SIPB Project List
A lot of what SIPB does which is not helping users with immediate
problems and answering questions falls under the heading of SIPB
projects. SIPB projects are usually things that a member or two have
decided are worth doing and are working on. The main qualification of
SIPB projects is that they help the MIT community (or maybe just the
SIPB community) in some way. In general they also involve computers.
In the past we have attempted to keep a list of projects that SIPB
members are working on, and projects that might be cool to have
someone work on. The old list, which was perennially outdated, can be
found here. This new list attempts
to have a lesser scope. It is directed at students and others looking
to get an idea of what sort of things SIPB works on, looking for
inspiration for their own project ideas, or looking for things already
well on their way to help. Contact lists or individuals are listed
with some of the projects below, if you're interested in getting
This project list is no substitute for hanging out in the office and
talking to people there, of course.
Services (Last Updated May 1, 2007)
Services are SIPB projects to which SIPB has made some sort of support
commitment. That is, rather than something that someone did and then
moved on, there is some sort of requirement that people keep working
on the project to make it work. The following is an incomplete list
of current projects:
- In charge of
running the web server at stuff.mit.edu
and the services that run
Contact: stuffmaster, arolfe, jtu, astronut
- In charge of running the scripts server, where
users can run some of those web-ish scripts that the MIT webservers
do not support. More info on their
Contact: scripts, quentin
- In charge of running the Debian-Athena dialup,
linerva.mit.edu, which provides a public dialup capable of compiling
software for Linux Athena and running linux-specific software.
Contact: linerva, tabbott
- SIPB provides MySQL databases to the MIT community. Usage
requires signup at http://sql.mit.edu
Contact: sql, presbrey
- Library Access to Music Project
- SIPB runs the LAMP project to provide free music streamed to campus via MIT Cable. Access the library at http://lamp.mit.edu/
- Locker software
- SIPB maintains a bunch of lockers with
software, primarily sipb and outland but also graphics, perl5 and
others. New people interested in maintaining pet software or in
upgrading aging software are always welcome.
Contact: bug-sipb, bug-outland, bug-lockername
- SIPB runs the second largest AFS cell at MIT. AFS is a network
filesystem. The SIPB AFS cell is used for storage by many people, both
in and out of SIPB.
hosting for the MIT community --- primary or secondary nameserver.
- web interface that helps you print documents to Athena
cluster printers at http://quickprint.mit.edu
Contact: quickprint, presbrey
- SIPB runs a Tor entry and exit-node at http://sipb-tor.mit.edu
Contact: sipb-tor, presbrey
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- SIPB runs the primary MIT Usenet news server (news.mit.edu).
- Webzephyr -
- A bidirectional web to zephyr gateway. Great for talking to your
A lot of things around MIT and SIPB are just poorly documented, and
would be really useful to people if they were documented. SIPB
maintains some documents, and there are certainly others which could
stand to be written. Some of the current SIPB documents are available
on the SIPB documents page. Some other things
that could use documentation:
- Athena equivalents of all your Windows/Mac programs
- Inessential Athena updated for current Athena
Many SIPB members teach classes during IAP and other times. A list of
the most recent IAP classes is available here. A list
of recent and upcoming clue dumps is also available.
Projects are more ephemeral than services. Here are two lists. One has
some projects that have happened, and the other has some projects that
people have suggested would be cool, or have claimed they would do in
their free time.
Projects that people have done for SIPB in the recent past:
Other projects that people have suggested would be neat. If someone
has claimed ownership of the project, or is responsible for getting it
here, they are noted. However, they are likely hosed with classes and
lame, so feel free to get in touch with them or just show them up by
doing it yourself. Here's the list:
- Debian-Athena software packages, which
are a port of Athena software from RHEL4 to Debian.
Contact: debathena, tabbott
- Knoppix Athena -
- A Knoppix CD that includes easy Kerberos and AFS access. Great for
taking Athena with you everywhere.
- Linux Installer -
- An installer for Linux-Athena that works on non-cluster hardware.
Based on the RedHat linux installer. Good for personal and lab
- imapback -
- A tool in outland for backing up your IMAP mail.
- SIPB library
- SIPB has a lot of books. It would be useful to
have a program that lets us enter books in our library into some database
with a Cuecat/barcode reader, and making information in that database
easy to read. -
- RT is a free
software request tracking system. SIPB used to use it to manage
various internal things, and offer RT queues as a service to anyone in
the community who would like one. It would be cool to have a
scripts-based RT install that would offer queues to the MIT community.
- RSS feeds
- Build an RSS/Atom feed for events.mit.edu (or other
- Other Web Scripting
- SIPB still runs some services on
stuff.mit.edu, and there might be interest in adding more. -
- MacOS X.
- Some people in SIPB are interested in making Athena
services available to users of MacOS X. There is a machine running OS
X in the office. It has AFS and Kerberos and developer tools, but
doesn't really have any direction in its life.
- Mail Archive Web Front-end
- Build a web front-end to the
IMAP mail archiving system, imapback.
- Imap-server based email archive
- Archive email in publically
readable IMAP folders.
- Online Survey System
- Many MIT students and groups take surveys
on the web. A system for this that was actually good would be nice.
- Mirror Site
- There are a number of useful sites mirrored at
MIT. It would be good to pull together a list of all the mirrors at
MIT, what they hold, and then to add anything missing on a SIPB
- Text Interface to MIT Libraries
- The MIT libraries are now only
accessible through the web. Frequently a command line client would be
nice. This could either involve a client that worked through the web
form, or a client that accessed their database directly. -
- Give the Oracle server the love it needs. We have an
oracle server and oracle wizards who would be happy to help. Currently
we have no projects wanting to use oracle, so we may be putting the
cart before the horse. -
- NetBSD Sparc
- Some people in SIPB are involved in the port of
NetBSD to the Sparc platform.
- DUX Athena
- Athena software running on Digital Unix,
specifically on Alpha workstations. There is one machine in the SIPB
office running this port of Athena, but it has not escaped yet. -