Re: Happy Birthday to TECHWR-L!

Subject: Re: Happy Birthday to TECHWR-L!
From: Dan BRINEGAR <vr2link -at- VR2LINK -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 1998 04:05:13 -0700

... and my dad wondered why I kept all those old posts 8-)

>>From: "Eric J. Ray" <ejray -at- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
>> Happy Birthday to TECHWR-L!
>>Actually, it's a little belated, but as of the first weekend
>>in March, TECHWR-L is five years old, if you can a
>>believe that. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone
>>who claims to be the oldest surviving (that is, longest
>>term) list member.

Wow, I can't believe it's only been five years... (feels more like six or
seven... ;-)

When the STC _Intercom_ placed a blurb about the new BITNET List for
technical communicators, I actually called my school's forum administrator
on a *Sunday* to get us subscribed... this was in the days when anything to
do with TC was new-and-exciting for me: I kept everything!

>>*********************FIRST FLAME WAR************************************
>>Written : 11/03/93.12:16pm
>>"For goodness sake, haven't we beaten the old chestnuts to death yet? "


My first post:
>>16 April 93
>>Phoenix Chapter, Society for Technical Communication
>>April Meeting Features Science Fair Winners and
>>Information Mapping
>> The Fish Market Restaurant was quite the choice for STC's April
>>meeting place: they had 'em packed in like sardines.
>> In perhaps the largest turnout for the Phoenix Chapter all year,
>>41 people attended Tuesday night's meeting. In a room set up for about 30
>>people, the winners of the Central Arizona Regional Science and
>>Engineering Fair received awards and free dinners, and Jim Christ of
>>Honeywell's Automation College gave a presentation on Information
>> The Central Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair
>>(CARSEF), completed last month, features winners of local junior and
>>senior high school science fairs. Jim Greenfield, STC's CARSEF manager,
>>noted "there were more reports and better reports" this year; "it was a
>>lotta fun."
>> Out of 410 student projects this year, 243 included reports which
>>were judged by STC's CARSEF team. Winners this year included:
>> *Julie Gunzel of Payson Junior High, for a report on
>> experiments she did on soil chemistry;
>> *Elizabeth Holliday of Globe High School, for her research on
>> water plants and their potential uses against oil slicks;
>> *Natalie Gluck, of Central High in Phoenix, who participated in
>> research at Barrow Neurological Institute on a human
>> receptor gene that may be a predictor of survival rates in
>> brain-tumor patients.
>> Elizabeth and Natalie attended Tuesday's meeting with their
>>science teachers. "It's very important for students to win an award from
>>a technical society," according to Ken Zeigler, Elizabeth's Teacher at
>>Globe High School.
>> Ellen Fenwick, a tech writer at Emtek Health Services in Phoenix
>>and one of the CARSEF judges this year pointed out that the winners' free
>>dinners weren't exactly free: "They worked awfully hard on these
>>reports," she said. "If any of you are interested in jobs after
>>graduation," Ellen added, " be sure to give me a call!"
>> Don Galen, Natalie's teacher at Central High, who has been
>>sending award-winning science-students to the CARSEF for 24 years noted
>>that he was "proud to participate."
>> Elizabeth, the second-place winner, and Natalie, first-place, also
>>received $75 and $150 awards, respectively, for their entries.
>> Jim Greenfield received a special plaque from chapter President
>>Pete Daniels for Jim's "umpteen" years of effort as manager of STC's
>>CARSEF activities. STC is an enabling co-sponsor of the event.
>> While the CARSEF awards were made, the restaurant staff were
>>bustling about getting meals served, filling water glasses, and bringing
>>in extra tables and chairs for the greater-than-expected attendance. Of
>>the 41 who attended, a record 14 first-time guests and new-members
>>showed up.
>> Chapter board members Steve Cascone and Freya Winsberg took the
>>opportunity presented by all the potential new members to pitch the
>>chapter's professional interest commitees, the upcoming regional
>>technical communications conference in October, and announce society news
>> * The promotion of Saul Carliner to STC's second Vice-President.
>>In two years Saul will automatically move into position as
>>the society's president. Steve predicted that Saul will bring
>>"tremendous energy" to STC.
>> Jim Christ's presentation on Information Mapping got an
>>enthusiastic reception from most members.
>> Information Mapping is a proprietary methodology for "analysing,
>>organizing, and presenting information in high-performance documents"
>>that is intended to provide users of anything that can be documented with
>>the information they need
>> *"when they need it
>> *"where they need it, and
>> *"without any entraneous, ambiguous, or irrelevant
>>clutter, whatever
>> they're doing."
>> Many of the communicators at the meeting had heard of or seen
>>info-mapped documentatio, but few apparently were aware of the research
>>that went into developing that method.
>> While Info-Mapping's most-apparent difference from standard
>>documenhtation is the format, according to Mr Christ the format of
>>info-mapped documents is really less-than 40 percent of the method:
>>"Analysis of user information needs, and organisation so tht the reader
>>sees only the information and not the writer," he said, is the biggest
>>advantage of the method.
>> Using research-backed psycho-linguistic priciples and analysis of
>>the ways people accomplish various tasks, Information Mapping was
>>developed by Dr. Robert Horn, the founder of Informatiom Mapping Inc.,
>>to help communicators answer the questions
>> *"what do my readers need to know?" and
>> *"when do they need to know it?"
>>to provide significant gains in comprehension, retention-of-information,
>>and productivity
>> There was some spirited discussion at the meeting on the subjects
>>of creativity and writer/reader acceptance of the method. Jim pointed out
>>that in his experience at Honeywell; which manufactures automated control
>>systems for factories, nuclear powerplants and the like, and trains their
>>operators; users don't have time to wade through huge manuals to find the
>>one tiny piece of information they need.
>> "This isn't rocket science," he said. Studies have shown that
>>Info-Mapped documents are easier to use and show significant increases in
>>safety and productivity, according to its proponents.

