Prez Sez -- November 1997
High Tech High Touch?
Greetings and thank you for the appointment by acclamation at the October TPC meeting. This was well handled by Jim and accepted by all present allowing us to begin another year of the Tokyo PC Users Group. In addition to thanking Ken and Tony for continuing in their positions I'd especially like to say a big Thank You to those who continue to volunteer for the jobs that keep this club running. I won't list them but I will direct your attention to the inside cover of the AJ for that long list of hard working people!
Of course the members and guests of TPC can best show your appreciation by giving us your requests for presentations, your articles about software and hardware that you've tried and in general helping out in any way you can-this is appreciated very much by all!
This article started out with the words "Mission Statement" because I've been asked what the MS (too long to keep typing that out) of the TPC is on several occasions. The general consensus in simple terms is the support of English speaking computer users in the Japanese environment. Hasn't the Internet made this local support less important by connecting us directly to the world at large?
Yes it has but perhaps that is where the phrase High Tech High Touch comes in (who was the originator? Editor or publisher-your reply/ies welcome here) [Saaa, ne...-Mike]. To me this means you can connect via a computer terminal with the entire world but in the end you want to meet people in the flesh and turn on-line chat into something where you use your own voice, ears and eyes. Perhaps this is over a drink at one of the many pubs/izakayas/bars that continue to open up and I usually favour a beer to chat over but that is not important-what is important is to put a human touch to the information that we get about and through the computer interface. I will admit that sometimes it turns out that the image that is built up through messages on a screen combined with our own imagination turns out to be better than that of the person we finally meet-but there comes a time when curiosity and a need to know takes over. On the whole I must say that the people I got to know in the TPC through BBS messages then later e-mail have turned out to be a good group indeed. I hope that others have had and will continue to have the same good luck!
Speaking of chatting over a drink, I was quite pleased to catch up with our past prez last week and though I didn't stay as long as later stories indicated I should have I do hope we will see more of Kevin. He does bring a lot of life with him - as the employees of a certain famous company may attest to when he met them after I left. I sha'n't name that company now but I hope we will have them doing a presentation for us some day as I think it would be very interesting indeed.
You don't really appreciate people until they are gone and that is the case with Pam who by the way was nice enough to bring some very good chocolate cake to the last meeting at her farewell appearance-and foolish enough to think there might be some left at the end! Sigi was fast up there and others quickly joined him. Thanks for the cake (I was lucky to get the next to last piece) and for her input on various topics one of which I am only finally looking into-on-line investing. I hope that Pam will use the internet to keep in touch with those of us still in Japan as well as previous members who have left.
The switch over from BBS to Newsgroup/mailing list has gone very well as I've mentioned before but there are still many aspects of the internet that we've yet to exploit and explore. Does anyone use any of the telephony, streaming video, white boarding or other interesting tools-apart from Ken of course? <G> I would like to hear from you as I need to learn about them myself. For example Chat to coordinate discussions about upcoming presentations? If you are familiar with these tools/toys please let me know. Of course, if you can tell me about it through an article for the AJ [Yes! -Mike] then others can learn from your experience as well but for now I'll settle for e-mail to get me going in the right direction.
On the topic of using new tools on the Internet our man handling our on-line presence delved in to RealAudio recently with his recording of the October presentation on Computerized Acupuncture. This you can find at the TPC homepage and of course if you need the tools to play the Real Audio that link is there as well. In fact I downloaded the latest RealAudio (which is now the RealPlayer) and... Wow! Okay, I never did get back to the presentation recording (but I was there for it live so I forgave myself) but as I looked into what was available with on-line animation and video I was very impressed! If you want to know more - well go to our TPC site (listed inside the AJ cover for the very few who don't have it already setup on their Web browswer) and then click on the RealAudio icon to get to their site and download the latest version. Very impressive though I'm not sure whether I want to have "on-line smell" that is referred to jokingly in the animation.
Right then-I've gone over the deadline once again and I haven't even tried the Voice Input software that I promised last month. I wish everyone the best with your Hi-Tech/Hi Touch encounters and I look forward to learning from everyone about matters both computer-related and otherwise! Until next time...
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