Massaro Takes on Q & A
Date: April, 1989
Keywords: capital business machines SMUG humboldt arcata eureka local
Text: Editor's note: Len Massaro became computer manager at Capital Business Machines in February of 1988. Since that time he has made some changes in how the county's only Apple dealer operates. He appeared at the March SMUG meeting, but since many members could not attend, here is a print version of that program: ABOUT LEN MASSARO
Title: Manager, Computer Products for Capital Business Machines (since February 1988). Born and raised in the San Francisco East Bay (Richmond). Moved to Eur-eka to attend College of the Redwoods. Graduated, A.A., from C/R. Graduated, B.A. in mathematics from Humboldt State University. Taught and coached at McKinleyville High School and at Ferndale Elementary School. Has been an educational con-sultant and teacher trainer for local school districts for seven years. During the past five years has participated in many of Apple Computer's dealer meetings, training seminars and workshops. Q. What are a few of the major changes you have made that SMUG members should know about? A. We have made some changes to Capital in the last year. We have added to our customer services: LaserWriter printing, disk/file transfer (Mac / PRODOS /MS-DOS), and document scanning. We recently hired a trainer and target market sales per-son. His job will be to provide scheduled customer training and the ex-pertise necessary to consult with customers interested in accounting, networking and custom database design. Q. What do you see as the role of SMUG as a club in relation to the operation of Capital? A. I see the role of any users' group primarily as a local support network. New and prospective users need to know that others have gone through the awkwardness of learning the ''new technology'' and have survived. Experienced users can find that helping others can be informative and can help sharpen their skills. The ''collective knowledge'' that a users' group has is extremely valuable. There's only so much reading and ''rumor control'' that any one person can handle. In relation to Capital, it is important for the group's collective knowledge to keep us informed as to its needs. Q. Some of us get frequent calls from members of the on- and off-campus community for advice on both hardware and software for the Macintosh. Do you see that as a major role for SMUG members? A. These calls to SMUG members are usually made to obtain ''free,'' unbiased advice in a non-threatening way. On-campus, Apple has made the university bookstore a source of Apple information for departments, faculty and staff. It wants university users to share and to support each other. Off-campus, the users group is the largest single collection of Macintosh users in Humboldt or Del Norte counties. They represent a wide variety of specialties not easily found any other place. Q. A recent article in the Berkeley users' group newsletter suggested that users' groups have become pass*, that they should become more specialized to survive. What is your view on this? A. The industry is becoming specialized very quickly. Apple is specializing its sales and support staff. SIGs (special interest groups) are going to be extremely important in the future. However, we must realize that in areas like Berkeley where there are a number of user groups in a small area, for one group to stand out from the others it needs to specialize. In our area there is only one group, so you need to be able to do it all. Q. You mentioned the possibility of writing a monthly column for Known Users. Would that be an out-let for special bulletins that SMUG members otherwise wouldn't hear about, such as free upgrades on the LQ printer? A. Yes. Here is an example of the ''timely'' information that our
Applelink can provide: ''The ImageWriter LQ has exhibited some problems since its introduction last year. Most of these problems involve print quality, sound or setup difficulties. To address these problems, starting in mid-March Apple is introducing improvements...The ImageWriter LQ Rework program is ONLY appropriate for customers who experience the following specific print quality problems when using continuous tractor-fed paper on non-reworked ImageWriter LQ printers: ''* line registration problems at the top and bottom 1 1/2'' of the page ''* printer noise ''Printers qualifying for rework have serial numbers less than 183101013.'' Information of this nature is important and a forum to pass it on quickly would be nice. Q. What is Capital's policy on distribution of new systems and utilities? Can SMUG members get these upgrades free if they bring in the disks? A. Updates and fixes are a problem. They are often announced long before Apple gets them to us. Our policy on updates has always been consistent with Apple's policy. If a major upgrade is announced (5.0 to 6.0), the manuals are important to understanding its use. Apple sells usthe complete box for resale. (The last two have been $49.) If it is a minor upgrade, not needed by all customers, Apple puts it on AppleLink or other bulletin boards, or ''eventually'' sends us a copy of the disks containing the update or fix and asks us to make it available. We provide update disks at $5 each. This charge covers time and the cost of the disk. There is no charge if a customer brings in his/her original disks (proof-of- purchase) and wants to use his or her own disks and copy the upgrade. Thank you for the opportunity to be your guest speaker at your March meeting and in this column. I look forward to a renewed and improved relationships.
Copyright © april, 1989 by Date: April, 1989