The August meeting of the TI-Chips was opened with the reading of the July minutes. The minutes were accepted as read. I reported that I received confirmation from the library administrator of the reservations for our meeting rooms and dates. I gave Craig Getty the confirmation notice for him to copy down the meeting dates for the rest of this year and the first half of 2002. Lin Shaw gave the Treasurer's report and stated that the 50:50 raffle was adding to the total every month. Also our expenditures were minimal during the first half of this year.
John Parken gave the membership report and said that we were as strong as we've been for quite a while with the addition of some new members and the renewals of former members. John also said he would try to a have an updated membership list at the September meeting.
Les Kee once again reported that once he remove the dust from the disk library, he found that, although very lonely, it was still in good shape. Rich Polivka brought up the problems some TI'ers have reported they have had with old floppy disks damaging their disk drives. It seems that the adhesive that hold the magnetic media onto the Mylar disk dries out and the media dusts off onto the recording/play heads. This in turn jams the disk drive. Harry Hoffman added that cleaning the loose media from the drive is very difficult at best. I wondered if there was a simple "flexing test" that could be done on old floppies to determine if they were going to fall apart before they were put into the drive. Ron Markus said he doubted that there was such a test, and he also questioned the reliability of such a test. We left this question to the TI community for some help and/or answers. It will be interesting if a diskette quality pretest procedure has been done with some success.
Craig Getty mentioned that his grandfather passed away and that he found what appeared to be an early form of calculator in his Grandfather's possessions. Craig passed it around much to our amusement.
Rich Polivka brought in the newsletter CD's and my hard copy collection as he had promised. I ran one CD in my laptop computer and it played beautifully in both MAX and PDF formats. However it was noted that the October 1983 thru April 1984 newsletters were not on the CDs. Rich said it must have happened as the result of his system crash last year, and he said he would burn make up CDs with the missing issues. I said I would be happy to deliver the hard copy editions to him if he was unable to locate the scans in his files.
At this time I took the opportunity to take both Rich Polivka's and Ron Markus' pictures for an update in the Members' Gallery on our Web site.
Norb Sitter said that several members of CUE (Computer Users of Erie, PA.) expressed interest in Les Kee's upcoming LINUX demo. Norb also said the several CUE members were former members of the greater Cleveland area TI-99/4A user groups at one time. Harry Hoffman confirmed this by stating that he knew of several North Coast, Golden Crescent and Solon user group members who "migrated" to CUE when their respective Cleveland area TI-99/4A user groups folded. It ws good to hear that these people were still active in computer user groups and especially TI-99/4A SIGs.
John Parken said he was attempting to load and run my old TI-99/4A screen message program, TI-BOARD, on his system at home. John said he was having one major problem though. It seems that the only copy of TI-BOARD he has is on cassette and he couldn't find a cassette player that works at home. I said that TI-BOARD would also fit on the MINI MEMORY cart. John said he would try this and might have something to show us at the September meeting. John stressed that there was no promises, but he would give it a try.
Les Kee presented his demonstration of LINUX Version 2.0. It turns out that LINUX, for those of us who are uninitiated or informed, is a graphic based OS much like Windows 9x. The main difference is that LINUX is very stable and it is much less expensive than Microsoft's Windows. (Free downloads of LINUX are available from the LINUX web site at www.demolinux.org, and were only $19.95 at Best Buy about five months ago according to Rich Polivka.) Les also informed us that LINUX can be installed with Windows resident. This means we can have two operating systems at our disposal. Les handed out several LINUX demo CD-ROMS and boot disks. It was an excellent demo Les, and one well worth the wait.
Ron Markus handed out packets of 25 reusable 3-1/2" diskettes to everyone who was in attendance at the close of the meeting. Thanks for your thoughtfulness, Ron.
Craig Getty won the monthly 50:50 raffle. (Craig won the largest raffle pot we've had in a long time.) Congratulations, Craig.
The next meeting of the TI-Chips will be Saturday, September 15 at the North Royalton branch of the Cuyahoga Library System, in the Story Time Room from 10:00 AM to Noon.