Our club IRC event last night was a success. Unlike last week's attempt
when everyone (me) forgot about it. :)
After some socializing while people arrived -- including a highly technical
debate on implementing SFIP-DU (snack foods over IP on dial-up) -- we
chatted with about 7-10 people at various times.
1. We discussed how to proceed as an organization. Our presence at TCF was
a huge success, but it was still a "beta" for our club's very existence.
This weekend, I discussed the matter of formally organizing us with my
uncle, who is an attorney. He explained that we don't need an attorney, we
need an accountant. He also explained that contrary to popular
understanding, becoming a non-profit organization does not authorize groups
to distribute tax reciepts to donators, which we'd like to do for people who
donate things to our future club museum at the InfoAge facility. (A quick
update for club newbies: InfoAge is a new science museum opening soon in
Wall, NJ, at the site of the former Camp Evans military research base --
they invited us to manage their computer collection.)
Accountants are expensive, we have virtually no money, and no one wants to
start asking for dues or membership fees. So we reached two decisions in
the chat last night, as sort of a compromise between the informality we
desire and the real-life issues we'll inevitably face: first, we'll appoint
or elect some club officers, and second, we'll ask InfoAge to grant MARCH a
seat on its board -- thanks to Bill Degnan for the excellent suggestion.
(Also: I confirmed today that InfoAge already is an official 501(c)
By default, I'll be the president. Jim Scheef (who lives in Connecticut)
volunteered to be our treasurer. Jim has many years of experience in
managing amateur computer clubs. He's currently looking into getting us a
bank account. John Allain is our webmaster.
To appease bankers, outsiders, etc., we should have one VP and one
secretary. Club co-founder Andy Mayer volunteered for a VP role. Bill
Degnan, Kelly Leavitt, and Jim O'Brien all volunteered to help in general.
Bill, Kelly, and Jim -- which of you wants to be club secretary? LOL, no,
it doesn't involve picking up my dry cleaning or anything like that.
As a mere formality, I can assume power and appoint these folks. :) Or we
can have a little election using the Yahoo group.
2A. We talked about the next MARCH event. Later this summer, probably in
August or September, InfoAge will host local radio clubs for a swapmeet. We
can potentially co-host that. Regardless, we want to schedule time to visit
the facility and to start evaluating their existing computer collection (the
highlights of which I previously posted to a table in our Yahoo group).
Several of us agreed that an afternoon visit is best, perhaps on a Friday.
(Andy and I already visited and spent about three hours getting the full
campus tour. I can arrange for an abridged tour, so that we'd have more
time to look over their computer collection, which at last check is about
50% ready for us -- the rest is waiting to be delivered.) Anyone care to
suggest a date for this mini-trip? (InfoAge is easy to get to -- it's very
close to the intersection of I-195 and the Garden State Parkway, about an
hour east of Trenton.)
2B. We could also take a road trip to visit the three museums in Maryland
and DC -- those include the Historical Electronics Museum (
http://www.hem-usa.org ), the NSA's National Cryptologic Museum (
http://www.nsa.gov/museum ), and the Smithsonian ( http://tinyurl.com/7pxrp
) -- in fact we got a personal tour invitation from David Allison, chairman
of the Smithsonian's information technology and communications department --
but we'd have to accept that soon because they are closing the computers
exhibit after this summer for renovation. Personally, I feel that we could
visit all three museums in one solid day, but most chatters last night
disagreed. David Gesswein said that some people could possibly crash at his
house for a night (a bit northwest of DC) if his contractors finish in time.
2C. This fall, we'll start planning to host VCF East 3.0, to occur next
2D. Craving other local events? I keep a list on the homepage for Computer
Collector Newsletter (my other volunteer endeavor). Click the "events" link
at http://news.computercollector.com and please speak up if I've missed
3. Bill Degnan is almost done making a database for members to list our
collection inventories. It's going to use MySQL and he'll send around a
text file to help us get started. I'm contacting VCF's Sellam Ismail, since
he has an existing makes/models list that we can probably use as a template.
(Same one as at http://www.vintagecomputermarketplace.com) -- Bill also
invited us to stop at his house if we're ever passing through Delaware.
After all that, about 90 minutes has passed already, and we started talking
about Pong and all sorts of wacky things, so we called it a chat. We
decided to have this chat on the third Monday of every month, same bat time,
same bat channel.
Andy will post the whole logbot file to our Yahoo group.
- Evan Koblentz
Evan Koblentz's personal homepage: http://www.snarc.net
Also see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/midatlanticretro/
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