CFOG's PIP, June 1986, Volume 4 No. 8, Whole No. 44, page 1

President's Message

On June 22, 1986, CFOG held its monthly meeting at Triton College. Subject: 'Long Range Planning -- What do you, the members, need/want from your user group in the future?'

Despite the poor turnout (18 persons, 4 of whom sit on the Board of Directors, and 3 of whom are not members), we held the meeting and had an excellent discussion of the issues that we must face if we are to continue to function as a viable user group. A similar discussion has been going on on RCP/M #2 for a couple of months now, and a few members have called me at home to put their two cents in. A synopsis of these discussions follows.


We have 271 paid members for 1986. That figure is down from 417 in 1985, and down from over 500 in 1984. That represents a 35% decrease this year.

Income from dues in 1986 is $4379. That's down from an average of $7892.25 per year for the previous 4 years (1981-85).

Income from advertising in PIP in 1986 has been $250. That's down from an average of $1861.41 per year for the previous 4 years.

Total of all income for 1986: $ 5,383.37
Total of average income for previous 4 years: $10,218.85

That represents a 47.32% decrease in revenues.

Our average expenses over the past 4 years have been $7192.56 per year. That figure includes such items as depreciation of equipment. When adjusted to our real operating expenses, our actual cash outlay was an average of $6,319.93 per year.

As of today, our projected operating expenses for 1986 are within a few hundred dollars of our projected income. Assuming that we can regain some of our advertising dollars from PIP with our new editor, we will break even with zero growth.

If we do nothing, and membership continues to drop off, we will begin depleting our reserve funds in 1987, and we will eventually go broke.


Fortunately, some of us have been working on this for a while. We now have an editor who is committed to whatever amount of work it takes to get PIP caught up, and thereby woo our advertisers and some members back into the fold.

We have a new 35 megabyte RCP/M on line, that is aimed primarily at bringing in new users. After 4 months on-line, it has taken over 2000 calls and logged nearly 1000 messages. It has already generated a few new members, with more users expressing interest in joining all the time. We've also expanded RCP/M #1 from 10 to 35 megabytes.

In light of the problems that other CP/M user groups, including FOG, are having, CFOG is in an excellent position to move into the future as a healthy, strong user group if we are able and willing to adapt to the changing needs of a the microcomputer community.


One of the sentiments that I have heard expressed over and over recently is that those of us who continue to use Osbornes (I'm writing this on my original O-1 right now) need a user group that will continue to pursue new avenues of usefulness for our beloved old workhorses. But Osborne users are not alone in this need, as an Epson QX-10 user, a Kaypro user, and a Morrow user all pointed out at the June meeting. We need a strong support base for CP/M users as long as there are those of us who continue to use and enjoy CP/M based systems.

Another voice also seems to be emerging as a clear spokesman. We can no longer ignore other popular operating systems, such as MS-DOS and PC-DOS. Many of our members either use PC-DOS exclusively, or use it at work and still have CP/M machines at home. In reality, there is not a great deal of difference between operating under CP/M or MS-DOS, particularly for the user who is mainly interested in learning how to master WordStar, SuperCalc, DBase, or any of the other good applications packages that have 16-bit as well as 8-bit versions.

The bottom line, as I see it, goes beyond the types of computers that our members use and the programs that they run, and focuses on the users themselves. I believe that to maintain an organization such as ours we need users who are excited about their computers, and are anxious to learn more by sharing what they have already learned. The main threat to our survival is in the complacent attitudes of those who are willing to stay exactly where they are, learning nothing new, except as necessity demands. I'm not suggesting that users of this type are not valuable to CFOG, but I am making the point that we must have innovators and contributors or there will be no reason for anyone to be a member. Moreover, if we fail to provide an interesting atmosphere in which curious 'computer addicts' can explore their potential, then we will have failed our purpose and will suffer the fate that many user groups have already succumbed to.

The discussion remains open. Those of you who have not responded may still do so. I strongly urge you to jot down your thoughts on the subject and send them to:

PO BOX 1678
Chicago, Il 60690

Or, if you have a modem, get involved in the discussion on RCP/M #2 at (312) 235-7902.