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Prez Sez - June 1998

A Message From President Pat Hughes

This month I've decided to let members do as much of the "writing" of this column as possible. You hear from me all the time but for a change I'll be including some comments from members - let's see what YOU have to say for a change! <g>

I didn't ask if I could use these quotes so I shall leave off the names - and you'll have to trust me that I didn't make them up myself. :-)

"I really enjoyed watching 'Alien Bug' show and explain Dream Weaver software on the large screen. That's just the kind of user-oriented meeting I would be interested in attending again."

"Too much noise in the back."

Oops - we have to watch that! I guess this person was really trying to concentrate on the presentation and had the bad luck to be sitting in the back rows. I know that not everyone can be interested in every presentation and sometimes we have newcomers or latecomers who have questions in the back. Sometimes voices carry a little too well so please keep your voices down or make use of either the kitchen or the hallway where you have the drink machine and a telephone and the washrooms - everything you need if you want to slip out of the meeting for a few minutes. <g>

ISDN Line Gives 128k Access to All

Just before the recent meeting a phone line was installed at the front of the meeting hall and that will give us 128k access to the internet - courtesy of Global OnLine. Members who come early (there is usually someone there from 6:00 p.m.) and want to connect can do so and in reply to that idea the following comment:

"That sounds 'WAY COOL' as my kids would likely say."

"The ISDN line worked fine and the presentation was awesome. The future of the Web. And we had nice sound."

Okay - I admit it - that last one was Ken but since he did mention sound (after racing out to get the cables) I had to add that. It really did add to the HTML site presentation that night!

Club-biz Open To Members!

If you are wondering how these comments were received - some came in person after the meeting, some over the phone to other executives and some came by email either directly or through the newsgroups.

Newsgroups? You know about those and just to remind you - as a member you can access the to express your opinions, submit requests in a forum designed explicitly for the purpose of discussing club related topics. If you're not sure how to subscribe to newsgroups then just take a look at the web site - the address is on the back of the AJ and once you are online you can see if anything interesting is being discussed - or make your own comments!

If You Don't Use Newsgroups:

Well, a member recently asked me directly "...if by using our voicemail service they could check their email...."

Normally this would be followed up in either or at least tpc.chit-chat and they would have gotten several opinions or replies. But since it came to me directly I had to say that I haven't heard of any plans on our part. I have heard of such services but I had the impression you had to become a member of their service and by doing your email through them you could get have it read out to you. But I have no recollection of what the name of that company was.

Would I use such a service? Probably not - I like the written word for some things. Do I think that voice-mail will take over from email? Not until microphones become as common with computers as speakers have - and then of course we need easy to use common software. Or is that here already? You tell me.

Since the main objective is to keep in touch quickly, effectively and inexpensively my vote is for a Dick Tracy watch/video-phone that ties into e/video/voice-mail. One reason I like this design is that you have to put your cell phone somewhere and risk not hearing or losing it. Your watch though - handy location for storage and use!

Now if you like that answer then you would have been a happy member - but I would have liked to have heard from other members with a greater variety of opinions and experience. <g>

AJ Can Be Found Around Tokyo

Those of you reading through the AJ will have noted that a number of establishments (drinking, reading and other) have allowed us to leave copies of this newsletter for people to take for free. We hope to spread word about the club in this manner and perhaps even attract a few new members. What do you think? Good idea? Or will people stop being members and just pick up the newsletters at those locations? <g> Mind you there is no guarantee they'll find them there every time and if you are a member and don't come to a meeting you know that the AJ will be mailed to you!

If you do have any suggestions or requests as to a location where you would like left-over copies of the AJ to be left now and then, please us know - and we'd appreciate it if you could take a dozen copies to your fave hangout yourself!

New Hardware & Software

New software? Well, I've not really been able to dig into anything interesting in the past while. I commented on ICQ last time and promised to look into something similar from AOL. Fortunately Gary Wolff has been of great assistance not only in telling me about it but writing up a review. Please take a look at what he has to say (on the next page) and see what you think.

There are a number of solutions becoming available and the one I'd like to try next time I get a chance is Microsoft's Chat - it has a rather amusing cartoon feature that may be amusing. Will let you know next time how it goes and if anyone has tried it please let me know and if you can send me a few comments I'll be happy to get your words immortalized in the AJ up there with Gary's! :-)

As for new hardware - well, the only think I've played with really is my Nokia phone that I mentioned previously. It is rather bigger than many other cellular phones I've seen around but since one of its features is that it allows usage while moving, I finally tested that out on the Shinkansen!

Sure enough, I was able to send and receive email although the speed was only 9600. But for only small text this was fine. Of course inside tunnels it didn't work and I did lose a connection a couple of times when moving through hills but since we were moving about 200kph I really can't complain. <g>

Probably the most notable difference was connection and verification time. These normally (ISDN at home that is) takes 10 seconds or less. In hotels I've found it takes double or triple that time. Using the phone on the Shinkansen it took up to a minute. But since it takes about 4 hours from door to door between the office I was at outside Nagoya and my home in Tokyo I was able to make contact when I wanted instead of waiting all that time. If that makes a difference to you then I recommend this solution!

Until next time - enjoy the weather before the rainy season starts!


© 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

June, 1998

The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group

Submissions : Editor

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