Williamsport Area Computer Club
Newsletter & Meeting Minutes
Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 14, 2000, at 7 PM, in the JVB Library Technology Branch, 123 East 4th Street, Williamsport.
Club member Geoffrey Knauth will speak about his work in porting large Unix database projects to GNU/Linux using the Oracle software under RedHat 6.1 Enterprise Edition.
Our last meeting was called to order shortly after 7 PM on February 8, 2000, by vice-president Kathy Kolb due to Geoff being away on business. Two first-time attendees were noted, including one from the Bloomsburg area who saw our ad in the Valley Trader. Our thanks go out to that publication for its support.
The minutes of January's meeting were approved.
The absence of treasurer-elect John Yarosz for the second consecutive meeting was noted. Jim will make an effort to contact him to see if he is O.K. Outgoing treasurer Dan Yoas reported that club assets stood at $559.25. No dues for this year have been paid so far.
Advertising / Awareness / Public Relations / Home Page:
Jim asked Kathy if the club's web site could be moved to a separate server which club members could have access to to update various pages in their own time. She said that it could be done, but it wouldn't be possible to access it through the existing URL. However, links could be made from all of the existing pages to their new locations.
Computer Recycling (finding charitable uses for old computers):
- The club donated a 486 system to a disabled child.
- We have a 386 system ready to give away.
- Dan knows a local dentist who may donate a 386 system.
Kathy would still like to see more volunteers for the Show Committee. Early planning is essential for a good show!
We would like to remind our members that suggestions, or better yet, volunteers, for presentations at our meetings are always welcome, and currently in need. Any computer-related topic is suitable.
Local Computer and Internet News:
In lieu of a special presentation this month, we held an open discussion period after the business meeting. While intended as a `Beginner's Night', several of our more experienced members also had problems for the group to ponder. If any of our readership have advice or comments on the subjects below, feel free to send them to Jim and he will forward them to the appropriate party.
- Fred Cupp is having a problem with his parallel-port scanner. Everytime he uses it, his printer driver becomes disabled, even after rebooting, and he has to reinstall it to use his printer. He has tried the port in both ECP and standard mode. Jim suggested searching the net for an updated scanner driver. Dan suggested making the printer driver a read-only file. He also pointed out that the command dir /od will make it easier to see what files have been changed on his system. Finally, Kathy suggested searching the Usenet archives on www.deja.com to see if the problem has already been identified by someone else.
- Dan is looking for diagnostic software for a Syquest removable-media drive.
- Fred wanted to know whether Linux was worth looking into, as he had recently acquired a cheap CD. The concensus was that if he had the disk space to spare, it would be an interesting experience for anyone who didn't mind tinkering with systems. Jim also pointed out that more and more applications are being ported to Linux lately.
- Kathy is trying to figure out why her mother's system puts up an empty folder window on the desktop every time it boots. There is probably an entry left in a configuration. file from some program which was previously installed. Windows comes with a program, sysedit.exe, to present all of your system configuration files in editor windows automatically.
- Paul Baskin is looking for an economical laptop system, and was surprised to find that even used ones sold for high prices. Several members suggested checking manufacturers' web sites for refurbished units. Frequently, older units are listed on www.pricewatch.com.
- Jim is convinced that Windows still has virtual-memory issues, even after upgrading to Windows 98 SE and 128M. Kathy suggested a shareware program called MemTurbo.
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