Williamsport Area Computer Club

Newsletter / Meeting Minutes

June / July, 1998

Our last formal meeting of the Spring was held on June 9, 1998, with a presentation on wireless data networking services by Cellular One. In July, many of our members met at Benjies, a local restaurant, for good food and good conversation.

Correction: In May's minutes, the name "Kwik Kopy" was spelled incorrectly. We regret the error, and wish to again thank Kwik Kopy and Margaret Curchoe for their donation of printing services for our business cards.

Please note, our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 11, at 7 PM. We will be meeting in room C-303 for August instead of our usual location. Our speaker will be member and local computer consultant Sharon Souter discussing, and demonstrating, Windows 98.

Committee Reports:

Advertising / Awareness / Public Relations / Home Page:

Computer Show / Swap Meet:

Computer Recycling (finding charitable uses for old computers):

Other Business:

Computer Networking / ISP News:


In June, we were pleased to have Greg Deighan and Mark Cherry from Cellular One as guest speakers. Their presentation concerned Cellular Digital Packet Data, a new method for establishing network connections over the cellular phone network. CDPD allows users to perform Internet tasks such as reading their email from laptops and PDAs which run Windows CE.

CDPD does not require any additional frequency allocations from the crowded radio spectrum, but runs over the 395 voice channels already available in the 800-MHz cellular band. This is possible because only 48% of the channels in a market are in use simultaneously even at peak periods.

CDPD currently runs at 19.2 kilobits per second, which may not seem like much compared to some of the new landline technologies, but is quite good considering its usefulness as a mobile service. An upgrade to 33k compressed transmission is possible when the hardware becomes economical. Transmission is controlled in time-division multiple-access fashion, with up to three simultaneous transmissions per cellular network channel. All data is encrypted with RC4 by the CDPD modem, which takes the form of a PCMCIA card and currently costs around $350.

CDPD is currently deployed in 89% of Cellular One's market, and despite new technologies such as PCS and Iridium, they foresee a lifetime of at least 10 more years of analog cellular telephony.

Data received at Cellular One via CDPD can be routed through the telephone network to your existing Internet service provider, or Cellular One's ISP can be used. In either case, the cost is determined by the metered data size.

Cellular One also operates a dialup ISP, with a DS-3 connection to the Net and 24-hour/7-day support via a toll-free number.

Treasurer's Report:

As of June's meeting, our balance was $368.19. During May, $11.46 was paid to the Sun-Gazette for the usual classified ad, and $75 was paid to Kathy to buy gifts for guest speakers and Computer Show door prizes.

Because we do not meet in July, there will be no expenses for the month of June.

Gene Loveland regrets that he must resign his position as Treasurer due to time conflicts. We thank him for his services. Dan has put the money in a bank account and will serve as Treasurer for the rest of the term with the approval of the membership.

Our June business meeting began at 8:16 PM due to placing the program first, and adjourned at 8:40. There were 15 people attending, including many for the first time.

Future Programs
August 11 Sharon Souter -- Windows 98
September 8 Beginner's Night (tentative)
October 13 SkyCable -- DirecPC (date tentative!)
November 10 Election of Officers, other programs tentative
December 8 To Be Announced

We are in need of speakers, and suggestions for speakers, for our meetings. Any computer-related topic is welcome.

Contact Information
Home Page http://www.sunlink.net/wacc
Chat Room http://www.talkcity.com/chat.cgi?room=Williamsport, Tuesday and Sunday evenings
Secretary Jim Shaffer, Jr., jshaffer@csrlink.net
Mailing List Send a message to wacc-chat-request@sunlink.net with the word subscribe in the subject

The next meeting is Tuesday, August 11, at 7 PM, in the Lycoming College Academic Center room C-303 (note temporary change of location.)

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