Williamsport Area Computer Club Meeting minutes & newsletter - October, 1996 * (please be sure to read ISP news section for important info) *
Kathy Kolb, President, called the meeting to order, followed by an introduction of new guests. 21 people were present. Last months meeting minutes were accepted as circulated.
Willis Beaver, Treasurer reported $61.00 in our account, having 15 paid members. Willis will pursue a checking account at Northern Central Bank for our pending Non-profit Organization.
Joe Smertneck reported good and bad news in his dealings while pursuing NFP status for us. The good was that we don't have to file for a fictitious name. The bad was the amount of funds needed to obtain NFP status were estimated between $400.00 To $700.00. Vito Sylvester suggested that maybe we could possibly do this under an Umbrella or Parent Organization. He will work with Joe on this issue. The Club welcomes legal help and / or donations for this project. Please contact Joe - firstname.lastname@example.org .
Kathy reported that our home page was updated and the bylaws are now online. We have had over 2200 hits on the club home page at http://www.sunlink.net/wacc. The Wacc Announce email list includes over 150 area computer and internet users, and the wacc-chat mailing list has 47 subscribers.
Committees: Club Advertising I Awareness I Public Relations I Membership / Home Page: John Drawbaugh gave us a list of 25 Montoursville AOL subscribers. They'll be sent a note about the Club. CSR Uplink has invited the Club for a tour of their building. The CSR visit has been tentatively rescheduled for Friday, November 8 at 7:30PM. This is a different date than was discussed at the meeting - Please let Kathy know if that date is not acceptable. When we reach a firm date, a notice will be posted on the club's main home page www.sunlink.net/wacc. We will all meet at CSR, 515 West Fourth ST, Williamsport PA. RSVP via Kathy so we can give them an idea of how many people to expect - email@example.com .
Computerfest: Daniel Yoas reported on the Computerfest in Altoona produced by RV Productions that wasn't there. When he and Joe Smertneck arrived, there was a huge billboard stating that it was canceled. Kathy asked the people on the Computerfest committee (and anyone interested) to please begin discussions on when, where, and how the Club will hold this event. Contact Willis: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Computer Recycling (giving old computers new homes): Jack Shaffer donated software and offered a Star Gemini Printer to the club for recycling. Joe Smertneck reported that he repaired a non operating VGA Monitor that had been given to the Club. We were also offered a Tandy 1000, which the members decided not to take.
All of the PA Intermediate Units have agreed to work in partnership with Penn State University SCROUNGE Program. Bob VanAllen, who works at BLAST 17 is sending the Club more info and has offered to provide a representative to speak at a club meeting about the program.
Daniel Yoas reported that the Literacy Program at the JVB Library is in need of an Apple Macintosh Printer. If you have a Mac compatible printer to donate, contact the Literacy Program at 326-0536. He also brought us up to date on their Novell Netware Server status. They will be adding 4 more public access Internet terminals for a total of 6. http://www.jvbrown.edu
North Central PA computer networking: Bob Garrett suggests the following IRC servers: voyager.dal.net, farside.dal.net, stlouis.dal.net and glass.dal.net irc servers. The WACC IRC channel is located on Dalnet.
*Local BBS I ISP / Computer Retailer news: In September, Third Wave ISP (Internet Service Provider) dropped the total 717 area without prior warning to their customers. Furthermore, they did not offer free email aliasing to affected customers (email aliasing would provide time for customers to locate a new ISP and notify friends, businesses, and mailing lists of their new email address, without losing valuable messages). It is believed that Third Wave pulled out of the 717 area due to the proposed rate changes to Bell's "Centrex Extend" service which has (up till now) allowed ISPs to provide Internet access to remote areas.
Kathy updated us with newspaper article about the PUC's ruling and a press release from PA-ISP's efforts to stop the Public Utility Commission from dramatically raising Centrex Extend rates. This would mean that rural areas (including the educational facilities there) would probably not have local access to the internet. It would also mean higher prices and possibly restricted hours for all! The Club encourages EVERYONE to write to the PUC and their State representatives against this action. If the PUC does not change it's mind on this subject, the days of unlimited Internet access for $15 a month may soon be over. Also, if you have a small business, please write to the Small Business Advocate. This matter will next be addressed by the PUC on October 17, so please write your letters soon. Send your letters to:
Commonwealth of PA, PUC PO Box 3265 Harrisburg PA 17105-3265
Office of Small Business Advocate Suite 1102 Commerce Building 300 N. 2nd ST Harrisburg, PA 17101
And your State Representatives.
More information regarding the Pennsylvania Association of Internet Service Providers (PA-ISP), a group of 13 ISPs which includes 2 of our local providers: Sunlink and Uplink, can be accessed at http://home.ptd.net/~sjrubin/pa-isp . Specific info regarding the PUC fight is located there.
New ISP expected to begin service to the 717 area code by the end of the year - Vicon.net
Help: (offering help to computer users who need it) Joe Smertneck has mastered Entombed <loud cheer>! Now, he is onto Zork and needs help with installation. Daniel Yoas has volunteered to do so. Jack Shafer requested help with some browser problems, Sharon Souter volunteered to help him out. Jim Shaffer requested information regarding his hard drive thrashing. Several inquiries have been answered on the wacc-chat mailing list on various questions. It's a great technical resource! See the end of this message for info on how to subscribe to the wacc-chat mailing list.
Programs: Mike Lacher provided us with a high tech presentation on Voice Recognition Software on a PC. Using IBM's OS2 Warp Voice Manager, Mike gave us live demonstrations of navigation and dictation. Showing us examples of opening and closing programs; composing, sending, and receiving email; and of course, surfing the net! This was all done via speech recognition without the use of mouse or a keyboard. Amazing!
The tentative program for November is on Bloomsburg Area Freenet by Mr. Dutt of Bloomsburg University. We hope to have Susquehanna Communications provide us with our December program featuring information on their Internet plans and Williamsport cable system upgrade.
Miscellaneous: The Club has been invited to a open house at ATAC October 19th from 1-4pm they are located in Mill Hall, PA Check them out at http://www.ataccorp.com/
"Fall Internet World" - a series of Internet related workshops and a large exhibition will be held December 11 - 13 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in NY City. See http://events.iworld.com/fall96/iw/ for more info and online registration - registration for the exhibit hall is free, but must be made in advance. Contact Kathy - email@example.com if you are going and have an extra spot.
Next meeting date: Tuesday, November 12, 1996 - 7 pm, Lycoming College Academic Center, Williamsport, PA.
Local Internet Service Provider (ISP) info: SunLink 326-4781 www.sunlink.net Uplink 327-8000 www.csrlink.net Pennet 368-1577 www.pennet.net Prolog 1-800-804-5783 www.prolog net Microserve 1-800-380-I NET www.microserve.com Voicenet 1-800-835-5710 www.voicenet.com
Williamsport Area Computer Club contact info:- home page: http://www.sunlink.net/wacc Kathy KoIb - 326-7529 (voice) - kkolb@sunIink.net (email) Local BBSs: Lycoming Link 321-6440, Cyberville 326-4362 IRC channel Tuesday and Sunday evenings on irc.dal.net ( join #WACC ) wacc-chat mailing list- send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word subscribe in the subject.