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Newsletter Section 1


Editor's Column

(Susan Small)

[sue] I can't quite believe that the June issue is being prepared with the central heating still on! Let's hope the English summer will soon be with us.

As this issue came together, the flavour of electronic financial dealings emerged as a theme and I hope you find the articles on e- cash and pick 'n' mix money interesting.

June is a busy month, with the WWW Event on Friday 14 June at Birkbeck College (you should have received a separate flier about this event), the Sun UK User Group LINUX Technical Meeting in Manchester on 19 June and the AGM at the Institute of Education, London on 27 June.

I have a new e-mail address, based at Owles Hall - ukuug-newsletter@ukuug.org . Please feel free to use this address to let me have your views on the newsletter, or to send me articles or letters for publication.

Another reminder - if there are books or software you would be interested in reviewing, let me know and I will do my best to arrange review copies.

Report from the Chair

(Mick Farmer)

[mick] With our rotten Spring now coming to an end, and Summer nearly here, I feel it's time to look forward with optimism at the latest news in our subject area. A recent article in Wired described how Bill Gates and Microsoft are diversifying into the media. It contained the usual predictions concerning a PC on every desk and in every home by the year 2000, and the sobering fact that, since Windows is the market leader by such a long way, the Chinese Government has declared it the official operating system of China! I checked Bill Gates' personal fortune on the real-time Wealth clock (see Website Directory, page 14, in our April issue of news@UK) and wondered whether we should offer support to any Chinese computing dissidents found using UNIX. Perhaps we should send them our early, out of date, editions of the O'Reilly books!

Intranets are for wimps. Thin clients are the latest weapon in the battle to keep Bill Gates off our desktops. Suddenly, there is an alternative to the ubiquitous PC with its “heavyweight” applications. A minimal configuration with a “lightweight” operating system that loads its applications from the network is now considered a serious threat to the PC. This Network Computer (NC) is still evolving, but one of the leading contenders to be the lingua-franca of the new NC is Java, the language developed by those nice people from Sun Microsystems.

New Java SIG is launched

Yes, you read it here first. The UKUUG is to start a SIG devoted to all things Java. Lindsay Marshall, one of our Council members, will co-ordinate its activities. Obviously, this SIG should be driven by what you, the members, want to see. However, I can see a number of possible regular features.

.     Tutorials on the Java language.

.     The latest news from the Java community.

.     Interesting Java Applets (I would like to see a depository of these, demonstrable and down loadable from our web pages).

.     Your questions concerning Java answered.

As they say in one of those catchy TV adverts, the possibilities are bounded only by your imagination. Please contact Lindsay with your suggestions, ideas, comments, etc. or send e-mail to the Java SIG ( java@ukuug.org ).

Member Services, a reminder

Occasionally, on these pages, I remark that both your Council and your Secretariat feel that we're working in the dark because there's so little feedback from you, our members. This time, Summer optimism to the fore, I'll just remind you about some of the services that we offer you.

.     Up to five copies of news@UK delivered to named individuals in your organisation.

.     Free e-mail alias ( xxx@ukuug.org ) for life.
.     Free web home page ( http://www.ukuug.org/~xx ) for life.
.     Free SIGs, such as Linux ( linux@ukuug.org ) and Java ( java@ukuug.org ).

.     Free LUG meetings, such as the monthly meeting in London on the last Thursday of the month ( luug@ukuug.org ).

Please contact your Secretariat, or use the e- mail address given, if you are interested in using any of these services.

Annual General Meeting

Finally, just a reminder that our AGM takes place on Thursday, 27 June at 6.00pm at the Institute of Education, Bedford Way, London. Come along and show your support for the UKUUG.

Cambridge LUG

(Jane Shute)

[janeh] The next meeting will be held in the Department of Geography, Downing Street, Cambridge, on 20 June 1996 starting at 1700hrs. The following topics will be presented by Reg Broughton of RDI:

.     A brief introduction to RDI
.     Overview of the SPARC portable market
.     RDIs hardware products, portable SPARC, rugged portable SPARC and stand alone LCD panels
.     RDIs software products, portable tools, utilities, power management
.     Recent announcements from RDI
.     Demonstration and questions

It is also planned that Bob Dowling will be talking about his recent experiences with e- mail systems.

Jane entered IT in 1985 after completing a degree in Physics. She was employed by Logica for four years as a systems manager and later as office systems manager before leaving to form Shute Associates. She has two kids, 18 and 13, one dog called Samson - a soppy Golden Retriever. She likes travelling and beer, and used to drive racing cars (but has now resorted to 4x4). She is also the Editor of the Sun UK User Group newsletter.

London LUG

(Andrew Findlay)

[andrewf] The next LUUG Lecture will be delivered by Dr Lindsay Marshall of the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne on Thursday 27 June 1996 at 1900hrs. It will be in Room 731, Level 7, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1.

Krakatoa - East of Java!
Java is a very hot topic at the moment, but what is behind all the hype? Lindsay's enthusiasm for object-based programming is well known and he is currently writing a book on Java. In spite of this, his opinion of Java itself is less than volcanic and he suggests that there are still better languages to be found. We can look forward to a cut-the-hype view of the    situation, comparing other languages such as Safe Tcl, and interspersed with appropriate geographic and film references (both of which appear in the title of the talk).

Admission is free, and is open to everyone. The talk follows the AGM of UKUUG Ltd which will be held in the same room.

Informal discussions will continue after the lecture at the Rising Sun in Tottenham Court Road before moving on to eat, probably at the Cypriana. (The nearest Underground station here is Goodge Street.)

