New System Features
All of these features are included at no extra charge and may be downloaded by customers with paid subscriptions.
Discussion Group Launched
Last month, South By Southwest implemented an Internet-based discussion group for all Dynamite resellers and customers. The purpose of the new service is to improve communication between all members of the group. Information on the latest software updates, "how to" questions and answers, and other technical info will be available.
Postings to the group can be viewed at the central web site or forwarded to you via E-Mail. To join, go to the main web site: www.sbtloop.com and click on the "Dynamite 2000 Discussion List" at the bottom of the page.
A special welcome is extended to all new Dynamite installations:
The price for Dynamite 2000 will change on March 15, 1998. The new pricing includes the first year's software subscription. The new price is $1,495 for a 5-user compiled license for Vision Point and $2,695 for a 5-user compiled license for SBT Pro. Additional 5-user licenses are $595 and source code is available for an additional $1,000.
Current SBT Versions Supported
Dynamite 2000 is also compatible with other SBT versions including Vision Point, VP2000, Professional Series 2.5, 3.0i, and 3.2i.
Year 2000 - Heads Up!
If you are running SBT Pro 3.0 or earlier, you will need to upgrade before the beginning of your fiscal year 2000 because of the way that the SBT General Ledger works. If your fiscal year ends on July 31st, for example, data records for fiscal year 2000 will be created when you close the year ending July 31, 1998.
If you are running Vision Point or Series 6 or 7, you should upgrade to Vision Point 2000. The upgrade price from SBT is going up on March 27th so now is a good time to act.
By the way, the new millennium doesn't begin until January 1, 2001 but we're all going to celebrate on January 1, 2000 regardless.
Who ever said Californians don't have good ideas, or at least a sense of humor? The following Letter to the Editor was published in the North (San Diego) County Times:
"A solution to the computer glitch of 2000"
"How does the world defeat the threatening 'Y2K' computer glitch? How about a bit of ingenuity? Throw out the zeroes, as in 2000. Convert from the Arabic numerical system to the Roman system in which there is no symbol for zero.
"Thus, 2000 becomes MM; 2001 becomes MMI; 2002 becomes MMII; ... 3000 becomes MMM.
"With the elimination of zeroes, the possible interpretive confusion of the year 2000 with 1900 will also be eliminated."
Our workshop in Indianapolis attracted a record 28 participants (not including those who stopped by just for the pizza)! The weather was great and we were able to get back to San Diego before the snow storm hit.
The feedback from the attendees has been very positive and good suggestions for product improvement were received and prioritized.
We have scheduled the next workshop for Orlando in April and have our sites set on the New York area next. If you are interested in joining us, please call as soon as possible to reserve a seat.
U.S. Geological Survey
On February 1, 1998, Thomas Francl was accepted as a volunteer for the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Science Corps. His responsibilities include annotating and updating the 7.5-minute Valley Center quadrangle topographic map. The Valley Center quadrangle covers an area north of Escondido, CA which is located in North San Diego County. He was even given a badge to use when surveying.
Although the title is great, he must annotate 60 square miles over the next 12 months while receiving below minimum wages (read zero dollars per hour), and not knowing when his corrections will be officially published. And the badge is plastic.
He claims he's doing this work because he likes working with maps and hopes his contributions will make a difference to the community. Besides, the USGS might even offer him a full time job someday at a rate above minimum wage.
DSL Modems Coming
The new modem technology, ADSL, is now being tested in several locations across the country, including the San Jose, CA area. They are planning a SoCal rollout in April.
Pacific Bell has announced Internet access for DSL subscribers in the San Jose area. Two plans are offered: Plan A offers a 384 Kbps upload and download and Plan B offers 384 Kbps upload and 1.5 Mbps download.
The cost for Plan A is $155 per month and you must be located with 12,000 feet of the Central Office. The cost for Plan B is $280 per month and you must be located within 6,000 feet of the Central Office.
Among the equipment required is a special modem, splitter, NIC card, but no new wiring. The package price is $600.
So, the choice is: a 33.6 Kbps or 56 Kbps modem for $100 plus $20 per month or 384 Kbps for $600 plus $155 per month.
If you are a moderate to heavy Internet user, there's not much rationalization necessary. If you're more than two miles from their Central Office, you'll have to convince the phone company to move their equipment.