FACUG in Kissimmee
By Don Patzsch, Tampa PC Users Group
At Kissimmee, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, March 3, 4 and 5, the FACUG held their
spring meeting. President Larry Tyler and all his helpers did a great job of planning and
then carrying out the series of meetings. There were well over a hundred enthusiastic
people in attendance.On Friday night, we were registered and all were given a tee shirt courtesy of
Visitalk. We were also given a cloth bag containing many goodies and brochures from the
vendors. Refreshments and soft drinks were available, and we broke into groups and talked.
On Saturday morning at 8 A.M., a breakfast was served. Larry gave us a talk about the
FACUG and what we could expect for the next two days. Bart then put the FACUG web page on
the screen and showed much of the very worthwhile information you may obtain by going to
that site. It is at http://www.facug.org.
Next we broke into sessions, and the first one I attended was on databases. Each group
described what information they put into their database; also they told about who was
allowed to view or to use the information. Mailing labels are made from most databases;
also, the date each person is to renew their membership and, in some cases, many other
details are included there. This was a very interesting session. It is not possible for me
to describe the enthusiasm of the people and the interest they express as these sessions
At 12 we broke for lunch, supplied by Adobe. Adobe always gives us CD’s and other
goodies as they tell us about Adobe. Louise Miller was the host.
After lunch, I attended the Publicity and Public Relations session, then the Web Pages
session. Everyone takes part in each session, and you can pick up a great deal of
information from each one. At 5:30 we broke for dinner, sponsored by MGI software. We were
shown how to use PhotoSuite III, and VideoWave III.
At 7:30 Saturday evening, we were shown the prizes and told the names of the winners of
the web page contest. A meeting of the board followed. The winners are: Winner – Southwest
Florida PCUG. First runner up – Tampa PCUG. Second runner up – Space Coast PCUG. Third
runner up – Tie: PCUG of Jacksonville and Venice Area Computer UG.
All during the three days, the Kissimmee Utility Authority had four computers on the
web for us to use. Two were notebooks and two were desktops. I used them to telnet to my
two email sources and they are fast! The KUA offers free computer courses, monthly rates
starting at $4.50, and other advantages. (http://www.kua.net)
Some of you may not have thought about it, but a utility has rights-of-way all across
the country. This means that long electrical lines, natural gas lines and also railroads
can install the conduits needed for cross country glass fiber connections to all of the
major areas. This is in addition to telephone line rights-of-way. See Boardwatch’s
“Internet Service Providers” magazine at your local bookstore for the maps of
many “backbones” and lots of general information on the www. It is worth the
price—$9.95 for the largest amount basic information on the Internet you have ever
On Sunday, the morning started with a breakfast sponsored by Microsoft. We were told
about such things as how to locate what we want on the Microsoft web site, and also about
the events and how to find the dates and times. The Microsoft representative, Mary Sue,
Following that, I attended a real neat session on the Mac. Now this was a real treat.
The lady from one of the user groups who led the discussion is very talented and really
enthusiastic. Her topic was Vendor Relations. She suggested we meet and get to know the
people behind the store. One thing her group did was get to know the CompUSA people and
CompUSA keeps a room open after hours now so that the Mac group there in Miami can hold a
class! She also told us that she or the others in their group may throw beach balls or
other little stuff into the audience as their meetings progress, just to add a little
something to the whole meeting night! Rose Lynn is a dynamo. She may add a bunch of Mac
people to our FACUG meetings next year. We learned some things about the Mac and the Mac
The final session was on Advertising. Now I did not expect to find so many neat ideas
and so much discussion on what and how to place advertisements in your newsletter. You
can’t help but catch the excitement as everyone tells you what their group does or doesn’t
At noon, we broke for lunch with Inprise-Borland as the sponsor. Yolanda Davis, our
host, gave us a lot of humor and described many uses for the Delphi 5 program. They
produce Jbuilder 3 and C programs also.
After lunch, we broke for the Vendors tables. Each of the Vendors people is available
for questions and to provide further information about their products. One of the
surprises for me at this meeting was Office Depot’s people. They give you the names of
each store manager, who will work with you to provide a program for your user group. These
people were at the fall meeting also.
Matt, the Intuit speaker provided fabulous humor and a great presentation of his Intuit
Corel provided an eighteen page White Paper on Linux. Linux is now in use on more than
twenty five per cent of the world’s servers. The Post Office uses Linux as its operating
system, all over the country. Linux is scalable and stable (more so than other operating
systems). Businesses are using it more each month. Corel packages a shrink-wrapped LINUX
that is easy to install. You know the rest of Corel’s programs: WordPerfect, CorelDraw
JASC has its Paint Shop Pro Version 6, and I think we all use that now. Casady and
Greene, Corel, and Inprise-Borland provided the carry bags. Visitalk and Laser Perfect
were there to answer questions. Kris Canning of Wizcom Technologies showed off their new
Quick Link Pen. You have to try it to understand what it will do for you. You can follow a
line of print and the scanning takes place. Neat product.
Gene Barlow now represents Caldera Linux as well as the PowerQuest products, Partition
Magic, Drive Image, Datakeeper, and Second Chance. Gene and his wife are favorites at
If you want to know why so many enthusiastic computer people spent the weekend in
Kissimmee, come to the fall session that will be hosted by the Tri County PC Users Group
in Port St Lucie. Watch for the October announcement on the FACUG web site.