The lectures are sponsored by the UK UNIX Systems User Group. For further information on LUUG Lectures, contact Andrew Findlay.

Andrew Findlay organises LUUG events, barndances, and ox-roasts. Between these momentous events, he is in charge of the team that deals with the exponential computing requirements of Brunel University.

Tax Cruncher User Group Discount Program

Tax Cruncher Software Inc. produces personal tax spreadsheets based upon programs like Microsoft Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, Claris Works and Microsoft Works. Our Inland Revenue forms are in the final stages of development and will be available for Beta testing within 2 weeks.

Our aim is to provide a personal tax preparation product for the lowest possible cost. One of the ways that we accomplish this goal is by working with computer user groups.

Because the Tax Cruncher uses spreadsheet technology it is used most successfully by people that are computer literate. We do not claim to provide the easiest user interface available. We live with the constraints of a

spreadsheet for a number of reasons:

Our products are very small (about 100K bytes) so they don't take up a lot of precious disk space. This also makes them ideal for down loading from a Web site or BBS.

There is no installation procedure - you just File->OPEN and you're immediately working on your taxes.

Our products can run on older computers. If you can run a spreadsheet you can use the Tax Cruncher.

By using spreadsheets we keep our development costs low so that we can offer products for a reasonable price.

We will offer our UK forms through our World Wide Web page http://www.lookup.com/Homepages/55461/home.html as well as through CompuServe and probably a UK based Internet service, for the price of £12. However, for participating user groups the same products are available at a 25% discount. I think you'll agree that if the Tax Cruncher can save a couple of hours of your time and guarantees accurate calculations it is well worth only £9.

If you hold regular meetings we would also ask that you schedule a brief period of time to discuss and perhaps demonstrate the product.

JANET User Support Workshop

10-12 September 1996
Harper Adams Agricultural College

Call for Papers

The sixth annual JANET User Support Workshop is organised for people at higher education and research organisations connected to JANET and will cover topics related to the use of JANET and the Internet at their institution, and the many networked resources and services now available to the world wide academic community.

The workshop is primarily intended for those who are responsible for providing support, information and education on the use of JANET and the Internet at their institution. This would include computing service managers, user services managers, user support staff, information officers, information service providers, training officers and networking support staff.

This complements the annual technical Networkshop which is held at Easter for networking systems staff and the Networking Strategy workshop held in December, and so the programme emphasises the applications and services on a network, and not the technical aspects of networking.

The workshop will be limited to 150 people, and will last from lunchtime on 10 September to lunchtime on 12 September.

The programme will include plenary sessions for all 150 delegates, and parallel workshop sessions for smaller groups of 20-50 people which will take the form of discussions, demonstrations or tutorials.

There will also be displays with current information and documentation.

Proposed Programme

The workshop organisers are looking for papers in the following areas, all of which

should emphasise the user interface or support side, not the technical side.

.     The Internet - the range of information available to people on JANET and the Internet, and how to find it (but not the merits of Gopher, WAIS etc!)
.     The JANET Service, as seen from various angles, such as the "user" or the computing service support staff

.     Coping with information overload

.     UseNet News

.     Supporting remote users via video conferencing

.     Distance Teaching and Training over the network

.     Supporting Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs)

.     Help Desk Systems

.     Privacy / Encryption for e-mail

.     Dealing with the problems of the different attachments for e-mail

.     HTML for Beginners aimed at the information providers

.     Applications on SuperJANET

Papers that will stimulate discussion, or lead into demonstrations (in smaller groups) are particularly welcome.

Suggestions for discussion group topics for the Parallel Workshop Sessions are most welcome as are suggestions for interesting demonstrations.

Submission of Papers

Interested authors are invited to submit an abstract of their paper and a short biography to the workshop organiser. All abstracts must contain the author's name, address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address (if available).

Please send abstracts and/or suggestions, preferably by E-mail to S.Wood@ukerna.ac.uk

News from Owles Hall

(Jane Morrison)

[janem] The UKUUG Ltd. Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, 27 June, 1996 at the Institute of Education, Bedford Way, London commencing at 6.30 pm. Refreshments will be available prior to the meeting and the LUUG meeting will follow. All the relevant notices have already been sent out to all members and we hope that at least some of you will be able to attend.

The financial accounts for the year ended 31st December have just been approved by your Council and copies for your attention should be included in the envelope with this Newsletter.

To date (31st May) we have not received any nominations for new Council members which is a little sad, but we live in hope that perhaps someone will come forward at the meeting and want to join in with the running of the Group.

I am delighted to report that the majority of

the 1996 subscription fees have been paid very promptly this year - of course there are still some that are unpaid and we shall be targeting these in the next few weeks - if they remain unpaid after this time names will be taken off the mailing list - you have been warned!!

There has not been much of a response to the offer of additional Newsletters sent to other named individuals within organisations ......... I'm not sure why as this is a FREE service. If you are interested please send me the list of names and addresses and I will ensure that they receive a free copy of the Newsletter each mailing. You can send this by post to the Owles Hall address or by E-mail to office@ukuug.org or jane@owles.co.uk - it couldn't be easier........

The next event coming up is the WWW Event on Friday 14th June - we hope that you will be able to attend and look forward to seeing you there.

I have to finish this report now as the deadline for getting it to our editor is approximately 4 minutes and she will rap my knuckles if I'm late again....... It's been a very hectic few days here at Owles Hall - I have just returned from 10 days holiday and am still ploughing my way through all the papers on my desk and the Sun and Sangria are not quite out of my system yet ......

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