The President's Message

November 2003

David Harris

Free Software

How would you like that special software package that you always wanted but just can't justify the cost? Well I have the answer. Most software companies supply free licensed software to User Groups that will review them and publish the review in their News Bulletin or on their Web Page. Each month I get offers from different suppliers. OK, now you heard the "catch" - review the software. I had the same feelings until I got a copy of "Guidelines for Preparing a Review of Software" prepared by the Orange County IBM PC User Group. It consists of five questions and lists only seven areas to be filled out that, after they're answered, compiles a complete review. Wow, after seeing the list I ordered Adobe Photo Shop Elements 2, which I have been looking at since seeing a presentation of version 1. Now here is software that is priced at 99 dollars at Office Max and Office Depot that I am getting free. I'll write a review and publish it, and it is a Win-Win for Adobe and our club members. Exposure for Adobe and knowledge for our members.

Another offer that I receive is called "Demo in a Box." Manufacturers will send us two licensed versions of their software and usually a Power-Point presentation with script. Any member of the club who wants the software can present it at a SIG. The presenter keeps one version for himself, and the other is a door prize for another club member.

Consider this offer as a way to obtain the software you want. Review it or Present it. You will be helping yourself, the vendor and your fellow members. Contact me with your software desires, and I will make every effort to obtain your desired software.

I would like to thank Craig for filling in for me at this month's meeting and board meeting as I was cruising through the Panama Canal.