ECMC 2017 – Server Troubbles

This is part 2 in a series on posts from my experience being part of the planning team for European Guide and Scout Centre Managers Conference (ECMC) 2017.

There is a certain calmness before the storm that settles over a scout centre who is about to be visited by a large conference. The arriving of the participants goes very quickly from being a remote event to an imminent fact.

Calm before the storm

The planning team spent the first evening we all where together with unpacking in the sleeping quarters, as soon as I could I started to try to find power outlets and internet connection for the ownCloud that I had brought to the conference. Easier said then done. In my endaevours I had quite quickly found an extension cord so broken that when I tried to use it, it blow the fuses to the HQ. Apparently, the vast amounts of flies that haunts Iceland in the summer weeks every summer has a tendency to fill up power outlets with dead flies to the point of short circuit. After the cable incident was handled, it took a while to find internet. The end result was a provisional cable from the main Ethernet switch located in the hall outside the HQ hanging in the air going into our HQ. It worked.

Night over Iceland

The ownCloud server was a test, I wanted to try out to have a venue local only file share, and since there is a thing called Rasberry Pi’s these days which are both quite powerfull and very small, I figured I could bring a complete ownCloud server system in my checked in bag. This little experiment turned out to work so-so. I have now learned that there are a number of participants who go to a scout conference without a laptop. I have also learned that installing the ownCloud local client on existing laptops don’t work if the centre manager is using a computer managed by some IT department (surprisingly common). Finally, the web interface to a local IP address with a self signed certificate requires people to add a security exception in the browser, which I don’t think anyone managed.

Next time, we try a web only system with a certificate that isn’t self signed any more.

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Martin

Founder of this site, scout leader for decades, used to be program manager, PII, Vässarö and this site was started becasue of that. Author of program booking system Hollyrosa. Goose Network Coordinator 2012-2015, Member of planning team for European Guide and Scout Centres Managers Conference 2013, 2015 and 2017.

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