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Venue Info

Meeting to be held at IBM Squirrel Hill at 7:30pm on Tuesday, January 24th, 2017.


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  • Vance Kochenderfer (Chair)
  • Joseph Prostko (Vice Chair - by phone)
  • Pat Barron (Secretary)
  • Justin Smith (Director at Large - by phone)
  • Beth Lynn Eicher (invited guest)

Not attending:

  • Terry Golightly (Treasurer)

The meeting was called to order at 7:46pm

Approval of minutes:

The minutes were read, a correction was offered, and the minutes were adopted as corrected.

Reports of officers:

Chair: Nothing to report.

Vice chair: Nothing to report.

Secretary: WPLUG currently has 12 members, 1 is due to lapse through the end of March.

Treasurer: Not present, left no report.

Director at large: Nothing to report.

Reports of committees:

Event committee: Nothing to report.

Technology committee: Nothing to report.

Investigating committee: Nothing to report.

Marketing and Communications committee: Nothing to report.

New business:

The recently offered bylaws amendment passed at the last GUM, the board of directors in control of the organization at this time. Once we complete the tasks set out in the amendment, the custodian takes over. Todo list was mailed to the board members, and was reviewed. The consensus was that it is comprehensive.

There was a discussion on refunding dues of members who joined or rejoined in the last 6 months. There seem to be 3 people in that category, all are on the board, none care about having dues refunded.

A few things we require that will need some effort, in addition to recruiting custodian - we'll have to update PO box records (Terry), 1st Commonwealth Bank (Vance and Terry), figuring out what we do with the EIN (Vance will research) (Beth Lynn believes we could easily idle for 12 months given that we're under the $7000 postcard threshold).

On the job description - a draft was provided last night. Beth Lynn would like to discuss the fact that she is volunteering to own an event towards the end of September to celebrate 20 years of WPLUG, so whoever ends up being the custodian should be aware that she is available to plan this event. If they want to be hands-off because they want to pursue other directions in the transition, that is fine too. Vance believes it would ideal if whoever is doing that would want to continue to hold events or arrange for events to happen - not required, but would be good. Justin suggests we might be able to do online meetings of some sort (in addition to, not necessarily in replacement for, in person meetings) - we had discussed this several times previously but never quite made it work. Beth Lynn mentioned that the original founder wanted to fly in from Seattle to attend the 20th anniversary and it should be a reunion for all iterations of WPLUG - nut she does not want to intrude on the authority of the custodian. Vance thinks anyone who would have a problem with something like that would not really fit the qualifications of the person we are seeking. Justin thinks this sounds perfectly reasonable.

Vance asks if anyone has had any contact with any of the other local organizations lately. Pat has had only casual contact with Code and Supply. Beth Lynn had dinner with Robert Blackwell recently, he has a vision independent of what happens to WPLUG, scheduling hackathons, well funded with corporate sponsors for each event. He was asked why not make this a SIG of Code and Supply - he didn't rule it out, but noted that he was seeking a more professional environment where everyone is welcome, but which is also about people who are serious about contributing.

Hack Pittsburgh is another local tech group that we forgot to list. Beth Lynn is having dinner tomorrow with Bob Berger of Hack Pittsburgh, who should be able to advise who is the right person in Hack Pittsburgh to approach. Vance can get back in touch with Martin Gehrke of PghSNAP - they're inactive, but he may still have some connections to put us in touch with. Also the CPMuseum and Large Systems Museum might be good to reach out to. Beth Lynn suggests contacting the CMU Computer Club, and PACC still exists as far as she knows, as well as the CPUser group in Tarentum. Justin endorses contacting CMU CC. Pat is still in contact with PACC. Beth Lynn suggests to contact the Pittsburgh Tech Council - we can try, but Vance feels last few years they have no interest in user groups. Beth Lynn is currently under contract with CMU / PSC, and they are interested in growing their free software filesystem community. A potential problem is that the products they're trying to promote are for companies / institutions of a size to be able to generate enough data to be worth of this philosophy of filesysytems (not individuals), but they are interested in being invoked in the greater Pittsburgh area free software community. If the custodian was looking for a space to host an event and was interested to schedule an event there, Beth Lynn can help. Vance wonders if a data center tour could be possible - Beth Lynn will be doing such a tour next week and will know more about what this entails, but we've observed that there's a strange aversion to RSVPing to things, and people would have to present photo id, so if that scares you then this tour is not for you. It's possible if people are reasonable regarding RSVPing.

Pat suggested formally adding the willingness to organize / hold events under the WPLUG name during this transition time, to the custodian job description.

Beth Lynn asked what the job description specified about the potential custodian's interpretation of "freedom". Is there a bylaws / mission statement that will be passed on the the custodian now that he bylaws have been rescinded? Vance noted that the discussion of this in the former bylaws is minimal (in the PURPOSE section), and that the custodian must have reasonably good judgement, if they're going to be bringing in other people they have to know how much trust and authority to vest in these people and what to do if they get a disruptive individual on their hands and be able to handle that situation. Beth Lynn thinks we should preserve the existing PURPOSE as part of mission statement.

It was asked if we want to try to publish this before the next board meeting, or wait until we've had time to consider it. Justin is concerned that the description we have is pretty comprehensive and doesn't know what could be added, and doesn't want to put in so much that people think we're asking too much. We want to convey that this is a fun group with good people in it. Vance requested that if anyone thinks of anything we can do to make the description sound more interesting and exciting please bring it up.

If we want to move on this reasonably quickly, Vance thinks we could set the next meeting for February 7th - it was moved to hold the next board meeting on that date and at the same location as tonight's meeting; there was no objection, and the motion was adopted.. This gives a brief window to make these edits.

Old business:


The meeting was adjourned @ 8:47pm