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There are several facets to my plan for a computer soc. The main points are; to set up an IRC server, to set up news groups, to educate people in the use of both IRC and news groups, to maintain the these services, to organize computer related events, meetings and seminars, to promote the use of the computer network, news groups and IRC, to set up LAN parties on campuses, and to set up and support clan gaming on a wide range of games. also, at the end of this document is a section covering other issuess and qustions
IRC or internet relay chat is a communal chat program. The protocols and programs to run IRC are all freely available. The software to run IRC is also free. A Campus wide IRC feed could be set up. This would use a cheep computer, and, with the permission of the network administrators, the universities network and internet connection. A machine would be owned and maintained by the computer society (here after shortened to compsoc). Anyone would be free to set up a channel on the compsoc IRC server. To register with the server people would need to use a university email address.. Members of compsoc would mange the server, but would perform minimum interference. Rules would be drawn up, although this would be as minimal as possible. We would also set up the first channel, #uog, a general channel for chat, which would be managed by compsoc. However, all other channels on the network would be free of compsoc interference
Access to the university news groups would only be provided to university email accounts. This would have a two-fold effect of both increasing use of emails and providing an infrastructure of authentication of university persons. Again, this might well be managed by compsoc people, but this would entail minimum interference (if any). Anyone would be free to set up a news group. At the beginning, I would sagest two news groups. A "wanted and for sale" news group, or else an "ads" news group, and a general discussions news group. Others could be created by members. Rules would also be drawn up here, although again, these would be minimal
Both IRC and news groups are what many might consider old, less intuitive technologies. My decision to use these (below), such as that both of these are available on all platforms (Mac, windows 95/98/se/me/2000/xp, Linux of all flavours), and have support for the partially sighted. However, in an age when people use msn and yahoo groups, people may need to guidance's. This would be 3 fold. First, there would be seminars, where people can be shown how to use newsgroups, mIRC or irssi (the last 2 are clients for IRC). Second, an email address would be set up to allow people to send in questions. And final, there would be an FAQ for news groups, IRC and putty/irssi and newsgroups.
Both IRC and newsgroups will require matainice. Myself and a team would perform this. Between this team, we would moderate some newsgroups, perform duties as server operators on the IRC server, and work as channel operators on #uog, maintaining order on the channel (this would not be carried out anywhere else, as one of the main aims is to allow people to create there own channels, free of mainstream regulation).
Computing is advancing incredibly quickly, and many new programs appear The aim of such meeting and seminars would be to help people use common tools, such as adobe Photoshop (or GIMP, a freely available graphics tool). I would also like to use such opportunities to promote open source software. The compsoc will be offering, at all times, a copy of ubuntu Linux at all meetings of the society, as well as giving them away to anyone who asks. Seminars and meetings will be set up for the purposes of promoting and teaching the use of Linux and other open source tools. Anther idea for such seminars would be teaching people to build computers, if there is sufficient interest.
All university flats at the university of Greenwich are now connected to the internet. At the moment this is used as it was at home, for email with friends and msn messenger, and so on. However, this network has so much more power, to bring together the university as a community. Compsoc will aim to encourage the use of the network to build a greater community for the university, both online and in the real world, through both IRC and newsgroups.
LAN parties is where people get together in a room together, with there pc's, and play computer games together over a LAN. Such events are always fun, and can be quite successful. Compsoc would organises and run such events on the campuses to allow people to enjoy this activity more often.
Online gaming is becoming big businesses. As such, compsoc would try to organize and fund a gaming clan in a number of areas, including both first person shooter clans for games such as unreal tournament, counter strike and day of defeat, and also strategy games and rpg's. I would like to be able to send such clans to official tournaments (if there good enough) as well. Compsoc would support these clans, and help organize and bring them together.
I am personally a great supporter of the Linux operating system and other open source projects. The server for IRC and newsgroups will run on open source software, and shall offer open source software at all opportunities. Open source software is often better then its closed source equivalent (such as Microsoft windows for Linux). Open source software is available for anyone to use, modify and redistribute free of charge.
IRC and newsgroups
Many people might ague that IRC and newsgroups are both old, and unnecessary. People have both email and msn, and msn, some might ague, is easier to use. However, both msn and email are 1 to 1 systems. Msn designed for personal conversations, and email is usual used in such a capacity. Mailing list services such as yahoo! Groups offer an alterative, but lack the centre, and the openness of newsgroups.
Both newsgroups and IRC are commonly minded software and can be implemented without out side sources (msn or yahoo, in this case), interfering, or shutting down chartrooms or groups. Indeed, as msn's move to stop access to chartrooms in Europe several years ago proved, such closed and proprietary network can be shut down at a whim. Whilst it may be agued that both the news groups and IRC will be at the mercy of our whim, it should be noted that both IRC and newsgroups have a huge network outside the university. Further, the operators of both IRC and newsgroups will strive to maintain a light touch, and such a need will be enshrined in the constitution of the group.