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The Midnight Writer

By Mike LLoret

This is the Year of the Boar, and I'm hoping that, boar-like, the TPC will be running full speed, straight ahead. The BBS is progressing; monthly meetings will continue to provide interesting programs and chances for social interaction; plans are in hand for enhancing new members' ability to get online; there are a DTP SIG, a guide to Akihabara, and a CD-ROM lending library in the works; and as my skills gradually grow (with a lot of help from my friends, particularly Stuart Woodward) I'm hoping to improve the quality of the newsletter. Lots of things to look forward to, and I'm sure that the list will continue to grow.

At the beginning of this new year, I'd like to encourage all of you to do two things: give and take. Many knowledgeable and friendly people in the TPC are happy to give advice and assistance on any number of topics, both computer-related and to them either in cyberspace or in person, to get and give information and thus mutually profit. Log onto the BBS, and contribute comments, questions, and answers; peruse and download files, and upload things you feel others might find useful. Attend the monthly meetings when you can...learn, meet people, trade information, gear, or software, bring a friend, make some friends, let the newsletter editor buy you a drink after (or buy him one). Read the newsletter, make requests for article topics that would interest you, write articles or produce graphics for it yourself.

Since joining the TPC a year or so ago, I've gained a lot. I got excellent advice about purchasing a new computer system by mail order, and acquired lots of useful software from the BBS with which to fill its hard disk. I've been initiated (at least partially) into the arcane mysteries of modem tuning and communications programs, and got hands-on help in setting up my system from Kevin Ryan and Robert Irizarry; Rob later helped me get a faster modem to further upgrade my system. I replaced my old communications software with a better package I bought at a discount through a group purchase arranged with other TPC members through Todd Boyle, and got a good deal on a tape backup drive through the good offices of Sigi Rindler. Our departed -- but not forgotten -- Publisher, Dori Horn, did her best to teach me the intricacies of desktop publishing. I've gotten excellent advice and specific, time- and money-saving help from other members too numerous to mention (you know who you are... thanks!).

Although I'm not in the same class technically as my more knowledgeable senpai, I have also had opportunities to help them out, in small ways, in return. And those really were opportunities, too, since I learned something myself almost every time. So far, for me at least, in the TPC even when you give you get.

It's been fun socially, too. A lot of witty, entertaining, and educational conversations have taken place over pizza and beer at Shakey's after meetings. I've attended some great parties with TPC friends, and thrown a couple myself. A couple of the late-night gatherings at Zenon have aspired to epic, if not legendary, status, and one of the Tama riverside Node 3 parties was, if not heart-stopping, certainly train-stopping.

One of the benefits of the TPC, of course, is that you can socialize virtually as well as actually: there are some interesting threads being spun on the BBS. With a modem, some communications software, and a mailreader you can participate at very little cost.

So, this year, do some give and take. We're waiting for you, in the basement of a church, in pizza places and corners of dimly lit bars, in houses and on riverbanks, and in cyberspace.

© Algorithmica Japonica Copyright Notice: Copyright of material rests with the individual author. Articles may be reprinted by other user groups if the author and original publication are credited. Any other reproduction or use of material herein is prohibited without prior written permission from TPC. The mention of names of products without indication of Trademark or Registered Trademark status in no way implies that these products are not so protected by law.

Algorithmica Japonica

January, 1995

The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group

Submissions : Editor

Tokyo PC Users Group, Post Office Box 103, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150-8691, JAPAN