Spare PC for any COM member

Following the purchase of a new PC for our editor, I have given her old one a thorough overhaul and clean-out. The CD/DVD tray that was previously acting as a shelf for the coffee cup (it wouldn’t retract as it was jammed) has been fixed, and now works perfectly well. I now consider myself a competent (if not yet expert) cdrom mechanic, which is novel as prior to this I’d never even seen the inside of one! And it didn’t even need a 13mm spanner!

The software has been completely refreshed, with the exception of the (hooky) version of XP installed. However, it is now updated to SP3 status and works fine with the exception of a reminder from Microsoft at every start-up that I really ought to buy a genuine copy. Still, that only stalls launch by about 5 seconds, so is liveable with. I have loaded various (latest versions) of anti-virus/spyware, email, web browser, skype, fax, etc. There is also a full version of Microsoft Office installed, plus WinZip, Nero CD/DVD burning software, and a couple of photo editing programs and maintenance tools.

It has an 80 gig hard drive, 512mb of RAM and a 2gh AMD Athlon processor, so it’s not exactly stone-age spec. I have also spent a few quid of the DOC’s money to add a CD/DVD Reader/Writer/Re-Writer combo drive to the repaired DVD ROM, so it can now save data on an external medium as well as via the 4 USB ports. Essentially, the PC is now completely refreshed and ready to use for any COM member who would like a PC to be used for dedicated DOC work. There’s a mouse and keyboard, but no monitor, though I could let the DOC have one for a few quid to complete the package. Remember this still belongs to the DOC so it will be required to be passed on to someone else eventually, but if you think it could be useful to you, then please let me know, and we’ll sort out some means of getting it to you. Originally, I figured the new Webmaster could have it, all ready with everything to go after the next AGM, but as it looks like the prospective new WM won’t be needing it, then it should be up for grabs.

Any takers anyone?

… and who’s the prospective new WM then???

The appeals for a new Webmaster have so far fallen largely on deaf ears, but I did have a serious offer before Xmas that was filed away for future reference, seeing as I had a couple of reservations. Since there have been no others putting themselves forward I have taken this a stage further.
Richard Leatherbarrow is the member in question, and I had a bit of email correspondence followed by a lengthy chat on the phone a couple of nights ago. Richard is eminently well qualified, being a software developer building and maintaining websites for a living. His technical knowledge is therefore way better than anything I could aspire too, so we’d be in good hands. I’ve met Richard a couple of times at the TT, and he won the best bike award at the 2008 BBQ, so you can see him on the webpage for TT2008.
My only reservations were that we could wind up with a site that would be so specialised in its complexity that any future WM may have a problem getting to grips with it, but Richard has assured me that it can be kept to a level where it would not be too difficult for a future incumbent to pick up. The second reservation is that there are some COM positions that require a period in a different capacity before the individual can take on one of the more sensitive posts (like Treasurer or Editor). I am not sure if the WM post comes into this, but if it does we may have to make an exception.
Lastly, living in the Isle of Man is a bit of a drawback when it comes to COM meeting attendance, but another idea we discussed may help here. The previous idea of a small “Web Team” could be taken one stage further if I was to help as a “Deputy WM” for want of a better description. Perhaps maintaining policing and development of the Forum (for instance) could be done by me, with Richard being able to devote more time to the other aspects of the electronic media. This could open the door to bringing in others in the long term in limited capacities.
I have offered any assistance required in a transitional period, which Richard thinks is well worthwhile, and as our viewpoints on website development are very similar, I think he will do a good job for us. I will have more info at the next COM, and will ask Richard to write a brief “resume” for the benefit of the rest of the COM.

More to come in due course.