User Groups Sprout

Groups of users seem to be springing up all over the place. The first organization to come to our attention was the Macintosh Users Group in San Francisco, which was formed eight days after the Mac was introduced by Apple. Attendance hit 80 at the group's second meeting on March 26th, which included gatherings of ten special interest groups. Their plans include an electronic bulletin board, a "National Gallery" of public domain Mac graphics, and sales of blank disks, public software, and other goods. A newsletter called MacMeet is already in production and was scheduled to grow to eight pages this month. Membership is $30. For more information, call founder Betsy Radford at 415-441-8648 or write to 2040 Polk St. #340, San Francisco, CA 94109. Members wanting to participate in the MacForth special interest group should contact Dudley Ackerman at 415-626-6295.

The second user group we discovered is one being formed by Louis Aversano for Mac users in the New York and New Jersey area. Membership is $5 per year and includes a newsletter. Call (201) 536-8360 or write to 50 River Dr., Marlboro, NJ 07746.

Club Mac is a for-profit user group that formed April 1st in Colorado. There are no local meetings, but the $35 annual fee brings a monthly newsletter, access to a Help Line, and a Mac disk that includes demo programs, a membership card and certificate (suitable for output on your Imagewriter), and a program written in Microsoft Basic for communications by modem and access to the Club Mac bulletin board and data base. For more information, call Rick Barron at (303) 449-5533 or write to 735 Walnut St., Boulder, CO 80302.

A Santa Barbara Mac user called to tell us that a user group has been formed in that area by Mike Ginsberg of The Computer Terminal at 90 W. Highway 246, Buellton, CA 93427. The phone number there is 805-688-1713.

The Boston Computer Society is organizing its Mac users. Jack Hodgson is the contact at Box 526, Boston, MA 02238.

The San Diego Macintosh Users' Group (they use an apostrophe) found their roster swelled to 50 members after only one meeting. Membership is free, but a $15 per year fee is required for their monthly San Diego Mac News. (The Mac-generated first issue was ten pages long, plus it included a list of all members.) Meetings are the fourth Wednesday of each month. For information, contact Charlie Jackson at 619-566-3939 or write to Box 12561, La Jolla, CA 92037.

Last but not least, a newly formed Lisa Users Group meets every other Wednesday in San Francisco, and it would like to know what other Lisa groups exist. Write to Joan Dickey, in care of Computer Connection, 214 California St., San Francisco, CA 94111.

Toolkitters Organizing

Ed Paynter, the Toolkit user and Lisa software developer who had contacted us to report the disappointing news about Apple winding down the development of Lisa software (see the story in last month's issue), followed up his call with a letter to us asking to help him establish a dialog with other Toolkit users. By organizing developers as a group, Ed specifically hopes to: share experiences in getting Toolkit programs to work, consolidate and organize future inquiries to Apple, provide incentive for Apple to make a serious commitment to Clascal language programmers, and to get desktop applications on the market sooner. Ed's first goal is to establish contact with other developers. If you are a Toolkit user and are "concerned about your progress and Apple's commitment", call Ed any day at 317-257-7561. His address is Software Constructors Inc., 6508 Westfield Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46220.

Publish Your Macintosh Art

Every magazine, newsletter, and user group software library seems to be soliciting users for Mac-generated art and graphics. Now yet another buyer is in the market for your MacPaint and MacDraw creations: a combined book and disk named Macintosh Art, to be published in October by Osborne/McGraw-Hill and sold in bookstores. Submittals that are published will be paid for and acknowledged with artist biographies. According to editor Paul Hoffman, this is "not just another clip-art disk", since all the images can be seen on paper before having to buy the book/disk. Emphasis will be "on images that can be used in professional writing, such as reports, letters, and memos, although other art will be included". For more information, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Macintosh Art, 2600 10th St., Berkeley, CA 94710 or call Paul at 415-644-0433. The deadline for submission of images is July 15th.

This Month's Mailbag

When writing to us, our readers (especially Mac owners) are constantly including doodles, drawings and miscellaneous machine-generated art that make opening the mail each day particularly fun. This month's kudo for best graphics goes to Mike Johnson in Trenton, OH for his two MacPaintings of the space shuttle. We appreciate everyone's letters and hope to see much more art, but we apologize for not being able to reprint them in Signal due to space limitations.

Elaine and Laurence Hall of Springfield, VA wrote that they have a Lisa and are interested in developing software for the Lisa and Macintosh. They have been software developers for five years and each have a master's degree in computer science along with an MBA. "Currently we are assessing the needs of the home and business community to determine our next software application. We hope that people will write to Signal with their ideas so that we may better serve the 32-bit Apple family".

K. Y. Fisher of Phoenix, AZ is looking for Lisa software to maintain a mailing list of up to 3,000 names and to print labels by ZIP code. Haba Systems' new Mac software (call 818-901-8828) may do the trick if it runs under MacWorks, but we've also heard rumors that the next Office System release will paste LisaLists into LisaWrite. If so, a LisaList column of asterisks (or some similar placeholder) could be replaced by carriage returns in LisaWrite, allowing a rudimentary reformatting of address lines into labels.