Corporate
sponsorships are invaluable for both club and company. Apart from the
industry connections forged, said sponsorships enable us to host
top-quality events. Our ProgComps and hackathon would not have been
anywhere near as good without sponsors. Besides, ProgSoc has had
long-standing arrangements over the years with many companies (e.g. the
now-defunct, aforementioned Sun and, more recently, my employer).
Nowadays, locking the accounts is kind of silly and pointless, since
no-one uses the ProgSoc infrastructure. So, if I could, I would just
unlock everyone's accounts. That is, if it's OK with everyone...
> I think a great first society project would be an automatic
> of dues expiry and some tool to let me calculate my progsoc back
> taxes. *blush*
You know, I had started work on a Rails-based registration and account
management system years ago. It was an excuse to try out Rails, really.
It never got finished, unfortunately.
> p.s. In related news, I'm sure some of you saw this progsoc historical
> related news today:
I guess if you really still need future Solaris support, there is illumos...
 Well, John Elliot did, but that was months after I had done it. We
had a temporary falling out as a result. We have long since reconciled.
This was the catalyst for ProgClub (http://www.progclub.org)
> On 31 August 2017 at 20:28, Tomislav Bozic <tomchristmas at progsoc.org
> <mailto:tomchristmas at progsoc.org>> wrote:
> On 31/08/17 18:24, Tom Hale wrote:
> Progsoc offers me:
> * a *.edu.au email address (which I use for discounted goodies)
> Never really took advantage of that...
> Apparently you can (or could at some point) get an
> @alumni.uts.edu.au <http://alumni.uts.edu.au> email address, but I'm
> really not sure.
> I would like to know: when WAS the last time we created a new
> account for members? I believe that last time I did it personally
> was in 2013, when I last manned the O-Day stall. Not sure if any new
> accounts have been created since. But I digress...
> What I would like from Progsoc:
> * An artificial intelligence project to work on, with guidance from
> experienced mentors. I'm currently half way through Andrew Ng's
> excellent and free Machine Learning course.
> Great idea. First, find the mentors.
> * Assistance in processor grind for kaggle competitions and
> machine learning projects. My Thai house on a lake costs $300 a
> $300? You lucky expletive...
> I have a laptop with on-board
> Intel 520 graphics chipset which I foresee won't be great at the
> competitions that I intend to participate in.
> => Offers of GPU processor time on would be greatly
> appreciated, as
> would society funded access to cloud machines.
> A ProgSoc AWS account or similar such could be worth investigating.
> Or if we had a hackerspace, build our own PlayStation GPU farm. Or
> similar such.
> Oh, please correct the factual errors (and add what I've missed). I
> guess that there are many like me who would appreciate being
> brought up
> to speed.
> That's what I'm here for!
> ### TFM
> Past: A tree-book manual, introduction to hacker culture, Unix and
> peculiarities of the SoCS machines. This took bunches of time
> to keep
> up-to-date. Book sales provided revenue for the society.
> Now: Nobody is interested in tree-books any more. Nobody can be
> creating an updated ebook version. I question if anyone would
> even value
> it, when "OK google" can be verbally asked these days.
> We did publish the last TFM in 2013. Took us about four years of
> intermittent editing to get it out the door. I don't think we sold
> any more than five copies of that run, to be honest. I believe the
> surplus copies were turfed out when we vacated 10.3.380a. Hopefully
> we have at least one copy in storage.
> Shortly after publishing the final TFM, we wikified its contents and
> posted it here:  It's sort of an "eternal" edition of TFM now.
> People are more than welcome to update it as they see fit. If they
> have an account, of course.
> Before we published the last TFM, we meticulously OCR-scanned and
> HTML-ified all of the previous editions of TFM and the Sun User
> Guide we had in our possession (as well as two editions lent to us
> by Stephen Gowing) and uploaded them all here: . Yeah, I
> should've made PDFs of the originals as well. Sue me.
> ### Always-on internet servers
> Past: When students were still dialling into the SoCS modem pool
> for net
> access, having shell access to an always-online server was valuable.
> Now: 4G tethering, broadband at home.
> Not to mention a web server that offered way more than Geocities and
> their ilk did, all for $10/year. Which you can still get with us, by
> the way. If someone can create an account for you.
> ### A programming environment
> Past: Various compilers and tools not available on the SoCS
> servers were
> installed for use by members
> Now: I am not sufficiently aware of the configuration state to
> as to where things are technologically. But what value would we
> above say someone installing Ubuntu?
> We have compilers on niflheim. But they're of little use to the
> average member these days.