The most important post I ever saw....
>BITNET.Techwr-L [4508]:
>Entry : 4509 (458 words)
>Author : Laura Lemay <lemay -at- DEATH -dot- KALEIDA -dot- COM>
>Subject : Re: Using HTML
>Written : 01/31/94.12:23pm
>What is HTML?
>We've been looking into this for distributing our online docs, so here's
>a summary, as I understand it:
>HTML is the HyperText Markup Language, used most often for documents
>that are distributed via the World Wide Web.
>Allow me to back up a bit more.
>The World Wide Web is a framework for the distribution of documents and
>other information on the internet, in real time. Its sort of like
>ftp and gopher and archie, only its more immediate -- rather than finding
>out what you want and then going out and getting it from whatever site has it,
>you browse sites, and then view or download what you want.
>Viewing documents is done via an application called Mosaic, available
>*free* from NCSA. It runs on Xwindows, MS Windows, and Macs.
>Generally, you need a machine directly connected to the internet for it
>to work. There is also a text-only version of Mosaic that is part of
>the gnu Emacs distribution.
>When you start up Mosaic, you get a "home page." The home page has
>hypertext links to other sources of information, and means to navigate
>to and from those links. The links take you to sites all over the
>world via the internet. There are also images and sounds and other
>forms of information that you can access via mosaic.
>Its quite cool.
>That said, HTML is a document format used by the documents that are
>available via mosaic. As a markup language, it is quite primitive; other
>than some basic formatting and font changes, its main claim to fame is
>the ability to put in hypertext links to other sites and documents on the
>world wide web.
>The advantages of HTML over other online markup systems? Its main advantage
>is that the "player," the application Mosaic, is freeware. The HTML spec
>is also freeware. Also, there are lots of filters popping up to convert
>document formats such as RTF (Rich Text Format) to HTML. The more popular
>it gets, the more should be appearing.
>The disadvantages are that the hypertext is rather primitive. Its more
>a system for presenting pages of text on line with links rather than a
>full-featured system for creating extensive online help.
>Also, it *is* first and foremost a system for distributing documents over
>the internet. Although we have heard that you can use Moasic and HTML
>locally (for example, on a CD), we're not sure yet. We're still exploring it.
>As to the text question; I have seen the emacs text-only mosaic running.
>complete with live links. I run emacs on a vt100 all the time, but I
>don't know if that qualifies as a text-only solution.
>Hope this helps --
>Laura Lemay
>Tech Writer/Tools Weenie
>Kaleida Labs

What a great job this is!

Performance S u p p o r t Svcs.
Phoenix, Arizona
Celebrating an entire *year* in operation!

" 'Cos our dads didn't get us crummy computers."

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