CFOG's PIP, December 1988, Volume 7 No. 6, Whole No. 68, page 86

Thanks, CFOG!

by William E. Kuykendall

Five years ago in January, I walked into an auditorium at Triton College and into my first CFOG meeting. The Sysop of CFOG's RCP/M, Glen Ostgaard, had recommended the group to me after personally bailing me out of several scrapes I'd gotten myself into with the used Osborne O-1 I had bought from his brother.

At that point, I knew how to boot the computer and load up WordStar, but I still didn't know that you could turn the Insert-Text-Mode off, or move words around once they were typed. I was a foreign car mechanic by trade.

Today I'm in middle management in a prestigious marketing research firm. I'm responsible for end-user computing in 6 offices. I'm also currently working on several state of the art development projects as diverse as transaction processing via LAN communications, and VideOcart, a new advertising medium that targets LCD computer screens on grocery carts via sattelite link. And I don't intend to stop here. I already have plans for bigger and better things.

To say that CFOG has changed my life would be an understatement. How did it do that? Let me list a few ways:

  • CFOG gave me a place to turn to with questions. It provided speakers at meetings who would conduct mini-seminars on topics I wanted to learn. It provided a newsletter with helpful articles from all over the world. It provided an RCP/M where I could download the source code of programs that interested me so that I could see how they worked. I could post a question on the BBS at 3AM and have an answer the next day.

  • It got me started in Telecommunications. Later, CFOG paid for the equipment to set up CFOG II. The knowledge I gained from building the RCP/M, and the credibility I gained by running it won me my first consulting contract. When I quit consulting I was charging $90 per hour.

  • As President of CFOG and Sysop of CFOG II I had the additional credibility to land a good job in this industry with consulting references only.

  • CFOG has given me a number of friends that I will keep for life. It's also beaten back my cynicism. Programmers who GAVE their work to the public domain were my tutors, and volunteers who gave their time to CFOG were my mentors. And I found that as I gave back to CFOG, I benefitted AGAIN -- both in the good feeling I got, knowing what it's like to be on the receiving end, and financially as my career has developed.

So I just want to say 'Thanks.' I'm sorry that I don't have the time to spend on RCP/M maintainance that I used to. It's ironic to think that I have to quit being CFOG's Sysop because of the success it has brought me, but that is the truth.

I just hope that I'm not among the last generation of users who will grasp the uniqueness of CFOG's philosophy in this day and age. That would make us the last generation to benefit from it.

Thanks Again,
- Bill K