Minutes Of TAFN Members Meeting On Sunday 9th March At 3PM.

Meeting was opened by Ann Saunders, who started by explaining how to do the roll call.

1. Roll Call.

Ann Saunders. Chairperson.
Amanda Burt. Secretary.
Justin Mcleod. Events Coordinator.

Drusilla Insole, Gladys Taylor, Greg Hamilton, Jim Bradley, John Hosch, John Wilsher, Katie Myers, Keith Waters, Linda Tyler, Lisa Peck, Mark Tyler, Martin Foden, Maurice
Pothecary, Miriam Raymond, Monique Lannott, Muzaffar Ali, Pamela McCain, Peter Beasley, Peter Hallam, Roma Creech, Rosemary Bradley, Sal Pitts, Stephen Evans, Stephen Hassell, Steve Hyde-Dryden, Steve Pallett, Stanley Saunders, Sue Pallett.

2. Apologies.

Catherine McManus Executive Officer, Chris Payne Treasurer and Memberships Administrator,
Richard Wilkin Webb Master and Voice Conferencing Development, Andrew Payne, Charlotte Payne, Christine Brown, Ian White, John Wells, Lee Studdard, Linda Arnot, Michael
Brown, Michael Payne, Sharon Bowell, Shirley Grant, Stephen Hassall, Teresa Payne.

3. Acceptance Of The Minutes.

Ann asked for a Proposer and Seconder for the minutes of the last Meeting.

Proposed by Monique Lannott. Seconded by Miriam Raymond. Ann thanked both ladies.

4. Matters Arising From Last Months Minutes.

Ann asked if there were any matters arising. There were none.

5. Chairperson’s Report.

Ann started by saying her report is not a long one, and said she had been attending weekly exec meetings.

They are working on finishing the Annual Report for the AGM.She
reminded us that the AGM was set for Saturday the 29th March.

She would like to thank Stephen Hassall for having done the minutes of the members meetings since Wendy Dundas said she could no longer do them, due to time constraints. They have now been taken up by Teresa Payne. She would like to thank Teresa for doing the minutes in February,
and she will be doing them in future.

We had a constructive Open Forum with the exec meeting on the 12th of February, where various ideas were made and the notes from that meeting were sent to the general and to the announce lists following that meeting.

The last thing she wanted to say is, she would like to thank the Help Desk for all the work that they have done. The hours that they have put in, in helping Richard and in helping members to sort out their settings when the migration of the e-mails took place. Sorting out the TAFN mail box settings, they have done sterling work and a fantastic job and have spent many, many hours doing this. She can speak through
personal experience with others too. A lot of members have been helped this way. And of course also thanks to Richard for the work he’s done. Obviously she didn’t know about any report he’d sent, but we’ll have to deal with that when we come to it.

She didn’t say at the time but should’ve done, but if you have any questions, please send a text to Amanda, who is first on the list of participants and explained how to do it.

Ann then asked if there were any questions on her report. There were none. But Ann gave anyone who wanted to, a chance to do so as she hadn’t explained the procedure
before her report.

Katie said she would like to second what Ann said about the Help Desk. They have been extremely helpful, getting people set up and running with their e-mails. Because
she knows a lot of people have been very confused about having to change over and getting new e-mail clients, so yes, thank you very much to the Help Desk.

Ann thanked Katie for her statement.

Ann stated that Steve Hyde-Dryden had come in and got him to announce himself.

Ann asked Amanda if anyone else had requested to comment. Amanda said Greg.

Greg said hi, Just one, and he was sure he was speaking for Mark and John, who are the Help Desk members. When you write to helpdesk@tafn with your problem, that’s fine thank you very much, but please include a phone number or a Skype name. Because without that, we end up having to write back to you, to ask you to tell us that,
and that can put another day on your job. So PLEASE, some contact details. Thank you.

Ann said, Thank you very much Greg. That is a very important point. Please remember that. A Skype name or telephone number to contact, so that Someone from the Help Desk can contact you about the problem you’re experiencing on the lists or whatever.

Ann asked if there were any other comments. There were none.

6. Treasurer’s And Membership’s Report.

this report was recorded by Chris and played by justin in his absence.

Chris said good afternoon everybody. He was sorry he couldn’t give the report in person, and that by the time the members heard the recording, he would either be celebrating the fact that Sheffield United have booked their place at Wembley for the FA Cup Semi-final or drowning his sorrows if Charlton Athletic beat us. But in the meantime, Here’s the treasurer’s report for February 2014.

