2. Organizational

2.1. What is EngSoc?

EngSoc is a network of computers running UNIX-like operating systems that is made available to Engineering students at Carleton University.

2.2. Who runs EngSoc?

Current and former students of Carleton University, mostly from the Faculty of Engineering. All EngSoc labour is donated by volunteers.

The EngSoc board of governors (BOG) is an elected body of 4 undergraduate engineering students and the CSES technical advisor, who is appointed. This board of governors is responsible for the administration and political parts of the Project, such as discipline, finances and decision-making.

2.3. What is the history of EngSoc?

EngSoc started out with one posting to various Carleton newsgroups. In this posting, Alex deVries made it clear that the project should have two goals:
    1) to represent the CSES electronically
    2) to offer Unix accounts to all engineering students
The response was favourable, and the first meeting held on March 22 of 1995 drew 25 volunteers. It was clear that there were sufficient volunteers to make the project possible.

The initial leadership of EngSoc was quaint. From March to May of 1995 the only real leadership that existed was Alex deVries. Because of the growth of the project, it was clear that this would not be possible for the future. Based on his suggestions, and the overall approval of contributing members, a system of government was created.

The new Board of Governors would consist of five members: one appointed by the CSES (Sean Hay), and four elected by current EngSoc users (James Carriere, James Chow, Alex deVries, Joshua Lamorie). The elections took place in May.

The first meetings with Computing and Communication Services (CCS) were held in June. There were concerns that the system would use too much of the limited campus resources (mostly Internet bandwidth), and would be be a threat to the security of other systems on campus. These concerns were met by the inclusion of Warren Hik, Senior Computer Consultant for the Office of the Dean of Engineering, on the technical administration of EngSoc.

Another meeting, this time with the head of CCS, Dave Sutherland, gave way to an increase in the number of accounts. At that point, BOG had predicted that there would be no more than 200 accounts on EngSoc. That estimate proved to be extremely low.

In July, EngSoc made an agreement with CREL systems, a local hardware reseller. The deal would involve various discounts for EngSoc in return for advertising.

In August of that year, EngSoc received a donation of a Pyramid enterprise class server from the Carleton Library. EngSoc also received a loan from the Office of the Dean of Engineering for $5000, with which a new Pentium based system was purchased. This loan was repaid in November, with a donation from the Carleton University Engineering Students Equipment Fund (CUESEF). EngSoc also moved into their new office, 3338ME.

September brought a large amount of user growth to EngSoc. At the start of the month, there were about 100 active accounts; by the end, there were close to 400. On some days alone more than 75 accounts were created.

In February EngSoc received the donation of a Sun 3 system from a Carleton employee. This would enable EngSoc to try other operating systems.

The first EngSoc system was a donation from the CSES, a 486-66 with 16MB and one 400MB hard disk. It located physically in the CSES office, and had an IP number provided by CCS. This machine was called puffin. Some of its parts now make up ale.

The next machine was known briefly as auk, and was also a 486-66. The Office of the Dean of Engineering donated one 16MB SIMM.

These two machines lasted most of the summer. Overall stability was minimal; the two would often lose network connectivity, and the performance on the Linux 1.2.11 kernel was poor. Users were warned not to rely on EngSoc.

In August, EngSoc started managing its own Domain Name Service (DNS). In conjunction with Aurora, we also began managing our own subdomain ( This new service allowed us to expand our network with no intervention from CCS.

EngSoc also expanded its system with the purchase of a pentium system, known now as lager. Lager had 48MB of RAM, 3GB of hard disk space, with PCI SCSI and ethernet controllers. It started out by running the Linux kernel 1.3.30, and had run that kernel ever since in order to maintain stability.

With this new machine, our system was modified to increase stability. Lager was to act as our main server, handling public accesses. Brewmaster would handle everything else: DNS and WWW servers. Brewmaster is a 486-66 with 32MB running Linux kernel 1.3.31. It has about 1.0GB of disk space.

August allowed us to expand the WWW services on brewmaster, which are currently allows us to offer virtual hosts to more than 20 organizations. Our machine handles 15,000 accesses daily.

In that month, also, we started a public FTP server that allowed all of Carleton University to download free software from our system.

In September we recived a donation of a 486-33 with 8MB from the CSES. This machine was malt, and was a test machine.

In December, a private network was installed between our machines, reducing the bandwidth occupied by internal traffic. It also helped improve security.

January brought the release of Carleton's WebCam, a camera who's image is always up to date on the WWW.

The WebCam project started to go robotic in February, so that users could pan and tilt a camera, and have the image updated immediatedly. There were two cameras: one in the Minto foyer, and another in the EngSoc office.

2.4. Who pays for EngSoc?

They beg for money from various places. The Carleton Student Engineering Society (CSES) (www.cses.carleton.ca), the Carleton Undergraduate Engineering Student Equipment Fund (CUESEF) (www.cuesef.carleton.ca), and CFES (www.cfes.ca) have contributed, as has the Faculty of Engineering. Entrust gives us SSL certificates and Corel has donated substantial amounts of hardware.

2.5. What does EngSoc have that other services at Carleton don't?

Coolness. Shell access with full internet connectivity. Computers named after beer. An environment of trust rather than paranoia. No time limits. Constant evolution and a place to learn. And, we try to have nice hardware to play on.

We are more secure than CHAT and will install anything you want. We'll host your personal domain for free. We can help you with Linux. Being a volunteer almost always means you're more employable because you learn valuable skills..

2.6. How do I get involved?

Send mail to volunteer@engsoc.org or, you can stop by the office in room 5324ME. We'd prefer that you stopped by the office because we want to meet you.

2.7. Does EngSoc offer virtual web hosting?

Yes, for Engineering clubs and societies, free of charge. For other Carleton non-profit student-run clubs and societies, we charge from $50 to $100/yr, depending on the services provided. We provide unlimited site space, and all information must conform to the EngSoc user agreement. For more information, contact ett@engsoc.org