I'd like to take this opportunity to remind AJ readers of the debt of gratitude we owe to the other members of the newsletter team. Ann Colville has been doing her Babbitoons for years, reliably and brilliantly. Roland Hechtenberg tirelessly continues to take care of mailing the newsletters to members and contributors, month after month, year after year, often under very frustrating conditions. And regular columnist David Parry's Ionic Column has been the one article that the AJ Editor could always rely on getting, no matter what. I am grateful for all submissions, and for all the help I can get from frequent contributors (like Mike Kato, for example, this issue), but this seems like a good time to thank the folks who have been long-term stalwart supporters.
I'd also like to thank outgoing TPC President Andrew Shuttleworth for his support of the AJ among the many things he's done to the TPC's benefit. He's had a lot of things to do in the last year, and done them well, but even so he's found the time to be of great help in keeping the newsletter running smoothly.
You (yes, you) can also be of help in maintaining a useful and interesting newsletter, by submitting articles, reviews, graphics, stories, anecdotes...just about anything related to computers or their use. Contact me (email@example.com) and discuss even ideas; I'll be happy to assist in any way I can. I know there are lots of potentially fascinating articles waiting to be written out there; for one thing, I can see plenty of seeds for newsletter submissions in the discussions in the various TPC newsgroups, if one or more of the participants were to expand their thoughts into an article. I encourage all of you to have a look at them; the newsgroups are a useful and interesting way to keep in touch between meetings, to get and give advice, to do a little online socializing, and maybe even learn something. I would especially like to ask all TPC members to be sure that you can and do access the Club Biz newsgroup regularly.
Speaking of newsgroups, we have a new one devoted to discussing books. Not for reviews, and not limited to computer related books, but just for discussions, recommendations, etc., of books. Stop by and start a discussion, by all means.
And while you're at it, stop by <http://www.tokyopc.org/tpc/newsgroups.html>, follow the appropriate link, and have a look at the newsgroup guidelines.
Finally, I try not to use this column as a soapbox or as a pulpit, but I would like to offer my condolences to any readers who have lost friends, relatives, or other loved ones in the World Trade Center disaster. If you are interested in my personal views on the attack and its consequences, I suggest that you visit the newsgroups for them, as well as for a wide variety of thoughtful and thought-provoking comments, links, and references relating to the tragedy.
Next month the TPC will have a new group of elected officers, and I hope to be able to get each of them to write a brief piece for the AJ. I'm quite sure that whoever is elected, they'll echo me in asking that you seriously consider volunteering to devote a little of your time and effort into helping with the operations and management of the TPC. There are a lot of jobs that need doing, many of which require little or no technical expertise. Please think about it. Also please read and think about the following message from me.
An explanation, and an appeal
Ann Colville asked me to run in this issue a cartoon that she had already provided. That was my original intention, but I've decided instead to borrow her space this month. I believe that she'll forgive me, and hope that you will.
You will probably have noticed that this issue is much smaller than usual. For all of the six or so years in total that I've been the newsletter editor, it has been my policy to make every effort to ensure that the newsletter offers a full 16 pages of good content, and that it is available in time for the distribution to those who attend the monthly meetings.
This requires much time, work and dedication on the part of the newsletter staff, and that has rarely been lacking. However, it also requires submissions of material from contributors, and those, unfortunately have often been an uphill struggle to acquire. There is a small group of regulars who account for much of the material, and they are very much appreciated, but it would be both easier for them and the newsletter staff, and better for the members and other readers, if more people tried to submit articles, reviews, anecdotes, or whatever.
This time it was just impossible to produce a 16-page issue in time without writing much of it myself, and very tricky to tweak the available material into 12 pages, the next smaller size available. I apologize for the marginal aesthetics this issue, but I can't bring myself to apologize for the size. Please consider contributing to the newsletter. I'd much prefer the customary size, but that depends a lot on you. --Mike
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The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group
Submissions : Editor
Tokyo PC Users Group, Post Office Box 103, Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 150-8691, JAPAN