January 5th, 2021
Firstly, the core registration system cutover went very smoothly. Our estimate is that more than 95% of nodes switched over quickly and seamlessly and active connections were not disrupted. We did see a small number of nodes that did not seem to notice the IP address change. Happily, most of them migrated over the next 24 hours.
Since our initial announcement we have seen several postings concerned about the abruptness of the cutover and that there was no advanced notification. To address this, some history on the two-year project’s secrecy is required.
In 2018, we identified valuable ASL resources from Jim’s estate that were squirreled away by a former Board member originally entrusted with passwords and key email addresses. Prior to his resignation from the Board, these resource’s ownership records were modified so we would be unable to make use of, or sell, without the future cooperation of this individual. (At this point in time ASL inc. has not regained control of these assets but will continue to pursue options.)
Other events included that the leader of the “admin team” changed the destination of all “@allstarlink.org” email, directing it to a server housed in his Seattle area computer room against specific direction of the Board. His stated justification being that the Board was “not technical enough” to run email and “should stop meddling with things we don’t understand.”
Then midproject in May of 2019, the “admin/dev team” switched all of their internal communications to a cloud collaboration service managed by the Southern Florida Simulcast Association to avoid oversight. In addition, the team started the recruitment of volunteers for ASL that were unknown to the Board creating a serious liability for the non-profit.
From inception the Board’s majority (later unanimously) was in favor of a simple low maintenance registration design but was effectively held hostage by a few volunteers. . As you can see, we were in a difficult situation, we wanted to improve ASL’s infrastructure and reduce liability but had no way of executing any changes with the system administrators in place.
We do want to thank the volunteers that were working on ASL during this period, we have reports that some were unaware that their positive efforts were unknown to the Board.
We will post a final status update on February 8th with the goal that the transition will be complete and in a production / maintenance mode. Most secondary systems are migrating smoothly and should be fully available soon. Any problems with your node or account should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The current Board has over 150+ years of amateur radio experience and 100+ years of IT experience with titles that have included “CIO”, “Datacenter Manager”, “Director of Communications” and “Senior Engineer”. I am certain that ASL is in good hands long term (with or without me) and we are in good shape for improvements and new creative services.
Again, a big thank you to the back-end team for the seamless cut over, the developers that performed POCs over the past months (even the ones that did not have the needed performance) and the supporters of ASL that have entrusted us with your repeater interconnections.
Be safe and 73s, Pete
Pete Elke /WI6H - President
Todd Lesser /KM6RPT - Secretary
David Shaw /WB6WTM - Treasurer
Tim Sawyer /WD6AWP - Vice President
Kevin Custer /W3KKC - Board Member