Looking Back to 1992
From the February 1992 Bits of Blue
TAMPA IBM PC User Group
MINUTES OF 1/8/92 MEETING
The President, Harvey Bruneau, opened the meeting at approximately 6 PM. He
introduced the officers elected at the December meeting who will serve thru
1992. They are:
|Member At Large
||Jim Clark & Charles Howe
- Harvey announced that the WordPerfect folks could not make this meeting
and they have been rescheduled for March. Meanwhile, our own illustrious
Education Director, Ed Buzza, would fill in with a presentation on
Professional Write for DOS.
- The President emphasized one of the most important functions of our club -
computer education for our members and the need to get going on SIGs. The
pressing need here is for knowledgeable volunteers to make themselves
available to lead SIGs covering the more significant software on which they
are proficient. COME ON, MEMBERS! There is a lot of talent in this club. Share
your knowledge with others! VOLUNTEER TO LEAD A SIG! And, give a presentation
on the software to the club! (Note: A presentation to the club would be an
excellent introduction to your SIG.)
- In pursuit of the goal of achieving 300 members, Harvey informed us that
he was placing our flyers at strategic retail outlets that would allow same.
And in response to queries last month, flyers were available for members to
spread around as well.
- In response to a question about tax software for 1991, the membership was
informed that the shareware program AMTAX91 was now on our BBS. One member
also advised of a freeware spreadsheet template that was available on other
BBSs and should be on ours in the near future. If interested, keep your eye
out for 91fm1040. Reportedly, this freebee will work on most major
spreadsheets (I know it will work on Lotus and Quatro Pro; apparently others
- The President reported that one rater of computer suppliers has rated
Gateway as #1 overall. Others in our group commented on Gateway - all of which
was very favorable. This is not by way of a commercial, rather it is one of
the functions of this club - to make all members aware of suppliers who have
good products and services at reasonable prices.
- It was reported that the Comp USA store at Himes and Hillsborough was to
make a soft opening on 11 January, with a Grand Opening to be sometime later.
- A few problems have been reported with Microsoft Word 2.0 for Windows -
mostly with the spell checker, grammar checker and MACRO functions. There was
a brief discussion of some of the problems, but I was unable to catch the
comments. Be Aware!
- Windows 3.1 reportedly is due out in April. If interested, start looking
about that time. As an aside, one member reported a RUMOR, I emphasize RUMOR,
that Windows 3.1 had deliberately been designed to not work with DRDOS. DRDOS
users might want to investigate before buying. And we all should be concerned
IF this rumor is true and reconsider Microsoft as a whole and the implications
such an action would have for the industry. Let’s hope it is false!
- Harvey reported that the early copies of OS/2 Ver 2.0 are out to selected
users. But, all of its features have not been Beta tested, though IBM
indicates that Ver 2.0 has been tested in-house. General release to the public
is now scheduled for the end of March. We’ll see then whether or not that will
lead to the software battle of the century.
- Intel is reportedly out of the 386 microchip business since there is too
much competition and too little money in it, and is now pushing 486 and higher
chips. Many expect a rather large decline in prices to take place over the
- Following a break, Harvey shared a few comments on language translators.
He related that he had received French Assistant from Santa Claus and he was
pleasantly surprised and reported that it was pretty good for a $49 program.
Though it will not make coherent translations for every bit of our personal
English, it does a fairly good job on proper English. Check it out (also
available in Spanish, German & Italian) if you need a translator.
PROGRAM REVIEW: Professional Write for DOS
In typical fashion, Ed Buzza gave an excellent comprehensive presentation on
PFS: Professional Write, now owned and published by Spinnaker Software Corp.
Ed reported that PW is installed simply by copying the program files to the
desired directory - no “install” program is involved. The program requires 512K
of RAM and an 8088 or higher. It works best with a hard drive, but will work
with two floppies - though you may do a bit of swapping and it will be quite a
bit slower when disk access is involved.
Among the features of PW are:
- Has built in grammar and spell checkers.
- Has a built in address book feature which accepts ASCII delimited files
from databases. This allows, of course, merging form or standard letters with
a mailing list.
- Setup for the program is very easy and it has excellent printer support,
including an extensive list of supported printers and an unlisted printer
option, and a control code option for lasers.
- Keyboard MACROS.
- Very good on-line help.
- In contrast to some word processors. PW has toggle choice of
- Shows the percentage of memory used of that available for documents.
Capacity of the program varies with memory available, but it has relatively
good capacity - with only 512K conventional RAM the program will hold about 70
pages; with upper memory, about 85 pages.
- Excellent controls, including blocking (including rectangular/column),
line/box drawing, maneuvering on the page and throughout the document, print
and save in pieces, are but a few.
- It is mouse supported, and includes a calculator.
This is a pretty good program, but you should note that this is strictly a
word processor; today we see many “word processors” which are closer to DTPs
than WPs. This is not one of those. It does support multi-column formats,
however. But, it does not support graphics - except for charts produced in PFS
programs - such as First Choice and PFS Window Works.
One other note about this program - there is little similar between it and
Professional Write for Windows. The latter is a much more powerful program and
includes many DTP features, including graphics handling. When asked about
relative value, Ed indicated that in today’s environment the $149 price for PW
for DOS was a little high and that for a few more bucks you could get a more
powerful program (e.g., WP 5.1).
Having given you this brief summary of the extensive review that Ed gave us,
all that is left is to say, “Thanks, Ed, for your typical super presentation. We
all appreciate the presentation and all of the effort you put into it.”
Copyright Laws: After the presentation a discussion of copyright laws
developed. It was noted that some businesses and private individuals are rather
loose with regard to the proprietary rights of others - passing around
copyrighted software. We might all do well to review/refresh ourselves and
reread the license agreement for copyrighted software we hold. The very
beginning of one PFS program I hold, for example, says “This Software is
licensed, not sold to you by Spinnaker, owner of the product, for use only under
the terms of this License...” We all should know and adhere to the copyright