Minutes of the July 8 Meeting

By Merle Nicholson, President, Tampa PC Users Group
substituting for secretary, Kevan Sheridan

We started with the Windows SIG at 6:00PM, led by Mary Sheridan. The purpose of the SIG is to provide a discussion forum for Windows issues and helping each other. The half-hour was easily filled with a lively discussion, mostly concerning Windows 98 and who has done what so far. We were reluctant to stop, but finally had to because the main event got set up and going - Gateway 2000.

Rich Podoisky and Beth Wood from the Gateway 2000 Country Store gave a very nice talk about their company, interesting facts about the company, about the founder and how he started the company. The founder simply started in his house building computers for people in South Dakota and expanded into his father's barn - hence the cow logo and barn theme in their advertising.

Beth and Rich led some lively discussions and gave out many T-shirts, pencils, cups and key chains to people who would speak up with answers. A prize was given to the person with the fastest computer, the slowest and for computer trivia. As the evening progressed it was obvious that there are a lot of Gateway computer owners among our membership. Some time was devoted to discussing various members' purchases. All the comments were very positive.

Beth and Rich talked some about the newest ads that offer a computer for $49 a month. It was understandable because the ads really do not offer much detail. But if I understood it correctly, the deal is simply a direct financed purchase of whatever computer you want with payments up to four years. After two years, Gateway will accept the computer back as a trade, with the trade-in value based on the "computer bluebook" published value.

Rich and Beth gave a lively, entertaining talk and we appreciate them coming out to talk to us. They're welcome back any time. During the break, we discussed arranging to use their training room for our Visual Basic SIG, and they were very enthusiastic about the idea. (See page 10 in this newsletter for information on the SIG)

As you know we have two door prize drawings - one for prizes and one for cash. We had good sales and some fun with it. The details - who won what - will be reported next week. u