> ### Support with programming questions
> Past: People used to post questions regarding programming for
> Now: It's been a few years since a question like this appeared
> General questions go to StackOverflow presumably. Individual
> "where's my
> bug" questions are not asked.
> Probably for the best, to be honest.
> Now, if it was students asking for help with their programming
> subjects on the other hand...
> Actually, we gave at least two talks in the early teens (the exact
> years escape me now -- probably 2010 and 2011) to Programming
> Fundamentals students offering advice on how to do the assignments
> amongst other things. They were pretty well-attended, as you would
> imagine. Worth resurrecting.
> ### Projects
> Past: Projects were rallying points for members, whether they
> came to
> fruition or not. Some that come to mind are the Olympic brick
> inscriptions, a b33r/coke powered server, long-range wifi access to
> Progsoc, and a Jukebox
> Now: No projects have happened for a long time. I wonder if we have
> sufficient cohesion / interest to be able to get consensus and
> on a project... but perhaps a project is exactly what we need.
> Our last project was, I believe, in 2014 with our 'Norman' keyless
> access project, when we still had the room. Carlin and D'Netto can
> tell us more about that, if they're reading this...
> I do remember Jacob Dunk creating an app for the Verge Festival at
> Sydney Uni in 2013, which was awesome, because we actually wrote
> some software in the name of ProgSoc.
> There was the programmable bar fridge idea that was mooted at our
> meetup last Thursday...
> ### Meet ups
> Past: Social gatherings, hanging out with like-minded peeps.
> Now: Unsure. The ravens' scrolls don't reach to Thailand.
> Subsidised /
> free events are a perennial winner.
> When I joined in 2008, we really didn't do much in the way of
> events. We didn't need to, really. We had our own room, and that's
> all we needed for our weekly meetings.
> Eventually, though, we decided to be a bit more social and
> community-minded. We spread our wings with talks in 2011 (see
> below). Then, in 2012, we held the very first UTS Programming
> Competition. It was so successful, we held four more consecutive
> editions from 2013 to 2016 inclusive. Who knows, we might resume the
> ProgComp next year...
> Our best month ever in my opinion was March of 2014. To celebrate
> our 25th anniversary, we hosted not only a programming competition,
> but also our first, and to date, only weekend hackathon,
> Code2Day. Yes, we actually did a HACKATHON. This is what ProgSoc
> has been capable of.
> To say it was a mammoth undertaking to stage not one, but TWO major
> events in one month, is an understatement. But we were a crack team
> and we pulled it off. It really was the high point of ProgSoc. I had
> never been prouder to have been part of the club at that point.
> Then ProgSoc's slow decline began. After losing the room in 2015, we
> never truly recovered. Hopefully with a concerted effort on
> everyone's part our fortunes will change!
> ### Sharing of knowledge / talks
> Presentations on particular topics of clue. I'm pretty sure that
> has happened a few times in the past, but can't remember an
> instance of it.
> Now: Tom mentioned that a shared space could be used for such.
> I remember 2011 being The Year of Talks for ProgSoc. We had at least
> four: apart from the aforementioned ProgFun talk, we did IPv6,
> network security and something related to web development, I think.
> My memories are fading.
> My colleague would like to give a talk on User Experience -- stay
> tuned for that! Also, we'd like to get that guy from Dev Diner
> back for another talk -- his presentation on Virtual Reality in 2016
> was well-received and reasonably well-attended.
> * What *you* currently value about Progsoc. Why are you (still)
> Because I love ProgSoc with all my heart. I gave so much to it and
> it gave me so much in return. I got more out of it than any
> coursework or any other experience at UTS. I am who I am today
> because of ProgSoc -- that's no exaggeration.
> And I want others to have a similar experience.
> * What you *would* value, ie what you hope Progsoc will provide.
> * What Progsoc could provide to the community (Progsoc, FoEaIT, UTS,
> Sydney, Australia...)?
> The possibilities are endless.
> P.S. The people who should be reading this and responding (i.e. not
> old timers) are not likely to be subscribed to this mailing list, sadly.
>  http://progsoc.org/wiki/Printed_Publications#TFM
>  http://progsoc.org/wiki/TFM:Contents
>  http://progsoc.org/wiki/Printed_Publications#Past_Publications
>  http://progsoc.org/wiki/Programming_Competitions
>  http://progsoc.org/code2day/
>  https://devdiner.com/
> To judiciously use split infinitives is fine by me...
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> "And let us consider again, that all the law is not in the hand of Giant
> Despair: others, so far as I can understand, have been taken by him as
> well as we, and yet have escaped out of his hands."
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To judiciously use split infinitives is fine by me...
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