Opening balance: £1,293.37
Paid in: £3,454.50 as follows

  • Bingo: £139.00
  • Bonus Ball £202.50
  • Donations £3,015.00 this was mainly due to a superb donation which you will here more about in today’s meeting or later in the year regarding this amount of money.
  • Memberships £98.00

Paid out. £568.62 as follows

  • 1 & 1 Ltd: £71.99
  • Bingo: £140.00
  • Bonus Ball: £137.50
  • License, Insurance: £35.00 This is for renewal of data protection registration.
  • SMA: £62.50
  • Transfer: £121.63 This went to PayPal to make a 6 months renewal to VIP Conduit.

Closing balance: £6,179.25

Savings Account: £19,385.84

PayPal Account Credits: £245.58
Debits: £316.34 This includes the afore mentioned payment to VIP Conduit.
Balance £0 Chris stated that he has since made another transfer that will be reflected in next months report.

Grand Total £25,565.09

Memberships Report

we welcomed 1 new guest and 1 new member.

After putting our outstanding guests and members into the suspended area of our database, Chris was pleased to say that 1 of our members has since come forward to say that they had made a payment,
but neglected to tell him, so we have salvaged an existing member.

That concludes my treasury and memberships report for February 2014.

Ann said that with Chris not being there, it was difficult to answer questions, but asked Amanda if there were any comments. There were none.

7. Secretary’s Report.

Amanda said she’d been attending Committee Meetings weekly, which they have been doing because of all the things that they need to get done. She has also been helping with the Annual Report.She has been doing the usual announcements of events, and list and communicator guide lines and the reminder of the member’s meeting etc. She
has taken apologies for the member’s meeting. she has also been doing the usual lists management.

If anybody wants any information about lists, please write to lists@tafn.org.uk, and She’ll let them know what lists are available, also let her know which lists you would like to be on and she will put you on them.

That is the end of Amanda’s Report.

Ann asked if there were any questions. There were none.

8. Webb Master And Voice Conferencing Development Report.

As Richard was not in attendance, there was no report to give. Ann said when Richard was better she would ask him to send his report to the main and announce lists.

Richard’s written report has been included here though it was not presented at the meeting.


March was another very busy time with the server. Along with the thousands of emails a day, there was the usual security monitoring to perform. Several updates to software and security updates were installed along with configuration of critical components.

Following several requests regarding self managed spam filtering, I set to work exploring the options available. This took some considerable time as there are numerous packages. None give the ability to have it active or inactive at the check of a box, depending on a user’s preference. The best option appears to be to train users to manage their own spam via their mail client.

Webmail is now active, and any member with a TAFN mailbox can log in and administer emails from anywhere by visiting:

We are seeing at least one or two hacking attempts on our server each month. We have had one attempt on our mail server, which I’m happy to say failed and the situation is being monitored. If you have a TAFN mailbox and log in to the webmail area, please remember to use a more secure password, and don’t use the same password across multiple websites. If someone guesses your password, it is possible they can send emails posing as you.


The work on the website is progressing slowly. we are currently exploring the best anti-spam technology that is both secure and accessible to allow us to correctly deploy the contact and sign-up forms.

I’m working on a regular expression to clean up the code of the old web pages, to try and accelerate the speed at which we can work on the rebuild. It is particularly complicated and to give you an idea of what it looks like, I will insert the code into the written report.

find . -iname ‘*.ht*’ -execdir sed -e ‘s/<[^>]*>//g’ ‘{}’ >'{}’.txt ‘;’

What this does is to look at any web page, find all instances of page code and remove it, then save the file as a plain text file in the same directory, creating a duplicate of the content. This formula does not work correctly and it needs a little more work. The above example is supposed to clear out the decade old code and make it easy to insert the new, modern code that browsers and screen readers are using more frequently to give a better and more accessible web experience.

There will be more on these at next months meeting.

There is still some considerable ground work to do on both the server and website, and along with ongoing monitoring, the work is taking up between six and eight hours per day.


We are exploring the possibility of moving Communicator to our Linux server, to run under WINE, a Windows application emulator.

I will be finalizing a web team and reporting on this at the next meeting, once we have a list of all those who have agreed to join.

At this time, the development of a new client is on hold as the server and website are taking priority.

In addition to these jobs, I’ve been attending exec meetings and taking part in the usual day to day decision making process.

Stephen Hassell arrived.

