A Message from the President
by Kevin Ryan
Our next Executive Meeting will be April 25, Thursday, at the Tokyo British Club, 7 PM. Sigi should have a report with options for buying some kind of projection device for meetings. This could be an overhead projector with an LCD screen or an LCD projector. We plan to spend up to 500,000 yen but of course need to keep expenses to a minimum. If anybody knows of a place to rent these things, or borrow them for a trade in consulting or help with computers, we'd sure like to know.
Right now, Stuart, Jim and I (myself being the least technically literate) are trying to decide what we need, what we want, and if we can afford it. We are looking at a number of options (Jim, Stuart, correct me if I get any of this wrong.)
We now have a local BBS that dials up to an internet e-mail provider in California (Holonet) each night. This makes e-mail slow in coming and slow to return. Our connection has been down at times in the recent past, making reliability another concern. We don't have to charge for this minimal service because it doesn't cost so much (except for the nightly international calls, which run about ¥3,000 a month).
We'd like to at least get an internet provider here in Tokyo to telnet to Holonet so that we don't have to pay those international phone charges.
We could also get what is called a virtual address which means that we can get e-mail there, maybe set up a web page, and even have files there available for download (FTP), and also get some newsgroups (conference areas) that would be accessible to those out on the internet. These would all be piped in to our computer here locally, even though the virtual server might be in Timbuktu. US providers do it the cheapest, but if they are far off the backbone the access time increases. There is also a difficulty with getting a domain name like TokyoPC.org in another country (even though Robert Irizarry has already done this for us at Holonet for e-mail, discussion groups are a different matter).
Then there is Web access, which looks pretty expensive. We could get a leased line here in Tokyo, but that would mean we'd have to get members that used it to pay extra, and we'd have to become mini-internet providers ourselves, a big hassle.
We could try to get a group discount rate (none yet so far in our explorations) at a local provider, and ask people to log on there, and eliminate our computer and BBS.
These are all ideas, and we are only considering options at the moment, and as in a brainstorming session, we should even consider ridiculous options, as they may lead to something viable.
Your input would be appreciated.
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