The President's Message

August 2001

Andy Toth

This is my first column. Looking at the TOE I discover this is also the start of the fifteenth year the club has been in existence. Not many clubs survive that long. It is due to the energy and dedication of those who proceeded us. Many of those are still active members. I look forward to assuming the responsibilities of the president. It is an easy thing to do when something has been so well cared for, when the members of the executive committee are well seasoned, and when the membership will rally to meet the challenges ahead.

I have never attempted anything like this before. I got my first PC in 1983, used it for four days and gave it away (it cost $6,500; I should have purchased a car). At that time, I asked what could these do that my mainframe could not. The answer was absolutely nothing. In fact, it hardly did anything and it was a thousand times harder to do it. I did, however, use a Commodore 64 to test my 80GHz superconducting circuitry. The game port on the Commodore was the fastest interface available at the time.

I did not look at another PC until 1995, when I was forced to use it or lose my job. I have been a user, mostly abuser, of computers (mini/mainframes) since 1975. I found out about the club at a computer show in Oxnard. I never had any intention of learning about the machine, only about the application software I needed to use to survive. I upgraded to an off-the-shelf nightmare in 1999 and needed to learn fast. The Beginner SIG with Mike Strecker, the Internet and Q&A SIGs with Toby Scott, and the monthly SIGs provided a remarkable amount of information in a very, very short period of time. I gradually started to appreciate the PC, present a few SIGs of my own, and ended up in a club that I feel very comfortable in. Please introduce yourself to me. I will remember your face, but I am lucky that I can remember my own name.

Let me mention a few statistics you may not know. As of July, the membership was at 328, a sizable group; The monthly general meeting draws 100-120 members, one-third of the membership; and there are generally four SIGs each month. One of the hardest things a president has to do is ask for VOLUNTEERS. Volunteers make this organization what it is. That dedication molds the character of the club and is rewarding. Segue to "Volunteers for the library, hauling, and the coffee service are still needed." Please contact any officer if you are interested.

A final note: The Freedom Center Hall is unavailable to us in December 2001. Craig Ladd is investigating an alternate location for that month. CIPCUG will, more than likely, have to pay for that meeting location. Anyone with possible locations please contact Craig Ladd.