9. Events Report.

Justin said unfortunately, there had been a few gaps in the calendar, because of various issues going on with Catherine, she’s not been well and she’s been having computer trouble and so on. So unfortunately, we’ve been bereft of her this month. Hopefully she’ll be back in business soon. Also Chrissie is still ill, unfortunately, we’re looking for cover for her event. Tossing around a number of ideas, and of course,
Tony is taking his Team Challenge break. That gap is going to be bridged very ably by Pamela McCain, who some of you will remember covered for Jackie’s quizzes very well. So she’s agreed to do that for the foreseeable future.

Also Justin launched and abandoned a sci-fi event, due to lack of interest. He had it in mind to do an assortment
of various science fiction. He didn’t know whether it wasn’t what people wanted or whether he got the scheduling wrong, but he didn’t receive any e-mail responses to his requests, so he assumed it was the former. So he shelved that indefinitely.

The most critical work the Events Team has done this month is to hold an Open Events Meeting, an informal discussion, where we take your points of view on various things,and the most critical thing to come out of that was that people want more informative events, both to do with assistive technology and other things. Perhaps getting to know other members a little bit better. Perhaps getting people from outside of TAFN
on the server, to talk about special interests, crafts, inspirational things that
they may have done. So we’ll be looking into that.

The areas that people seem particularly interested in were things like crime prevention, clarification of benefits and advocacy and things
like that.

If anybody has any other crafts or interests or things that they would like to see on TAFN, might be glass-blowing or origami or anything. Then let us know and we’ll try and find a suitable expert in the field to come on and talk to all.

Justin said he’d been very much bound up with writing the events section of the Annual Report, which is a wonderfully
long document, currently standing at 1,843 words at the moment. All about everything that’s been
going on between December of last year and the January before. So that’s mainly what he’s been doing. So it’s been quite a quiet month on the events front.

On the Sunday events calendar, Ian’s They Write The Songs event took place on the first Sunday of the month, rather than the second, because he’s away tonight. So in place of that, Mark Tyler is going to be re-running his Audio Quiz, which was cancelled Thursday night due to lack of attendance.

Now to Leon’s Computer Skills Class is only running once monthly. Both Brain ache and the Audio Quiz will be running
at 8pm rather than 7.30pm. So that’s the time change that those of you who attend
those events should be aware of.

We’ve got a few plans for up coming events, nothing set in stone at the moment, regarding dates. He is hoping to run another event, we might possibly do a little something for St Patrick’s Day, though he had yet to consult with the Events Team about that,
so nothing set in stone.

So it only remains for him to thank everybody who contributes, in whatever fashion great or small to events and to remind you all, because there does still seem to be a little confusion about this, if you want to re-schedule, cancel or promote your
event, then you must write to eventinfo@tafn.org.uk . That way, Amanda and he both receive it, we both know what’s going on, and in the event that one of us isn’t around, the other one can send it off. If you want to propose a new event, or offer feedback
on an event, you write to events@tafn.org.uk .

and that he believes concludes his

Ann Thanked Justin and asked Amanda if there were any questions. There were none.

10. M.A.D. Update.

Monique said during February as we already know, the M.A.D committee had it’s first meeting, and they had been working on getting to know each other.

There have been no complaints during February, everything has been very quiet. And their next committee
meeting will be on March 13th.

The members of the M.A.D. Committee are as follows:
Stephen Hassall, John Hosch, Steve Hyde-Dryden, she hopes she’d pronounced that right,
herself, Monique Lannott and Ian McNamara, although they haven’t heard from Ian McNamara since the Committee was started.

Until now Catherine McManus has been the Executive Representative, and during their March meeting, Carol Forrester is officially due
to take over.

If you have any questions for us or if you would like to make a complaint, don’t hesitate, feel free to do so.And you can always contact us at the following
e-mail address: mad@tafn.org.uk .

That’s it. Have a nice day.

Ann thanked Monique and said she understood that Carol has managed to make contact with Ian McNamara, she thinks he changed his e-mail. He does know about the meeting on the 13th, so she had been given to understand.

Ann then asked Amanda if there were any questions. There were none.

11. Any Other Business.

Ann asked if anyone had any other business they wished to bring up. There was none.

Ann stated that the next Members Meeting will be on Sunday the 13th of April 2014.
But before that, will be the interim AGM as there are no Elections this year. The
AGM is on Saturday the 29th March.

Ann then closed the meeting at 16:35.