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status: money / virtual / downtime datbase / mvhub<

Mon Jul 3 22:49:16 EDT 2006

 We got a $3,000 check from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation [1]
 We are obliged to spend the GLCF on a big server but for now a little
 interfund borrowing is ok as we expect several other big checks in the
 next couple weeks.
 We will soon have a fund balance of $4000 to $5,000. If somebody needs a
 book or screwdriver we can handle it. (Unless I missed something)
 We'll have some lunches on the lab's tab. We're not going on a spending
 spree. Most of the money will probably go into a rainy day fund or
 being allocated to long term goals like paying me a small salary or
 opening a branch of the lab in Costa Rica.
 We (the board and me) want ideas on how to use our new small money tool
 to move our mission forward. People who have obviously sensible things
 to say or who have contributed to our mission or our funds, probably get
 more say.
 All [2] our financial documents are available on the web. The check
 register [3], budget[4] and balance sheet [5] are probably of particular
 Common practice is to keep money stuff secret. I suspect transparency 
 makes some things more difficult in the short run:
 	 "Why should we pay for custom service if your
 	  rent is covered and you have money in the bank"
 ... and easier in the long run:
 	"We can trust them."
 	"We've examined our money and are confident it is well spent."
 We'll probably have an open finance meeting sometime towards the end of
 July. Goals would be:
 	a. Practice for me for the August board meeting
 	b. Everyone understands our finances.
 	c. We get some ideas for spending our money.
 Matt & Rob have got Xen [6] working on an experimental basis. This means
 that we'll be able to do quick restores and reproduce our existing
 network of servers inside one new server.
 There is a lot more work to do to move from a single successful
 experiment to a smooth reproducible procedure.
 We briefly had some hope of putting our new server on the CS dept
 equipment rack, but were rejected. This would have meant that we were in
    high end air conditioned room with power backed by a desiel generator.
 Kamala is still pounding away on the downtime database. It is one thing
 to be exposed to SQL in a classroom. It is another to use it.
 We had a great meeting with Chris Shannon of the Lowell WIB [7]
 concerning the mvhub [8]. She's excited about working with us on a Skoll
 foundation grant[9] to expand []. At the very least we can count
 on a 10 or so letters of support from her contacts. At best she might be
 able to hook us up with some other money.
 Right now plan (A) is to raise $40k to lure Dave Siegal out of 
 retirement for a year. Plan (B) is to work slowly and without commitment
 on making the improvements without Dave.
 There's lots more on this project, send me mail if you want to be on the
 coming mvhub-fan listserv. Send me mail if you DON'T want to be on
 this list and you think I might stick you on.
 I had another brief conversation with Dan Toomey about the need to
 update organizations web pages for them.
 We agreed that you didn't have to be a perl programmer to change the
 text of a web page. With some training, a non-technical work study
 student could do the job.
 We (CSL) might do the training. Dan might supervise the work study
 student. The ideal time for training might be in the fall after the work
 study fair. It might be tough getting this ready for the fall, given
 everything else going on.
 I had a good meeting with Jeff Blakely, the new VISTA, we both have a 
 list of well defined action items due for this coming Thursday.
 About half of the group managed to get their days and nights mixed up. 
 This been something of a barrier to communicating with those of us 
 sleeping days. Everyone expects to get back on track by the 5th.
 Manny is seeing a Dr about a possible deviated septum [10] and sleep 
 apnea [11]
 I think I've paid down my own sleep debt [12] to close to zero. An 
 interesting side effect is that sometimes my sleep is much lighter than 
 usual and I feel as though I wake up briefly a few times at night. I 
 don't feel less rested. I'm inclined to accept lighter sleep in exchange 
 for not being sleepy in the day. The sleep book [13] suggests that if 
 sleep is too light a small sleep debt may be a good thing as it 
 encourages deeper and quicker sleep.