The President's Message

February 2002

Andy Toth

Microsoft XP, the first presentation of 2002, was very well attended by approximately 140. For the first time in a long, long time all the doughnuts were sold. For your information, any doughnuts remaining are left for the crew that disassembles after the meeting. Coffee and doughnuts are done for the convenience of the members and usually result in the loss of a few dollars to the club each month.

For those of you unaware, through the good will of the Camarillo Parks and Recreation Department, we have been able to use the building AT NO COST. We did have to rent the hall for our December meeting. Renting a hall of this size averages $300-$400 a month. We have an exceptional value here. After the XP presentation there were notably more cups, napkins and papers scattered around. This was an exception to what usually happens. Please make use of the trash bins supplied.

The next thing I would like to discuss is the SIGs, or more directly the SIG moderators. We now have a site and an open computer, and we are presenting fewer SIGs each month. This is mostly due to the lack of moderators volunteering. I realize it is not the easiest thing to do. I do it because it forces me to learn something.

I see SIGs as fulfilling the following: 1) An opportunity for members to see some capabilities of a software package/application they may never investigate on their own, 2) An opportunity for members to engage in an exchange of information and skills, and 3) An opportunity to just investigate (a button-pushers delight). To reiterate, a moderator is not expected to be the expert on a particular package.

In most instances, only a very small percentage of the actual capability of any software program is used. This is enough for an attendee to decide to investigate further. There appears to be a set of commonly used programs and common interests. Some common interests are photo editing, CD creation, scanning, audio recording, video editing, and website building. The common software: Paint Shop Pro, Photo Suite, Easy CD Creator, and Notetab Pro, to mention a few.

We will investigate getting copies for the club computer. These are excellent programs at a modest price. Also, as ill prepared as I was, the Star Office SIG was well attended. I see Star Office as a major application for home use. I know there are a number of club members familiar with it, and I would like to start a monthly SIG on its capabilities in March.