A NEW COLUMN! (all about oure new SIGS and more)
Author: Larry Goldberg
Date: February, 1987
Keywords: SMUG SIG special interest group column
Text: As an introduction, I've been participating in S.M.U.G. for nearly one year and have been utilizing Macintosh equipment since 1984. My computer background is in IBM (I learned Fortran on a System 32 in 1969) and I've done D-Base programming, spreadsheet analysis and general word processing for approximately five years. Febnetworked with 6 other Macs in a "local area network". My current interests are in the realm of international telecommunications and database applications. Well, enough about me, now, about this column. I am developing a series of special interest group meeting programs for the next year. I will report, in a general sort of way, about what we plan to cover for the month's meeting in each issue of the S.M.U.G. newsletter. This column is a take-off on the monthly column I write for the newsletter of the agency I work for. This gives me an opportunity to brush up on new and old applications for the Mac and share some of the insights I hear from the "grapevine." Naturally as the column suggests, Information IS Power... Now, down to business... For several months there has been an on-going discussion of the possibility of holding special interest group (SIG) meetings. The purpose of a SIG meeting is to allow S.M.U.G. members to become more familiar with Mac hardware and applications. While most of us consider ourselves "generalists", it's amazing how many "specialists" we have amoung our group. If each of us can share some unique and/or special know-how about a program, a desk accessory or just some "how-to-do-it-better" techniques, we can all benefit from our combined "learning curve." The Redwood Community Action Agency, a local non-profit community service agency, has generously agreed to allow the use of their facilities to hold SIG meetings. Located at 904 G Street (the large yellow Victorian building on the corner of 9th & G Streets, Eureka), RCAA is one of the few fully computerized non-profits in Humboldt County. Now utilizing a TOPS local area network, seven Macintosh computers are now networked together sharing hard-disk and printing resources. RCAA additionally has three modems for telecommunications and owns most of the popular MAC software (ranging from work processing, spreadsheet and data base applications to statistical and color printing applications). The first SIG meeting will be held on February 16th at 7 p.m. and the topic will be desk accessories. While this is Washington's birthday holiday, I don't expect too many people will be out of town or unavailable to come to an evening meeting. RCAA will have three or four Macs set up in the conference room with power (surge-protected, naturally) and space available for anyone else to bring their own machines. Three individuals will give short presentations on their favorite desk accessories and everyone will have an opportunity to try them out. Those which are public domain software (most of them are) will be available for transfer to user's systems. The whole session will last no later than 9 p.m.
A couple of rules for SIG meetings: 1) no copying of copy-protected software (RCAA's or others) will be allowed, 2) meetings will be restricted to the conference room of the building unless persons are supervised by RCAA staff in other areas, 3) RCAA is not responsible for damage or loss of any property (hardware or software) of any participant. With these simple rules in mind, the SIG meeting format can lend itself to a whole new dimension of S.M.U.G. activities.
Currently being planned for the future are the following SIGs: * Word processing: Microsoft Word (3.0) * Spreadsheet/data base: Microsoft Excel * Telecommunications: Microphone * Typesetting/layout: Pagemaker or Ready-Set-Go * Project Planning: MacProject * Relational data base: Helix or Omnis 3+ * Spellcheckers: Macspell+, MacLightning and Spellswell * Graphics I: Fullpaint and/or Superpaint * Graphics II: clip art, MacDraw, Thunderscan * Statistics: Statview 512+ and/or MacSpin Additional topics can be discussed after these initial seminars are completed. To facilitate the implementation of the SIG meetings, a sign-up will be conducted at the regular S.M.U.G. meeting immediately preceding the SIG. For anyone who cannot attend the S.M.U.G. meeting in February, but who would like to attend the SIG, please contact me, Larry Goldberg, at 445-0881 during business hours (8:30-5) weekdays). With good participation and enthusiasm, lets make the SIG meetings a good opportunity to share the learning curve!
Copyright © february, 1987 by Larry Goldberg