Prez Sez - September 1998
A Message From President Pat Hughes
G'Day from Down Under - otherwise known as Australia!
Though I am back for a bit (before disappearing again for a few months or more) I was in Australia when I wrote this. At Ayer's Rock actually - quite the place and even here there is access to the Internet (courtesy of the local library).
One thing that I have learned while on the road - being without a computer is a bit of a pain.
Nice to get away from the e-mail every day but then again I have become so accustomed to contacting people with it that I'm not sure I want to write a letter anymore - certainly not if I want to make changes to what I'm writing as with this article!
Before I go on my next trip (in a week or so) I will definitely have to look into getting a notebook. Probably a Toshiba Libretto for the size and power though this will depend upon my bank account of course.
Computer Jobs in Australia
There seem to be a lot of jobs available! I picked up The Australian (www.new.com.au) and the August 25th edition had a special section of 14 pages. Half of that was articles the rest was a little bit of advertising and a lot of job listings. No matter what area of computing you are in they have positions listed. So if you want to go some place warmer with better beaches than Tokyo I would strongly recommend this place. Not sure how many jobs are valid or how easy it is easy to emigrate to Australia of course, but it might be worth a look into.
I keep on pushing these and I see that more people are getting into the habit of using them - good to see! One question that I recently put forward to Jim concerned how long the messages were saved in the groups. It depends upon the group but he tells me that between 6 weeks and 6 months. So if you saw a message recently and want to look it up again using one of the searches available you might be in luck!
Net2Phone Using Public Phone
I disconnected my home phone line before I left on this trip but still had my notebook. I wanted to call Canada and Australia to confirm plans and since Net2Phone worked so well and was so cheap I thought to myself "why not try the public phone system?"
I've gotten a few interesting looks standing in a phone booth sweating in the 35 degree heat with headphones connected to my notebook and a line running from it to the analog port of the gray phone but it worked just fine and of course was much cheaper than any other option available!
That makes one more reason for me to get a notebook for my travels. Of course I will still have to connect to an Internet Service Provider but GRIC (see GOL's homepage for more information) has worked well in the past and I will use it again.
Unfortunately I don't know how many other countries have phone jacks on their public phones. Australia certainly doesn't. But if you stay at a hotel or a friend's place then you can just plug into their wall outlet and you should be fine.
This brings up the problem of different phone jacks for different countries but I will write about that in the future as I travel and actually encounter (and hopefully overcome) those difficulties.
As of October that will be in new hands - at least the President's job will be. It has been a learning experience these past few years. Sitting there in the audience is nice and you do learn by watching. Actually getting involved is better, by helping with the:
Write an article, help to drop them off after a meeting, offer to help with publishing or editing...
Give us your ideas, ask someone else to do one, do one yourself, pick up or drop off the projector and/or screen...
Running the club:
Assistance is always needed with the above as well as the setting up and putting away after the meeting. These may seem easy but without people's help they don't get done - and we don't get to go for a bite or drink afterwards. <g> One thing I have learned setting up is that if someone is connecting cables and testing things up front, offer to help, but if you want to have a long conversation with them then maybe wait until later as they are probably trying very hard to get things working before the meeting begins. But please do offer to help!
Take care and I look forward to keeping in touch with people via e-mail and newsgroups - and of course I'll be back in person next year for at least a short visit.
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