Regular Member Meeting 2017 05 09

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Time and Location

Called to order at xxxx pm by xxxx
Members present:
Members remote:
Others present:
Quorum met?

Approval of Previous Meeting's Minutes


New Members

Old Business

New Business

Project Awesome Reports




Project Electron Microscope (SEM)

microcontroller to speak to our vacuum sensor has been located, and a USB serial adaptor for talking to that microcontroller has also been found.

Project Optical Table Robot (OTR)

James and Tom are still plugging away on the classroom laser. It now has safety switches.

There are more mirrors for printing on the OTR, thanks to bobby, but the new belts have not been installed yet.

Project CRISPR

April's been busy for me with work, so not much time for CRISPR. We met once or twice (Nancy, Enrique, Sophia, Bobby) to make fresh plates and go through the protocol but still made some other mistakes. I haven't had time to troubleshoot more. Tried to order streptomycin antibiotic but Sigma won't ship to a church.

Project SpaceBlimp

There's been little interest in Spaceblimp 7 lately. I will ask once more.

Member Reports

Director Reports

President's Report

Vice President's Report

We've got a 2d print server and some printers up and running. The hostname of the printserver is classroom-printserver.

I've got plans to update and improve the classroom laptops in the works.

I've been plugging along with James on the Cheap_Chinese_Laser. We've been taking our sweet time on getting the laser to actually fire from the controlboard, but we're about close to having that sorted.

I'd like to do a basement day sometime soon. TODO:

*re-rack all the servers after re-jiggering the existing four-post cabinet to hold actual full-size servers so we don't have to rest them on rack trays.
*take pictures of our two-post rack and patch panel and put them for sale up on craigslist for a cool $2k or something like that.
*anything else we feel like doing in an organized fashion.

Any interest in [1], or some other organizing system? I think our outgoing process is kind of broken or at least insufficient...

Related - no secretary? I guess I'll try to close the outgoing pile soon.

Project Datacenter -- Members seem to think we provide free server colocation services. If indeed we do, we should allocate some funds for this.

For instance -- To use the rack downstairs fully, we need a nice switch, and I'm not opposed to buying one. Alternatively we could just find any old piece of junk that still werks and put it in a rack until it dies, then find another.

Treasurer's Report

  • Revenue was $1,360 and our expenses would have been $1,096 if we hadn't paid rent early. Since we did, our expenses were only $101. I have a very nice PDF sheet of the numbers for the whole year so far, balances and everything... where do I put it? Is there an Upload File link here? No. So yeah, no PDF because I can't.
  • Anyway, the numbers look rosier than they are, because $240 of this month's revenue was catch-up payments of overdue members. Also in the last three months we've lost $150/mo due to long-time (3-5yr) members stopping their dues payments (in many cases they don't come around, email bounces and we have no other contact info).
  • Tax stuff. Filed FR-500 and FR-164 to register as a "business" in DC and then get tax-exempt status and next a solicitation license and finally a "Clean Hands," certificate stating our stuff is in order and we don't owe DC taxes or files, etc. This is required for many grants. I also filled out a DC tax return for HacDC... but without the exemption, we would owe about $800 for 2016 taxes. I spoke with DC Office of Taxation who said not to bother filing taxes now because the exemption, once granted, would match the IRS exemption, which is retroactive to the date of incorporation in 2008. The acknowledgement letters are in the Treasurer's binder and in the Google Drive. The IRS tax return was already done last month and much easier.
  • Dwolla has begun charging us transaction fees (free ride is over, time to monetize!). It's 0.5% so 30 cents per $60. Still better than PayPal.
  • Nobody is helping me update the website with content. Everything on there since November is from me. Should we switch to a static website rather than this dynamic WordPress thing nobody updates?
  • We effectively have no Secretary ; Ben has been away for several months now.

Secretary's Report

Director-at-Large Reports


  • A git repository named "publicity" now lives out on Julia's git server. It contains a feeble attempt at a brochure which was produced using Scribus, qrencode and potrace. And of course, the GIMP.
  • A splendid time was had by all at the "Make for the Planet" hack-a-thon -- part of the Smithsonian Institute's Earth Optimism Summit. Five 3D printers, 16 teams, 48 hrs, two $2,500 prize winners. The PAW2017 (People and Wildlife 2017) team from Duke University managed to get in 30-hours of print time. In attendance were Julia and meself, with a cameo by Sanjay. Conservation X Labs, sponsors of the hack-a-thon were quite pleased and want to visit the space. They have also promised to donate equipment. We shall see...



Adjourned by at xxx by xxx