From: Jay Thomas - VP Communications <email@example.com>
In response to the member who wished the HAL-PC Magazine could continue to be published in print form every month and wondered what the dues were going for, I would like to offer the following.
For one thing, rent. HAL-PC has enjoyed a much larger and more comfortable facility ever since the move from the cramped, often uncomfortably warm, facility at 1200 Post Oak in 1996. All that comes at a price, though, approximately $11,000/month. Assuming annual dues of $35 per member, that means the dues of about 3,772 members, $132,020, go for rent.
The HAL-PC Magazine, in the form that was being published prior to the move to quarterly printing, was costing around $12,000 per monthly issue to print, bind and distribute. Our long-time Magazine Publisher and the writers are all volunteers so printing, binding and distribution are the main costs. At that rate, it would take the annual dues (assuming $35 per member) of another 4,114 members to pay $144,000 for printing, binding & distribution of 12 paper issues of The Magazine.
As I write this on April 20th, 2004, we currently have only 7,802 dues-paid members, down from 9,109 on April 19 of 2003. With the above scenario requiring the annual dues of 7,886 members, we would clearly be in trouble. Still remaining are other expenses such as telephone service, maintenance on lab computers, SIG room equipment, office supplies, postage, annual audit expense and the like for an entire year. HAL-PC's Board of Directors has been forced to make a number of unpopular decisions in ongoing efforts to try and "live within our means" while not reducing services in such a way as to further drive down membership.
Fortunately, HALNet income pays for the rent on the portion of the Headquarters space that it occupies and also pays for a significant share of the office staff salaries. Not so fortunately, though, the number of HALNet subscribers and consequently HALNet-derived revenue has also been declining primarily due to HALNet users leaving us for broadband services such as Cable Modem. HALNet does offer Broadband service in the form of ADSL but there has been only slow, albeit steady growth in subscriptions to that type of service and due to heavy competition in the local market, we have to settle for relatively small amounts of per-user income from those services.
As many of you may recall, HAL-PC membership grew tremendously during the mid to late 90's largely due to those who joined HAL-PC in order to obtain dial-up Internet accounts from HALNet. As those who joined solely for that purpose switch to other methods of obtaining Internet connectivity, our membership and our income drop.
In short, the problem is economy of scale and continued declines in the number of members as well as HALNet subscribers. There are things that we could afford to do as a 13,000 member organization that we cannot afford to do now that we are a 7,800 member organization. The most helpful thing that each of us as members could do to help our club to be able to do more is to each convince just ONE person to become a new member of HAL-PC and/or begin using HALNet for their Internet service needs. While membership is no longer a requirement to obtain service from HALNet, our support staff will always make an effort to "go the extra mile" for HALNet subscribers who are also HAL-PC members.
Jay Thomas, Vice-President / Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Thanks for help with Norton problems
I received a new Dell tower a few weeks ago, and was so excited to have a new machine! Unfortunately, my e-mail no longer would work. I did everything I knew to do to make it work, then went several weeks without being able to access my e-mail. Thank God for HAL-PC Technical Support person….Bob! He had us reset the all the e-mail settings and the system still would not work. Alas, he said, “do you have anti-virus software on your machine?” We said we had Norton that came with the new computer. At his direction we uninstalled that software and were back in business with our e-mail. Bob gave us recommendations for virus and fire-wall protection which we will follow.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, for your technical support. It’s a shame that these software companies put programs on our hardware that keep our communications from working! I will sleep better tonight being able to communicate with family and business associates!
Thank you HAL-PC for being there when I needed you! God bless,
Jay Brockman, Angleton, TX
Editor: Symantec posts numerous help documents like the following,
"Cannot download email or the same email is repeatedly downloaded after Norton AntiVirus email scanning detects a threat" at service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/nav.nsf/pfdocs/2003013115102706?Open. See also the www.hal-pc.org/support/ page for many other help documents addressing “When Email Download Unexpectedly Terminates.”
We look forward to hearing from you! Send your questions or comments for this column to email@example.com. Names and addresses are printed only with permission, so please indicate your preference.
We look forward to hearing from you! Send your questions or comments for this column to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Email Bag” in the subject line. Names and addresses are printed only with permission, so please indicate your preference.