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Prez Sez + The Midnight Writer

by TPC President and
AJ Editor Mike Lloret

Well, I see that our Publicity Officer and Publisher Justin Gardiner has set up a different title box for my monthly column. As I write this, he's off on a snowboarding trip to Nagano, so I can't ask him about it, but perhaps he's decided that it's time to retire the venerable logo that former Publisher Paul Cipywnyk designed years ago. Since he's primarily responsible for the design and layout of the newsletter--and very good at the job, as recent changes and the positive comments about them indicate--that's fine with me as far as it goes, but I confess to finding the column a little lonely without a logo. Perhaps one of you who's handy with graphic design would care to submit a replacement?

The new box has reminded me--as if I needed reminding!--that I'm the TPC's president as well as the newsletter editor. In the president capacity, I'm especially interested in increasing the benefits to the members and the attraction of the group to new members. I urge those members reading this to consider recommending membership to your friends, and to let me or any of the other group officers know what we could do to improve things to make you more enthusiastic about doing so. For those readers who aren't members, I invite you to visit one of the monthly meetings, or one of the monthly executive committee meetings, or the website, or the newsgroups...or all of the above. :-)

To return to more traditional Midnight Writer issues...I knew that the trouble-free season for my PCs couldn't last. Although my home desktop, Basilisk, is still behaving pretty well, my notebook, Twilight, has begun acting strangely, or at least one of the apps on it has. I use Netscape Communicator 4.73 as my browser, mailer, and newsgroup reader. It's convenient in many ways (although the increased ads recently have grown more and more annoying), this version is reasonably stable, and it's not a virus magnet to the extent that some of the competition is. The last couple of days though, the emailer--Netscape Messenger-- has been acting a bit weird. Every once in a while, after all the messages on tap have been downloaded with no apparent problem, I'll select a message and have it come up in the message window, and watch the percentage meter run up to 60% or so...and stop. Short of the point where the scroll bar would appear, so I can only see the top part of the message. And stay there. Oddly enough (to me, anyway) if I reply to one of these apparently truncated messages, the entire message appears in the composition window. Not a really critical problem, I guess, but certainly a worrisome one, even though everything else seems to be working OK. Thinking it might be related to the rapidly decreasing free space on the machine's hard disk drive, I freed up what I could, and pared down saved and archived messages as much as possible, too, but to no avail. I'd certainly be interested in hearing any theories about likely causes and proposals for remedies.

Also on the topic of multi-purpose browsers, I've been experimenting with Opera lately, and if anyone can explain to me how to use its newsreader to access password protected newsgroups, please do so. Except for that and a couple of other minor things, it's looking like a good candidate to replace Netscape.

Back in president mode (hey, don't blame me...I didn't design the box <g>), I'd like to thank all of those who helped and who participated in the "TPC LAN party" at last month's presentation on games, particularly Sam Julien, Andrew Hayes (don't miss his review on Page 8), and Sajjad Zaidi. A lot of hard work went into that, and it was a fascinating change from the standard meeting. Many thanks also to The Royal & SunAlliance folks who provided the monitors which were used and several computers, which were auctioned off or donated to charitable causes after the meeting. Thanks to TPC VP Barbara Manning for arranging that, and to Justin Gardiner for doing a lot of checking, moving, and hauling.

Stay tuned.

© 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

March , 2002

The Newsletter of the Tokyo PC Users Group

Submissions : Editor

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